Gum recession is a relatively common issue that occurs when the gum tissue starts to pull away or recede from the base of the teeth. Gum recession can have serious oral health implications because it creates areas for bacteria to breed, exposes the roots of the teeth to additional damage, and hurts your overall oral health. However, gum recession is often reversible with prompt attention and the correct care. Here is how you can help to correct the damage caused by gum recession.
Identify it Early
When you catch gum recession early, it generally means that it can be easier to fix and that the long-term damage will be minimal or nonexistent. You can catch gum recession quickly by checking your gums and watching for some of the warning signs.
Redness or irritation along the gums or bleeding gums can be indicators that gum recession or even gum disease are affecting your oral health. Additionally, if teeth begin to look longer or you can see the roots of your teeth, it may be time to schedule a dentist appointment ahead of your regular checkup.
Causes of Gum Recession
There are many factors that can cause gum recession, and understanding the things that you may be doing to contribute to this issue that can help you to reduce or eliminate the disease before it happens.
Gum recession can often be caused by aggressive brushing or brushing with too stiff a bristle, the use of tobacco products, periodontal disease, genetic factors, hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause, improper dental care, or grinding your teeth (bruxism). If you have questions about any of these risk factors, talk to your dentist today.
Gum Recession Treatments
The treatment options that you have become more limited as gum recession progresses. At mild stages, a simple scaling of the teeth may be enough to help restore your gums to their optimal health. This process is also called a deep cleaning.
During a deep cleaning, your dentist or dental hygienist will remove any of the buildup that exists at the base of the exposed teeth and thoroughly clean the roots. This can also be treated in conjunction with an antibiotic. This combinational approach makes it difficult for bacterial infections to establish themselves and will allow your gums to heal naturally to the tooth.
If deep cleaning isn’t enough to fix your gum recession, surgery may be the next best option. There are a number of different approaches that your dentist can take when considering surgery, so it is important to schedule an appointment and discuss the best option for your case. However, your dentist may discuss some of the following procedures.
Open Flap Scaling and Root Planing – Your dentist will pull back the gums and scrape away and clear any of the potentially harmful bacteria that is located in the pockets. After the bacteria has been removed, they will reattach the gums to the teeth to help seal out bacteria and allow the gums to heal.
Regeneration – Regeneration is used when too much bone has been lost to damage or decay. In addition to open flap scaling and root planing, your dentist or oral surgeon will also add some type of bone graft or tissue-stimulating protein to help your body regenerate the bone.
Soft Tissue Graft – This procedure attempts to regrow the actual gum tissue through grafting. This procedure often takes skin from the top of the mouth and then places it with the gums to help your body accept and grow that tissue as new gum tissue.
Proper gum and oral health can lead to a lifetime of strong and healthy teeth. However, this largely depends on making sure that you catch issues when they are small to minimize damage and quickly fix any problems. If you think that you have any issues with gum recession, contact our office to schedule an appointment today.