Gum recession is a common dental issue that occurs when the gum tissue around the teeth wears away, exposing the roots and making them vulnerable to decay and infection.
It can be a worrying and uncomfortable experience, but there are options available to help stop and even reverse the damage caused by gum recession.
This article will tell you what causes gum recession, how you can recognize symptoms of the condition, and what treatments are available for gum recession treatment.
Let’s dive in:
What Causes Recession of Gums?
When it comes to our oral health, our gums play a vital role in keeping our teeth in place and protecting them from infection. However, gum recession is a common issue that affects many people, and a number of factors can cause it.
Here are the leading causes of gum recession:
- Improper brushing and flossing technique
- Bruxism (clenching or grinding your teeth)
- Failing to see your dentist regularly for dental cleanings and checkups
- Too much fluoride use during childhood (excessive fluoride ingestion can cause loss of tooth enamel and lead to tooth decay)
- Hormonal changes
- Misaligned teeth or poor bite
Keep in mind that these causes can occur alone or in combination, and it’s essential to consult with a dental professional to determine the cause of your gum recession and create a personalized treatment plan.
What Are the Symptoms of Gum Recession?
The most common symptom of gum recession is a change in the shape or color of your gums. You might notice that your gums no longer cover the entire tooth surface. Other symptoms include:
- The gum line appearing to be lower than usual
- Teeth appearing longer than before
- A change in the way upper and lower teeth fit together
- Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
- Pockets forming between the teeth and gums
- Gums that bleed easily or are tender to the touch
- Teeth feeling loose or wiggly
- Increased tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, sweet or sour foods, and even breathing in cold air
Although these signs may not always arise, it is essential to consult a periodontist to identify the symptoms and determine their cause.
How Is Gum Recession Diagnosed?
Dr. Brown typically diagnoses gum recession during a regular dental exam. During the exam, he will measure the depth of the pockets around the teeth, check for any signs of inflammation or bleeding, and look for any changes in the position of the gum line. He will also check for signs of tooth sensitivity or mobility.
If Dr. Brown suspects gum recession, they may take X-rays or other imaging tests to get a better view of the underlying bone and tooth structure. He may also take a small tissue sample for laboratory analysis to check for any signs of infection.
Dr. Brown may also ask about your medical history and any medications they are taking, as certain medical conditions and medications can increase the risk of gum recession.
It’s important to note that gum recession can occur without any noticeable symptoms, so it’s essential to have regular dental checkups to detect it early and prevent further damage.
What Are the Treatment Options for Gum Disease
The good news is that gum recession can be treated, and treatment can result in a natural-looking and fully functional smile. When it comes to treating gum disease, there are both non-surgical and surgical options available.
Non-Surgical Treatment Options
- Scaling and root planing: This is a deep cleaning procedure that involves removing plaque and tartar buildup from above and below the gum line. It is usually performed by a dentist or periodontist and may require multiple visits.
- Antibiotics: Antibiotics may be prescribed to help fight the infection caused by gum disease. They can be taken orally or applied directly to the affected area.
- Rinses: Using rinses like chlorhexidine gluconate mouthwash can help prevent infection by killing some of the harmful bacteria that cause gum recession. These rinses are especially good at keeping away plaque buildup because they form a protective film over your teeth and gums after they’re used.
- Dental bonding: This is a non-surgical procedure that involves the application of a tooth-colored resin material to the affected tooth. The resin material is sculpted and shaped to match the surrounding teeth and then hardened with a special light. This procedure can be used to cover exposed roots or to reshape teeth that have been damaged by gum recession.
- Oral irrigation: This involves using a special device to flush out plaque and bacteria from the pockets between the teeth and gums.
Surgical Treatment Options
Gum grafting is a surgical procedure that is used to treat gum recession. The goal of the procedure is to cover exposed roots, reduce tooth sensitivity, and improve the appearance of the affected teeth.
During the procedure, a small piece of tissue is taken from the roof of the patient’s mouth or from a donor source and is placed over the exposed roots. The tissue is then secured in place with sutures. The procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia and can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours, depending on the number of teeth being treated.
After the procedure, the patient will need to follow a specific post-operative care regimen to ensure proper healing. This may include taking antibiotics, avoiding hard or crunchy foods, and practicing good oral hygiene. The recovery time will vary depending on the individual case, but most patients can expect to return to normal activities within a few days.
It’s important to keep in mind that gum grafting is a procedure that is typically performed by a periodontist, or a dental specialist. The recovery time and the risks associated with the procedure will vary depending on the individual case.
That’s why it’s so important to have a consultation with a dental professional to determine the best treatment option for your specific case and to discuss the potential recovery time. This way, you can have a clear understanding of what to expect during and after the procedure.
Don’t Ignore Gum Recession: Get Professional Help Today
Gum recession is a serious problem that can cause a number of physical, aesthetic, and emotional concerns. Left untreated, gum recession is likely to continue getting worse with time.
Don’t let gum recession go untreated any longer. Contact us today for a consultation and take control of your oral health.
With the right treatment plan, you can improve the appearance of your teeth, reduce tooth sensitivity, and prevent further damage caused by gum recession.
Schedule an appointment with us today and take the first step towards a healthier, more confident smile.