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New Medical Procedure Uses Patient's Blood Cells To Restore Gums

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- One of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults is receding gums, and millions of Americans suffer from the condition.

But now, some periodontists are offering a new treatment to restore gums, using the patient's very own blood cells. Patients say the condition can be painful.

"Very severe, all the way up to the bone on most of the teeth and it's hereditary. My father was that way too," Dede Lambrecht told CBS2's Dr. Max Gomez.

Many people suffer from gum recession as they age. The most common fix is gum grafting: taking tissue from the roof of the mouth to cover the exposed root.

But a new procedure now offers a less painful and less invasive solution.

Periodontist Alexandre Aalam offers the procedure, called rejuvagum lift, to his patients. He uses a small amount of the patient's own blood to create what's called a "platelet rich fibrin." Aalam said this fibrin is a gummy bear-like texture of white cells.

He inserts the fibrin into the infected gum area and in just days, the fibrin helps rejuvenate the existing gum tissue.

"The procedure takes itself an hour, but you get results within a week," Aalam said.

Rejuvagum is essentially a dental version of the PRP procedure that has been done for some time to heal other soft tissue injuries, like torn muscles, inflamed tendons, ligaments, and even spinal disks.

"I couldn't believe it, and when I got the stitches out, it was just like the gums I was born with. It was just amazing," Lambrecht said.

Doctors say the results are permanent so patients like Dede won't need any further treatments.

The science behind Rejuva and other PRP procedures is that the cells and biochemicals in the gummy material work as growth factors to stimulate natural healing in gums and other tissues.

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