Gum recession is a condition in which the margin of the gum tissue surrounding the teeth pulls back or wears away. This causes the tooth or the tooth’s root to be more exposed.
Gum recession causes the teeth to appear longer and can lead to sensitivity, decay, and an increased risk of periodontal disease. This is a common oral health issue that affects people of all ages and is often caused by a combination of factors, such as genetics, periodontal disease, improper oral hygiene, and overzealous biting.
How To Fix Gum Recession
It’s important to note that damage to gum tissue is not reversible, but the dentist can recommend a variety of treatments to help.
The first step is to visit a dentist or periodontist who can evaluate the severity of the condition and recommend an appropriate course of treatment. Treatment options for gum recession often include:
- Scaling and root planing: This is a deep cleaning procedure that involves removing plaque and tartar from the teeth and smoothing the roots to promote healthy reattachment of the gums.
- Gum grafting: This is a surgical procedure in which healthy gum tissue is taken from another part of the mouth and used to cover the exposed root surface.
- Bone regeneration: If you’ve lost too much bone or gum tissue, then regenerative surgery is often required. This is similar to scaling and root planing, but the material is used to help your body regenerate tissue and bone.
- Soft tissue grafts: In some cases, a tissue-stimulating protein may be applied to the affected area to promote the growth of healthy gum tissue.
- Pinhole surgical technique: this is a minimally invasive procedure in which a small hole is made in the gum tissue, and the gum is gently repositioned to cover the exposed root.
The success of these treatments depends on the underlying cause of the gum recession and the overall health of the individual. In some cases, multiple treatment sessions may be necessary to achieve the desired results. It’s also important to practice good oral hygiene and avoid habits that contribute to gum recession, such as brushing too hard or using tobacco products.
Preventing Gum Recession
Preventive measures should always be taken to help keep gum recession from advancing – regardless of the cause. There are several steps that you can take to help prevent gum recession, including:
- Practice good oral hygiene: This means brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, flossing daily, and using an antiseptic mouthwash to kill bacteria and reduce plaque.
- Avoid overzealous brushing: Brushing your teeth too hard or with a hard-bristled toothbrush causes damage to the gum tissue, leading to recession. Use a soft-bristled brush and gentle, circular strokes when brushing your teeth.
- Quit tobacco use: Using tobacco products increases your risk of gum recession and other oral health issues. Quitting will also help prevent tooth decay.
- Visit your dentist regularly: Regular check-ups and cleanings help identify and treat oral health issues early before they become more serious. Professional cleanings remove the bacteria, tartar, and plaque that cause gum recession.
- Be aware of your family history: Gum recession can be hereditary, so if you have a family history of the condition, you’re at an increased risk. Talk to your dentist about your family history and what steps you can take to prevent gum recession.
- Avoid grinding your teeth: Bruxism, or teeth grinding, causes damage to the gum tissue and contributes to gum recession. If you grind your teeth, your dentist can recommend a way to prevent it, such as wearing a mouthguard at night.
- Control chronic diseases: Conditions such as heart disease and diabetes affect oral health and increase your risk of gum recession. Also, existing conditions such as a misaligned bite and crooked teeth increase your risk.
Holzinger Periodontics Helps Fix Gum Recession
At Holzinger Periodontics, our experts can diagnose, treat, and help you prevent gum recession through a variety of periodontal treatments. If you’re concerned about gum recession, it’s time to talk to your dentist about a personalized treatment option.