Treatment Options for Receding Gums - Dr. Colin Richman

Dr. Richman Personal Cell: (404) 784-7272
Dr. Richman Email:

Treatment Options for Receding Gums

April 16, 2013

If you have noticed that your gums have become thinner or appear to be moving upward away from the crowns of the teeth, then you likely have gum recession that has been caused by gum inflammation, toothbrush abrasion, and having thin tissues to begin with.

Receding gums are a serious problem, and the condition can have significant consequences for your smile’s appearance and your oral health. Fortunately, effective treatments are available to help restore an attractive, healthy smile in patients who have gum recession.

When should I seek treatment?

Patients who are able to see that their gums have receded should seek treatment from a periodontist, especially if the recession has advanced to the degree that the roots are exposed. Additionally, pay attention to signs of thinning gum tissue with a loose attachment. Healthy gum tissue is relatively thick with a solid attachment to the bone. If your gums appear to be thin with a tentative attachment, periodontal treatment may be warranted.

What are my treatment options?

Treatment for gum recession often requires a graft to replace the missing gum tissue. This surgery typically involves one of three techniques: free gingival grafting, connective tissue grafting or allografting. Here is a breakdown of each of these techniques:

– Free gingival grafting (FGG) – This approach takes a 2 mm thick graft from the palate and places it at the site of gum recession. This approach produces predictable results, but it does not provide much root coverage, and the color of the graft is typically a few shades lighter than the surrounding tissue. Additionally, the site of the grafted palate tissue can be uncomfortable for patients. FGG was the earliest gum grafting technique, but it is less common now.

– Connective tissue grafting (CTG) – The CTG improves on the FGG by taking tissue from below the surface of the palate, leaving a closed wound in place. A pouch is created under the gum recession, and that pouch is then pulled up over the donor tissue. This technique produces more uniform coloring and better root coverage than the FGG, but it is not necessarily as predictable and it is more technically challenging. CTG is more comfortable than FGG, and it is considered the gold standard in gum recession treatment.

– Allografting – This approach uses tissue from external sources, such as a cadaver or an animal. These tissues have been thoroughly treated and tested, and they are hypoallergenic and biocompatible. The tissue is then placed in a pouch similar to CTG, or some materials can be used like a FGG. The results are somewhat similar to CTG, although CTG is typically more predictable. Allografting can be useful in patient with multiple grafting sites, which would make it difficult to harvest enough tissue from the palate.

You have options to treat receding gums. Visit our experienced team of periodontists as soon as you realize that you have a problem and explore the various interventions that can help to correct the problem. Call 770-442-1010 to schedule your professional consultation.

Contact us/Schedule an appointment

  • Please click here to fill out our online appointment request form.
Owl Image
Owl Image
Owl Image
Owl Image
Owl Image
Owl Image

Contact Dr. Richman at 404/784-7272 or for more information on his various courses or to register for a course.