Gingival recession is when the gumline drops and the root of the tooth is exposed. The recession causes teeth to become more sensitive to cold as well reflects a deeper problem of bone loss under the gum. The recession can be an esthetic concern if it is visible in the smile or it can be a functional concern since tooth loss may occur if recession is left untreated.
Most recession can be corrected to restore both function and esthetics by gingival grafting. Not all recession needs to be treated though as sometimes it is just due to heavy toothbrush use. The Periodontist will evaluate the type of recession present and determine if gingival grafting is needed or if it is just an esthetic concern.
Gingival grafting is a procedure done with local anesthetic, tissue is taken from the roof of the mouth and placed over the recession site to reinforce the gumline. It is typically less than an hour long procedure, most patients manage well with over the counter medications and are back to work by 2-3 days.