Gum recession occurs because of the unfavourable position of the root within the jaw bone, and aggresive brushing technique. This can be unsightly in patients who have 'high smile lines'. This can frequently occur in the canine area and can give a "long-in-the-tooth" appearance. Corrective gum repositioning is often used to cover sensitive or abraded root surfaces where the gum has receded, to try to re-establish the original position of the gum.
Sometimes it is possible to cover exposed root surfaces by simply moving the tissues near the defect into a new position. At other times, new gum may be brought in from another site in the mouth, e.g - the roof of the mouth.
This type of procedure is generally very successful. Occasionally due to thin tissue types, the position of the tooth and the presence of any restoration it may not be possible to achieve 100% root coverage - a second surgery may be necessary to "fine -tune " the result.
In some cases, a regenerative material is also used. In order to obtain the best possible results it is extremely important that there is minimal plaque present in the mouth and so regular follow up and hygiene care is essential. Smoking can cause this procedure to fail.
In order to maintain these results, it is important that a correct, atraumatic brushing technique is adopted.
Patients can feel that their smile shows too much of the gum or that the actual gum margins are uneven. This type of problem can be corrected by a "crown lenghtening ' procedure. This can result in excellent aesthetic results: the volume of gum height is reduced and the tooth has a more 'normal' proportion.