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How is gum recession treated?

Gum recession is when the gums surrounding your teeth start to wear away or pull back from the teeth. There are many causes of gum recession and we have listed the most common here.

Early detection of receding gums is vital to reduce the amount of treatment that’ll be needed. Attending regular appointments with your dentist will make sure that the early symptoms are spotted and can be treated sooner.

Your dentist may be able to treat mild gum recession by deep cleaning the affected area. This deep clean, otherwise known as ‘tooth scaling and root planing’ remove any tartar that has built up on the tooth surfaces. To make it more difficult for bacteria to stick to the area, the exposed root is smoothed out. Antibiotics are often prescribed to kill any remaining harmful bacteria in the mouth.

Gum recession surgery

If your gum recession is too advanced for a deep cleaning treatment, gum surgery may be required to repair the damage. Gum recession is treated by the following procedures:

Open flap scaling and root planing

During this treatment, the dentist will fold back the affected gum tissue and removes the harmful bacteria from the pockets surrounding the teeth. The gum tissue is then put back in the correct place over the root of the tooth, reducing any previous pockets.


If the bone supporting the teeth has been destroyed during gum recession, a procedure to regenerate the bone and tissue may be carried out. A similar procedure to the ‘open flap scaling and root planing’ is carried out and then followed by applying a regenerative material to stimulate the regrowth of the bone. After the material is put in place, the gum tissue is secured over the root of the tooth (or teeth).

Soft tissue graft

There are multiple types of soft tissue grafts carried out but the most commonly used is a ‘connective tissue graft’. In this procedure, a flap of skin is cut at the roof of your mouth and tissue is removed. This is then stitched to the gum tissue surrounding the exposed root. After the connective tissue has been removed from under the flap, the flap is stitched back down.

Every patient is different and the procedure you will be recommended will depend on your individual needs and suitability.

If you have noticed your gums receding and would like advice, contact Stella Maris Dental on 0121 588 4541.

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