Receding Gum line Prevention & Treatment Options
Receding gum line prevention is possible! Receding gum lines occur when the margin of the gum tissue surrounding the teeth wears away and exposes the tooth. When this happens, a gap forms between the teeth and gum line, allowing bacteria to enter and can cause problems like periodontal disease (also called gum disease). If left untreated, the supporting bone that holds the tooth in place will weaken, ultimately resulting in tooth loss.
There are a number of causes for receding gums and, if caught early, it is possible to reverse them. This article discusses the ways to prevent this from happening and how to manage them should they appear.
What Causes Gums to Recede?
Gums may recede for a number of reasons, including:
Some people may just be more predisposed to gum disease, despite good oral hygiene practices. If it runs in your family, talk to your dentist about how to keep it at bay.
Brushing your teeth too aggressively
We don’t have to brush our teeth hard in order to remove all the plaque. Instead, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently clean the teeth. Aggressive brushing can cause the tooth enamel to wear and the gums to recede.
Women going through puberty, menopause, or who are pregnant experience fluctuating hormone levels. This can cause sensitivity in the mouth and lead to gum recession.
Poor dental hygiene
It should go without saying that if you are not regularly brushing and flossing your teeth, then your oral health will suffer. Improper dental care causes plaque buildup, which leads to a host of mouth problems.
Smokers and tobacco users are more likely to see gum recession issues thanks to the sticky plaque that forms as a result from usage.
Teeth clenching or grinding
The pressure from grinding or clenching the teeth can be bad news for the gums. If you grind or clench your teeth, consider wearing a mouth guard.
Crooked teeth or a misaligned bite
Similar to clenching and grinding, misalignment in the mouth or crooked teeth can put pressure on sensitive areas, like the gums.
Symptoms of Receding Gums
Most dental patients don’t realize they are suffering from gum recession because it occurs so gradually. However, there are a few telltale signs. If you spot any of the following in your mouth, ask your dentist what is going on:
Your Teeth Look Longer
Since the gumline pulls away from the tooth, it gives the appearance of the teeth looking abnormally long.
Exposed Tooth Roots
Often a sign of periodontal disease, exposed roots cause extreme tooth sensitivity and discomfort.
The longer one ignores the symptoms of receding gums, the worse the problem becomes. As the gum wears further and further away from the tooth, it will eventually loosen.
How Can You Treat Receding Gums?
If caught early, mild gum recession can be treated by a professional deep cleaning. Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics to kill any remaining bacteria.
If the problem cannot be solved with a deep cleaning, then surgery may be required. Usually, your dentist will suggest one of three procedures:
Open flap scaling and root planing
This involves folding back the affected gum tissue, removing the bacteria from the pockets, and then securing the gums back in place.
Regeneration: As with the procedure above, the dentist will clean the pocket of the bacteria. Before securing the gum back in place, your dentist will apply a regenerative material such as a gum graft. The hope is that your body will naturally regenerate the bone and tissue back to its previous state.
Soft tissue graft: There are a number of different types of tissue graft procedures, but they generally involve removing tissue from a location in the mouth and stitching it to the affected area.
If you notice signs of gum recession, contact Dr. Marra at Huntersville Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Huntersville, NC.