Exposed roots are the result of tissue recession. This causes sensitive roots and an unattractive smile. Genetically, each patient has a different thickness of gum tissue. Some patients are born with thin gums that recede even if they are conscientious about their oral hygiene. With the wear and tear of time, even normal gums can be worn away. Recession is not an infection, but an anatomical condition.
The first sign of tissue recession may be sensitivity to brushing, or to hot and cold. Patients with minor recession are predisposed to more advanced recession. This exposure of roots beyond the enamel, leads to decay and erosion. Teeth with untreated recession lose their natural defense against bacteria and trauma. Unfortunately, bone loss is another consequence of recession.
Other situations that can lead to tissue recession include gums that are stretched during orthodontics, or a frenum pulling at the gum margin. The frenum is a naturally occurring muscle attachment located between the upper or lower front teeth. It is normal to have a frenum, but if it pulls on the gums, recession can occur. Fortunately, aesthetic microsurgery can correct these problems and restore natural tissue contours and a beautiful smile.