People of all ages can suffer from gum recession. It is a fairly common phenomenon but can cause discomfort none the less. Many patients don’t even realize that they have receding gums until they start to experience more tooth sensitivity.
We treat patients with this and other oral health concerns. Our goal is to educate patients so that they can practice preventative care at home and in between visits. By properly caring for your teeth, you can slow the symptoms down and start to feel better.
What is gum recession?
When the gum tissue surrounding your teeth wears away, they are receding. At first, it may not be very noticeable but over time you will see more of your tooth and may eventually start to see your roots. Gaps can appear between the gum line and your tooth. This is the perfect spot for bacteria together, which will cause further problems.
What will happen if I don’t treat this?
You could lose your teeth. If gums recede too far, bacteria will build up and start to attack your teeth and root system. This will weaken them and can lead to tooth loss. It is far better to treat your gums and avoid this scenario.
Why does this happen?
Gum disease is a major cause, but there are multiple other reasons for your gums to recede. This includes genetics, brushing too hard, not getting dental care, smoking, hormonal changes, grinding your teeth, crooked teeth, and piercing your tongue or lip. Some of these things, like genetics, cannot be avoided. You can, however, quit smoking or take out a piercing. If grinding your teeth is the problem we can create a mouth guard that will protect your teeth at night.
How do I prevent this?
Start by using the right toothbrush at home. We recommend an electric one that provides excellent brushing without a lot of pressure. Heavy, aggressive pressure can cause hurt your gums so this is the easiest way to clean your teeth. You should brush your teeth a minimum of twice per day and floss daily. This will help to prevent bacteria build up. It is also important to rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash. If your gums have already started to recede the mouthwash can attack bacteria in the more exposed areas.
Twice a year you should visit the dentist for a proper teeth cleaning so that we can remove built up plaque, tartar, and bacteria.
What are my treatment options?
We can deep clean your gums by carefully removing any bacteria or plaque that has built up underneath the gum line. This is also called tooth scaling and root planning. Antibiotics are also prescribed to eliminate any lingering bacteria. If the recession is severe you may need to have gum surgery to eliminate the pockets, regenerate your gum tissue, or to create more tissue with a skin graft.
In order to determine the best course of treatment, it is important to schedule an appointment where we can inspect your gums and discuss a treatment plan. Working together we can help to improve your oral health and eliminate any discomfort you may be feeling.