When recession of the gum tissue (gingiva) occurs, the body loses its natural defense against both bacterial penetration and trauma. Often, when there is only minor recession, some healthy gingiva often remains and protects the tooth so that no treatment other than modifying home care is necessary. However, when gum recession is an issue, gum grafting, or gingival grafting, is the best option.
Gum recession often results in root sensitivity (to hot and cold air, food, and drink) as well as an unsightly appearance of the gum and teeth. When significant, gum recession can predispose to worsening recession, exposing the root surface and leading to root caries, root gouging, and eventual tooth loss.