Gingival recession involves the margins of the gum tissue surrounding the teeth wearing away or receding back, potentially exposing the roots of the teeth. The recession can be either localized, limited to individual teeth in an area of the mouth (subcategory K06.01), or generalized, involving multiple teeth in an area of the mouth (subcategory K06.02). Within each sub-subcategory are specific codes to indicate the degree of recession: minimal, moderate, or severe.
Gums may recede due to different reasons, such as periodontal disease; genes; aggressive tooth brushing; inadequate dental care; tobacco products; hormonal changes.
Treatment depends upon the degree of recession. Minimal recession may be treated with deep cleaning. During the deep cleaning, also called tooth scaling and root planning, plaque and tartar that has built up on the teeth and root surfaces below the gum line is removed and the exposed root area is smoothed to make it more difficult for bacteria to attach itself. Antibiotics may be administered to treat any remaining bacteria.
If the gum recession cannot be treated with deep cleaning because of excess loss of bone and pockets that are too deep, gum surgery may be required to repair the damage caused by gum recession.