Meet our patient RC! She contacted our team at Anderson Periodontal Wellness seeking treatment to “cover [her] yellow roots and make [her] gums more even”. For RC, an acidic diet rich in low pH citric fruits caused erosion of her exposed roots. In efforts to create better symmetry and to cover exposed roots, gingival grafting was completed on #9-11 (three teeth to the right of the midline above) to bring the gingiva (gum) apically (down). After 3 months of soft tissue healing, her general dentist blended the yellow surfaces with flowable fillings. RC is happy to reach a natural look, much like her smile when she was younger! For cases like RC, a multidisciplinary approach is critical to manage the “pink – gum and white – tooth” interface.
Meet our patient KL. She is a systemically healthy 50 year old female who presented to our office with the chief concern to “Please cover my roots, they are yellow and make me look older than I am. They are also sensitive to temperature change and my dentist recommended you to re-grow the gum back”.
After verbal interview and clinical examination, Dr. Anderson determined that the etiology or “cause” of her recession was aggressive tooth brushing on thin gingiva or “gums” which are more prone to recession than thick gingiva. To regenerate KL’s soft tissue over the roots, Dr. Anderson used a minimally invasive technique to harvest KL’s tissues from her palate or “top of the mouth” and transferred this tissue to the teeth with roots exposed. This technique, known as a sub-epithelial connective tissue graft, was chosen and tailored for KL’s unique case presentation due to the high predictability, long-term success rate and superior esthetics. KL is happy with her results, enjoys her “more youthful smile” and reports the hot and cold sensitivity has gone away after Dr. Anderson regenerated the soft tissue. KL is now maintaining her results with proper brushing technique and a soft toothbrush.
Please see below for before and after photos of soft grafting of teeth in the upper right (#3-7) with Dr. Anderson.
Above, JR’s before and 1 year after tissue grafting with Dr. Anderson on lower front teeth (central incisors #’s 24 and 25).
Gum or what dentists refer to as “gingiva” is the pink tissue that surrounds your teeth. A thick band of gingiva is needed around all of your teeth for proper oral health. For a variety of reasons (aggressive tooth brushing, problematic anatomy, staggered teeth, bone loss, infection etc.), some patients experience gum shrinkage and become vulnerable to variety of dental issues. Teeth look longer and gums look shorter. In most cases, periodontists can correct gums back to a stable level in about an hour. Results can be lifelong if taken care of properly.
JR is a 19 year old systemically healthy (ASA 1) female who presented to our office with sensitive lower teeth. She and her dentist found that her lower two front teeth (central incisors 24, 25) were looking longer and experiencing gum recession. Note that the roots (yellow part) are exposed and there is very little pink tissue (gingiva). In cases like JR, the gum recession will continue to get worse if not treated. Please see above for before and one year post-op results from gum grafting (free gingival graft) with Dr. Anderson. Note the increased pink gum (attached gingiva) that is needed for oral health and full coverage of the roots that is needed to reduce sensitivity. JR is now happy that her oral condition is now stabilized, her yellow roots are covered, and her tooth sensitivity is gone!
If you have been referred for or believe you may have gum recession, ask Dr. Anderson if you would be a candidate for the treatment that helped JR reach better oral health.