You may have heard the saying that people get “long in the tooth” as they get older. Well, it is not the teeth that are getting longer; it is actually the gums which are getting smaller! If gum disease is left untreated, the bone supporting the teeth dissolves away and the gums may pull back, or recede from the teeth.
When gum recession occurs, your teeth may appear longer and experience sensitivity to hot, cold, and sweets. With gum recession, unsightly gums and sensitive teeth are only the beginning. When the gums pull back away from the teeth, the body loses its natural defense mechanism against bacteria of the mouth. Your gums, when healthy, are firm and tightly adapt around teeth to seal the body from unwanted bacteria and their toxic by-products. If the gums recede, these bacteria are given an open door to invade the tissues that support your teeth.
Fortunately, gum recession can be reversed in most cases with grafting procedures. High quality tissue is gently taken from the roof of the mouth and is transferred to the area of gum recession. The procedure typically takes about an hour and when healed, your gums will look great and will actually be stronger than they were in the first place. Your gum tissues will once again tightly seal around the teeth to protect your body from harmful oral bacteria and their by-products. Best of all, your smile will look years younger and you will be able to drink ice cold beverages without discomfort!
In certain cases, gum recession may be treated with scientifically engineered tissue that eliminates the need for tissue to be taken from the roof of the mouth. Dr. Holtzclaw is very experienced in the use of this tissue and is a senior lecturer for the company which manufactures it. If you are interested in this particular treatment, Dr. Holtzclaw can evaluate your specific situation to see if this treatment is right for you.
If you have been told or think that you may have gum recession, you can have confidence in Dr. Holtzclaw’s ability to treat the problem. He has performed thousands of gum grafting procedures and has published a number of papers in dental journals regarding plastic surgery of the gum tissue. In fact, Dr. Holtzclaw was recently selected as one of three lead clinicians to lecture about gum grafting procedures at one of the largest international dental surgery meetings in the world.
If you would like more information about gum grafting, please contact Dr. Holtzclaw at 512-453-1600 to schedule an appointment.
Lone Star Periodontics & Dental Implants. Dan Holtzclaw, DDS, MS. Board certified periodontist and dental implant surgeon. 711 W. 38th Street, Suite G5. Austin, TX 78705. 512-453-1600