Gums can have recession or shrink away from the tooth and expose the root surface. There are many reasons this may happen including faulty toothbrushing technique, gingival inflammation, smoking, heavy occlusal forces, tooth malposition, and abnormal frenum (muscle) attachment. Sometimes the recession causes the teeth to become sensitive because of the underlying tooth surface exposed. The major risk associated with gum recession is dental decay of exposed tooth structure.
Due to the issues listed above a patient may need to have a procedure called a gingival graft to replace the recession around the tooth so the gum can protect the tooth adequately. Today advances in both technology and research support the evidence that these procedures can be preformed accurately and successfully with less discomfort to the patient.