Connective Tissue Regeneration
When recession of the gingiva occurs, the natural defense against both bacterial penetration is lost. When gum recession is a problem, gum regeneration using tissue regeneration techniques is an option.
When there is only minor recession, some healthy gingiva (gum tissue) often remains and protects the tooth, so that no treatment other than modifying home care practices is necessary. However, when recession reaches the mucosa, the first line of defense against bacterial penetration is lost. This most often happens when the gum tissue is thin which occurs around 60-70% of front teeth.
In addition, gum recession often results in root sensitivity to hot and cold foods as well as an unsightly appearance of the gum and tooth. When significant, gum recession can predispose to worsening recession and expose the root surface, leading to root caries and root gouging since the root surface is soft.
Two types of procedures are used when stopping the recession is important: Transferring gum tissue from the roof of the mouth to increase the amount of keratinized tissue or thickening the tissue with connective tissue regeneration. This later procedure makes the gum more resistant to further recession.
The small bit of tissue can be acquired from the roof of your mouth or from a donor. We often use both types of tissue, depending on the specific problem. If a tissue is transferred from somewhere other than your mouth, then I usually use Alloderm.
This human tissue goes through the following proprietary processing steps to derive AlloDerm from donor tissue and involves a series of steps:
- Treatment with buffered salt solution to separate and eliminate the epidermis
- Series of washes with mild non-denaturing detergent solutions to solubilize and eliminate all cells
- Final freeze drying step using patented technology that prevents damaging ice crystal formation
Using your own tissue has been shown to give a slightly better long term result. Alloderm produces a more than adequate result, hence we use both methods frequently and routinely. The connective tissue regeneration procedure is highly predictable and results in a stable, healthy band of attached tissue around the tooth.