Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Gum Recession Treatment Options

Gum Recession
We treat patients suffering from both gum recession and gum disease.  Healthy gums are extremely important for maintaining good oral health.  When gums start to recede the space between the gum line and the teeth retracts and can create pockets for bacteria to gather.  As more of your tooth and roots become exposed the entire area may become painful, and bacteria build up can lead to tooth decay, root infection, and gum disease.  If left untreated, patients can end up in pain and even losing their teeth.

We specialize in helping patients to prevent oral health issues and correct them once started.  There are several ways you can keep your gums healthy including brushing twice a day with a soft toothbrush, flossing daily, and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash.  Additionally, you should visit the dentist twice a year for a thorough teeth cleaning.  Smokers are at greater risk for gum disease and cavities so if you are currently smoking – stop.

During your dental examination, we will determine if your gums are starting to recede or if you are at risk for this condition.  It is important to treat gum recession immediately so that your gums can be restored to good health.  Here are some of the treatment options we suggest:

·         Tooth Scaling and Root Planing.  This is a deep cleaning technique where plaque and tartar are removed from the gum line and below the gum line by the roots.  The entire area is cleaned thoroughly to remove the cause of your gum recession.  After cleaning, the roots are smoothed down again.  This should correct most minor gum recession problems.
·         Antibiotics.  Once cleaned, antibiotics may be used to eliminate any lingering bacteria.
·         Pocket Depth Reduction.  If your gums have receded to the point that there are pockets or gaps in the gum line, you may need surgery to correct it.  With pocket depth reduction, your gums are folded down; the bacteria and plaque are removed, then they are placed snugly over your tooth to eliminate most or all of the gap.  This will prevent bacteria from gathering in that area again.
·         Soft Tissue Graft.  If you don’t have enough gum tissue left, you may need a soft tissue graft.  Skin from the roof of your mouth is taken and attached to your gums in the area where roots are exposed. Once healed this new gum tissue should protect your teeth and gums.

Fortunately, there are multiple options for treating gum recession.  They key is to identify the problem early on so that it can be corrected before you need any type of surgery.  This can be difficult to do without visiting the dentist because gum recession typically won’t start hurting until too much of the tooth or the roots are exposed.  It will, however, make your teeth appear longer, and you may experience some tooth sensitivity when brushing or eating.  If you notice these signs schedule an appointment with your dentist right away.  By keeping your teeth and gum line clean and free from bacteria, you decrease your risk of developing full blown gum recession and other oral health issues.