Normally the gums protect the underlying bone. If the gum tissue is too thin it is easily injured and it may 'die back' or recede.
When gum recession occurs, bone recession (loss) has also occurred.
This can be unsightly, uncomfortable and weakens the teeth. In later years teeth will be more susceptible to cavities where recession has occurred. Thickening and widening the gums by plastic surgery can stop gum recession, which reduces the risk of bone (and tooth) loss, decreases tooth sensitivity to cold and can correct unsightly long-tooth appearance.
Under local anesthesia, thin layers of tissue are moved from the roof of the mouth to deficient areas to recreate an effective layer of gum tissue. While soft-tissue (skin, not gum) from tissue banks is sometimes used, its efficacy and long-term stability is uncertain. If you are unhappy with the appearance of short unsightly teeth this can be greatly improved by a combination of periodontal procedures by your Periodontist and cosmetic dentistry by your Dentist.
Although teeth may appear short, they may actually just be covered with too much gum tissue. This can be corrected by performing the periodontal plastic surgery procedure of crown lengthening.
Under local anesthesia, excess gum (and sometimes bone) is reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth. This can be done for one or more teeth to even your gum line and to create a beautiful smile.
After any of these procedures, when the local anesthesia wears off, low-grade pain is present through the evening but is gone by the next day.