A tooth is surrounded by many types of gingiva.
The first one is themarginal or free gingiva. It does not adhere to the tooth.
The attached gingiva is continuous with the marginal gingiva. It is firm and tightly bound to the alveolar bone. This type of gingiva forms a tight seal around the tooth which makes it unmovable. It serves as a barrier against the penetration of bacteria to the underlying supporting bone. It also helps to withstand trauma from brushing and eating. The attached gingiva is crucial for the stability of the gums and the bone.
The last type of gingiva is the alveolar mucosa. It is found directly below the attached gingiva, is very thin and appears loose.
Gum recession... why you should care?
In certain cases, the attached gingiva maybe thin or absent compromising its the stability and its protective functions. Some trauma* in the absence of tissue firmly attached to the tooth increases the risk of causing a receding gum.
*Example of trauma: occlusal trauma, traumatic brushing, orthodontics movements, hooks of removable dentures, piercings in the lip or tongue.
A thin piece of gum tissue is taken from the palate or it is possible to use a donated medically-processed human skin tissue as a source for the graft. The graft is placed over the recession, to strengthen the attached tissue, improve the aesthetics and reduce root sensitivity. The success rate of this procedure is excellent.
N.B. In some case, it is possible to combine regenerative material with the graft to reduce the pain and discomfort and to treat defects created by periodontal disease.
*It is not always possible to completely recover the root.