Gum recession is simply the process of your gums pulling away from your teeth, which exposes more of the tooth’s root. Receding gums may not be noticed right away, but it can become a problem without treatment. Read on in this blog from Smileplicity Dentistry to understand what causes gum recession and how it can be treated.
Gum recession can be caused by an array of factors, but the most common causes are poor oral hygiene and damage to your teeth and gums. Periodontal disease is the number one cause of gum recession.
It is an infection of the supporting tissues surrounding your teeth and is caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar around the gum line. Inadequate brushing and flossing can lead to plaque buildup that hardens into tartar. If not removed by a dentist, it will linger around, destroying the soft tissue in your mouth and causing bone loss.
Teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism) can also wear down your gums by exerting excessive force onto the teeth over many years. People with a misaligned bite are also at risk of placing excess force on certain parts of the teeth and gums as well as more likely to grind their teeth.
Even brushing your teeth too hard can cause enamel erosion and gum recession. Some people are also at a predisposed risk for gum disease and gum recession, due to their genes or through certain periods of life that cause hormone fluctuations such as during pregnancy and menopause. There is also a strong link between smoking and gum recession.
Prevention is better than the cure. By practicing good oral hygiene and protecting your teeth and gums from wear and tear, you greatly reduce your risk of gum recession. However, some people can still suffer from gum recession due to causes that are outside of their control.
Treatment for receding gums will depend on the severity of the recession. The standard treatment for minor gum recession is a periodontal deep cleaning, which involves scaling and root planing. A scaler is used to scrape away plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. Root planing smoothes out the tooth’s roots to make reattachment of the gums easier.
Once gum recession becomes severe, you will require surgical intervention such as gum grafts, which transfer soft tissue material from somewhere else in the mouth and use it to replace missing gum material.
Gum flap surgery is like a surgical deep cleaning that enables us to reduce really deep gum pockets. The gums are opened so we can clean deep below the gum line. Finally, we can also open your gums and place a regenerative material that will encourage new bone and soft tissue formation.
Gum recession should not be ignored. If you notice your gums pulling away from your teeth along with tooth sensitivity, bleeding, foul breath, or loose teeth, you could have an underlying oral health problem. Contact us at Smileplicity Dentistry to schedule a consultation with Dr. Daiana Atari.