Receding Gums? You May Need Bovine Collagen

Yes, you read that correctly. In a new procedure, bovine collagen was prepared and applied to receding gums to help with healing time and to protect painful, exposed roots, according to research published in the journal Head & Face Medicine.

Typically, when a patient has extensively receding gums, he or she must undergo surgery to graft tissue from elsewhere, which is used on their gums in order to protect the root that can decay when it's exposed. However, not all patients can endure surgery or they may not have enough viable tissue to graft.

With the new procedure, collagen from bovine pericardium (a thin membrane around an animal's heart) was extracted and treated to remove any bacteria, viruses or other pathogens. It was then adhered to 60 teeth of 14 different patients and held in place with surgical thread. (Bovine pericardium has been used in other surgical patch treatments such as cardiac surgery and soft tissue repair, for many years.)

Six months later, because the bovine collagen helped the body's own cells repair the damage, all of the patients' implants had healed over and improved their gum recession. Half of the patients had total coverage of their exposed roots.

If faced with the need to repair receding gums, would you consider going the bovine route? Let us know in the comments below.

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