While your teeth generally take much of the credit for your ability to eat and speak, your soft tissues perform vital functions that you may sometimes take for granted. The tongue enables you to taste the foods you’re eating and clearly form words. The gums provide a protective barrier for your teeth and jawbones. Sometimes having too much or too little soft tissue can create embarrassment, make essential daily activities painful or difficult, and even jeopardize your dental health. With a board-certified periodontist—a specialist in soft tissue treatment—and our award-winning, in-house multispecialty team, Dental Partners of Brookline can remedy common gum and tongue conditions and get you back to enjoying life to its fullest. Through gum grafting, gingivectomies, and frenectomies, we can help you achieve just the right soft tissue balance.
Select Soft Tissue Treatments
When gum recession begins you may just experience some heightened tooth sensitivity. As it continues, you’ll probably begin to notice your gumline becoming uneven. If you allow the recession to go untreated for too long you can end up losing teeth and the bone underneath. Our solution is to take a small piece of soft tissue—usually from the roof of your mouth, from teeth with excessive gum coverage, or from a donor source—and attach it to the area of recession. This graft will eventually heal, alleviating your tooth sensitivity and giving you a consistent and healthy gumline.
The first stage of gum disease, gingivitis develops slowly and may be hardly noticeable at first. Gingivitis can often be treated with an improved dental hygiene regimen. Left unchecked, it can progress into periodontitis, a far more serious stage of the disease with the potential to permanently damage tissues and the underlying bone. When we perform a gingivectomy we remove all infected gum tissue to prevent the disease from spreading and spare you additional discomfort and treatments. A gingivectomy can also be used to correct a “gummy smile,” a condition in which gums appear too large in comparison to the teeth.
That slender tissue connecting your top lip to your gums is called a frenulum, as is the similar tissue anchoring your tongue to the bottom of your mouth. If either of these tissues is too short, you may have trouble eating or speaking properly. With a frenectomy we remove the problematic tissue, freeing you to get full, normal enjoyment out of meals, conversations, and even simply smiling.