Soft dental tissue is a condition may result in gingival recession, or gum recession, which leads bacteria build up. Gum recession may severely damage the supporting tissue structure and the bone which may ultimately lead to tooth loss. Gum recession may not be noticeable because it happens gradually. Symptoms of gum recession include tooth sensitivity and the tooth looking longer than normal.
One of the causes of gum recession is gum disease. Gum bacteria destroys the gum tissue and the bone resulting in gum recession. Brushing too hard may also cause the enamel of the tooth to wear down and the gums to recede. Smoking may also cause gum recession by making the person more susceptible to sticky plaque which leads to gum recession.
Mild gum recession can be treated by deep cleaning the affected area which is called tooth scaling. The plaque and tartar that is attached in the affected area is carefully removed and the exposed root area is smoothed out in order to make it more difficult for the bacteria to attach itself to the root. Soft-tissue grafts are used to treat moderate to severe gum recession. The process involves adding more gum tissue to the affected area which covers the exposed root to stop tooth sensitivity and prevent further tooth recession. There are three types of soft-tissue grafts: free gingival grafts, connective-tissue grafts, and pedicle grafts. The process of free gingival grafts involves a small strip of flesh being removed from the roof of the mouth and then stitched around the affected area. A connective-tissue graft is performed on patients with exposed roots. A “trap door” shaped incision is made on the roof of the mouth to extract some tissues called sub epithelial connective tissue. These tissues are then placed on the affected gum and then stitched into place. A pedicle graft process cuts a flap on affected gum tissue next to the affected area. While the one end is still attached, the other end is used to cover the affected area and stitched into place. Pedicle grafts can only be made in certain situations. There are certain medications, exercises, and diets that can be prescribed to help speed up the recovery from surgery. It is generally advised to eat soft, cool foods such as ice cream, well-cooked vegetables, pasta, and eggs. It usually takes one to two weeks for the mouth to fully heal. The cost of gum surgery depends on the type of graft and how much work is to be done.