What is Gum Recession?
Gum recession (Gingival recession) is when the gum line moves away from the enamel and exposes the underlying root surface. This causes gaps to form between the teeth and gum line, which is often an esthetic concern for a patient. Additionally, there can be significant sensitivity associated with recession, which might not respond to treatments such as application of desensitizing agents or toothpastes.
An exposed root will create sensitivity, pain, plaque and bacteria buildup, tooth decay, and eventually result in the loss of the affected teeth and jawbone degeneration.
Why Do We Get Gum Recession?
There are several reasons why your gums may recede. Genetics plays a large role in determining one’s susceptibility to problems like gum disease, which is the most common reason for gum recession.
Gum disease is caused by plaque that is trapped between the teeth and gums. If plaque remains in place it turns into tartar, and irritates your gums. The irritation will eventually cause the gums to swell, bleed, become irritated, and in time recede.
If your teeth are crooked and your bite is out of alignment the abnormal wear patterns on your gums could eventually cause them to recede.
Other factors that lead to gingival recession may include the lack of proper dental care or frequent and forceful brushing of the teeth. If you use a hard toothbrush or you brush too aggressively, you can irritate your gums and cause them to recede.
Why you should take gum recession seriously.
We encourage all our patients to pay attention to their gum health and get in touch with us if they see their gums bleeding, swelling or receding.
If treated early the problem can be resolved using less invasive methods. You may only need a deep cleaning or an antibiotic treatment. By coming in early, you give your gums the best chance for restoration without the need for a gum graft.
If you delay, your gums could recede to the point that the health of your teeth, your jawbone, and your entire smile are at risk.
How do you prevent gum recession?
The best way to prevent gum recession is to visit your dentist for a teeth cleaning twice per year. Removing the plaque and tartar that has built up will reduce the likelihood of gum recession.
Additionally, you should floss and brush your teeth gently twice daily with a soft toothbrush.
How to treat gum recession
If you are suffering gum recession due to gum disease, we must first remove the disease. This requires a deep cleaning procedure to remove the plaque and tartar from the area in between the teeth and the gums.
There are also laser procedures that can help stimulate the gum tissue so it can begin to grow again.
Gum tissue can be added in several ways. Sometimes recession can be corrected by adjusting the existing level of the gum tissue. The most common treatment method is something called a soft tissue graft. This is when gum tissue is transplanted from one part of the mouth to another area that requires augmentation. Sometimes tissue from a tissue bank can be used instead of having to take a graft from the patient's palate.
Pinhole surgery, our newest technology, is also an option to restore the tissue around the teeth.
Cone Beam Scanner
This practice has an in-house Cone Beam Scanner – also know as CBCT (Cone Beam Computed Tomography). It is the most accurate method to evaluate a patient and plan for dental implants. Click here to learn more.