Gum recession is a common problem and occurs for a number of reasons including gum disease, tissue trauma (e.g. aggressive tooth brushing) or abnormal position of teeth. In some individuals, the gum tissue is just naturally thin and more prone to receding.
As gums recede, bone is also being lost around the tooth. This causes exposure of the root, compromising the look of the tooth as well as making it more prone to sensitivity, decay, and infection. To treat these issues, there are different types of soft tissue grafts that can be performed–some that help to prevent the progression of gum recession and some to cover up the exposed root surfaces. Both procedures involve taking a small piece of gum tissue from another region of the mouth and attaching it in the area of recession. This transplanted tissue thickens the remaining gum tissue, helping to prevent further recession and the resulting side effects.