In a healthy mouth, gums should be pink and snugly wrapped around all the teeth. When the gum tissue wears away and leaves the roots of the teeth exposed, you will suffer from gum recession. This condition causes decay on the exposed roots of your teeth. This is because roots have no enamel, unlike the crown of the tooth. The gum acts as their protection.
While gum recession is not reversible, treatment is available. The gum tissue will not grow back, but restoration through grafting is possible.
Signs of Gum Recession
While most people concentrate on their teeth when taking care of their mouth hygiene, they sometimes overlook the gum part. They wrap around your teeth and keep them in place. If your gums recede, they leave an allowance for bacteria to enter these pockets and cause decay in the roots. Gum recession happens gradually, so you may miss it. But once you go for your dental checkups, the dentist will spot the recession right away.
Symptoms of Gum Recession
Sometimes gum recession can happen without any symptoms. This is one of the reasons it is important to go for your routine checkups. The most common symptoms to look out for are:
Bad taste in your mouth
Exposed tooth roots that cause sensitivity
Bleeding after brushing or flossing
Painful, swollen, and red gums
Causes of Gum Recession
Different factors cause gum recession. They include:
Poor oral health that causes gum disease
Grinding and clenching your teeth
A family history of gum recession
Aggressive brushing and flossing
Poorly fitting dentures
Hormonal changes in women
A traumatic injury that may cause damage to the gum
Smoking and using tobacco
Treatment for gum recession depends on the cause. The following treatments will help restore the tissue and protect your teeth.
Pinhole Surgical Technique
This is a new technique that treats mild to moderate gum recession. Pinhole surgical technique is preferable since it is minimally invasive. A tiny hole is carefully made in the gum tissue above the exposed tooth. The gum tissue is then separated from the tooth using a special tool and repositioned back over the exposed tooth to protect it.
Gum Graft Surgery
If your gums are severely receded, your dentist will recommend gum graft surgery. It involves taking a small piece of gum tissue from another area in your mouth and using it to cover the exposed roots. This helps protect the roots from decay, prevents bone loss and further recession of the gums.
Scaling and Root Planing
These are usually the first treatments your dentist will recommend. They remove tartar and plaque from the roots of your teeth and other areas your toothbrush cannot reach. After removal, your dentist smoothens the roots of your teeth to help the gums reattach.
The best prevention is taking good care of your mouth. Ask your dentist to show you the best brushing technique. Eat a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. If you grind your teeth at night, wear a mouthguard. Last but not least, if you smoke, quit.
If you need a consult or to learn more about gum recession, contact Implant Dentistry Periodontics & Facial Rejuvenation at our office in Tampa or Wesley Chapel, Florida. You can also call (813) 517-0100 or (813) 973-7770 to book an appointment today.