Recession is when the gum line moves away from the enamel and exposes the underlying root surface. Very often this an esthetic concern for a patient. Additionally, there can be significant sensitivity associated with recession, which might not respond to treatments such as application of desensitizing agents or toothpastes. It is also important that teeth undergoing orthodontic or restorative treatment have an adequate amount of strong, resilient gum tissue at the necks of the teeth.
Gum tissue can be added in several ways. Sometimes recession can be corrected by adjusting the existing level of the gum tissue. The most common treatment method is something called a soft tissue graft. This is when gum tissue is transplanted from one part of the mouth to another area that requires augmentation. Sometimes tissue from a tissue bank can be used instead of having to take a graft from the patient's palate.