What Is Gum Recession?
The health of our gums is often ignored. However, significant symptoms like bleeding gums and inflammation are a sign of periodontal disease. The progression of gum disease can lead to mild gum recession and eventually a more severe form.
This recession will require treatment for a healthy smile. Depending upon the severity of the damage, recession treatment can become complicated. If you are experiencing gum recession, you must take appropriate measures for its treatment.
Gums are the tissue surrounding the teeth and cover the bones that hold the teeth into place. Healthy gums are a sign of proper dental hygiene. It would be best to keep your gums healthy, as their damage can lead to many other associated smile issues. Gum disease will lead to receding gums along with tooth loss.
Causes of Gum Recession
There are many causes of gum recession. It is essential to understand each cause so your dentist can design a proper treatment plan.
Insufficient Dental Care = Gum Disease
This is the #1 cause of receding gums. If you do not follow proper dental hygiene, gum disease will develop and progress. This progression will eventually lead to receding gums.
Unfortunately, most patients visit a dentist for receding gums treatment when the damage is already done. So it is essential to maintain good dental hygiene and see your dentist regularly to prevent receding gums. It is also important to brush properly as aggressive tooth brushing can be a cause of gum recession.
Tobacco Use and Smoking
Whether chewing or smoking, tobacco usage has been shown to have a strong relationship with the development of gum recession. Smoking leads to damage to the blood flow of the gingival tissues. This will eventually lead to gum recession. Chewing tobacco can be even more dangerous to your dental health. Chewing leads to irritation of the gingival tissues, which over time, will lead to receding gums. Another more serious consequence is the possible development of oral cancer. So quitting tobacco use and smoking will help prevent receding gums.
If your smile contains crowded and crooked teeth, there is an increased chance of receding gums. This is because crooked teeth will make maintaining dental hygiene much more complex, leading to gum recession. Orthodontic intervention to straighten your smile can decrease the chances of receding gums.
Orthodontic and Removable Dental Appliances
Improperly applied orthodontic braces and ill-fitting dentures can lead to receding gums.
Fluctuations in hormone levels for females during their lifetime can make gums more susceptible to gum recession. These changes can increase the risk of receding gums during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause.
Direct oral trauma to the gums can lead to recession of the gingival tissues. If trauma is treated promptly, you can decrease the chance of gum recession developing.
If you have a family genetic history of receding gums, there is an increased chance that you will also experience gum recession at some point in your life.
Symptoms Of Gum Recession
Receding gums can cause your teeth to become sensitive. Many patients with receding gums may have no outward concerns initially and might not be aware that their gums are even beginning to recede.
However, patients who have receding gums may experience the following:
- Concerns about changing esthetic appearance. Your teeth will appear longer, and the space between your teeth increases due to receding gums
- Increased risk of losing teeth
- Tooth sensitivity to cold and heat due to exposed tooth roots
- Increased risk of tooth decay
- Bad breath
Gum Recession Treatment: What are The Possible Options?
If you are experiencing gum recession, speak to your dentist about the possible treatment options.
The treatment options for gum recession will vary depending upon the cause of the recession. Treatment options will change depending on the reason for the receding gums. This can range from dental trauma to periodontal disease.
Prevention Of Gum Recession
Maintain A Proper Oral Hygiene Regimen
Brushing, flossing, and rinsing with an antibacterial rinse daily is essential to maintaining a healthy smile.
Quitting Smoking/Chewing Tobacco
Once you quit this harmful habit, you will see improvement in the condition of your gum tissue over time.
Correct Ill-Fitting Dental Appliances
If you have any ill-fitting orthodontic appliances or prosthetic devices, you should get them rectified by your dentist as soon as possible.
Due to any trauma, physical damage to the gum tissue should be treated as soon as possible and not be delayed.
Surgical Options for Receding Gums
Sometimes gum recession has progressed to the point you will require surgical intervention to treat gum recession. If the problem is just starting, it is imperative to see a dentist right away to discuss treatment options. If you need surgery, there are multiple options available.
Surgical Options For Gum Recession
Periodontal Flap surgery
Your dentist will lift the gum tissue back to gain access. Once access is acquired, your dentist will complete a deep tissue cleaning, including removal from the area of bacteria and debris. Then the gum tissue will be sutured back down in a new gum line position that will allow you to clean your teeth easier. The teeth may appear even longer after flap surgery as the gum line has changed.
Gum Tissue Grafts
For severe gum recession, the best option may be tissue grafts. Your dentist usually performs this in the office, and you can go home the same day. It is a common dental procedure and relatively straightforward.
While there are different methods to perform a gum tissue graft, it typically involves the removal of tissue from your palate (roof of your mouth), which is then stitched to your gums over the area of recession. This graft will cover the exposed tooth root. If there is not enough gum tissue of your own, your dentist may use tissue from a tissue bank.
You will likely have stitches in the areas of the donor tissue and the actual surgery. Once healing occurs, a normal appearance of the gum line is achieved The root is successfully covered and protected.
Gum Recession Surgery Recovery
You may need to follow a soft diet for a little while to protect healing and avoid irritation.
Sometimes antibiotics are prescribed following surgery. If prescribed, make sure you take them exactly as instructed for the entire length of time prescribed.
You may also need to refrain from brushing and flossing at the surgical site until healing occurs. Sometimes a chlorhexidine rinse is prescribed to help your dental hygiene and prevent plaque buildup while you cannot brush and floss as usual.
Your dentist can determine the best treatment to save gum tissues and your teeth. If a dental infection is present, your dentist will prescribe antibiotics.
You may also use other medications to treat the underlying problem that is causing gum recession.
Options can include:
- topical antibiotic gel
- antimicrobial mouthwash
- enzyme suppressants
The best way to avoid periodontal diseases and gum recession is by following a proper dental hygiene regimen at home and schedule regular dental visits. If gum recession does develop, speak to your dentist regarding possible treatment options for a healthy mouth and a lifetime of smiles.
If you are ready for a smile makeover, contact Marielaina Perrone DDS at (702) 458-2929 to schedule a no cost cosmetic consultation appointment. We cannot wait to help you with your smile makeover to create the smile of your dreams in Summerlin, Henderson, and Las Vegas, NV.