The gradual height loss (pulling back) of gum tissue from surrounding the teeth is known as gum recession. This process eventually causes more of the tooth and its root to be exposed. Gum recession also creates gaps to develop between the teeth and gum line, which causes the invasion and buildup of disease-causing bacteria to infect and severely damage the supporting tissue and bone structures of the teeth.
Gum recession is a common dental problem that can lead to tooth loss. Initial clues of gum recession are usually heightened sensitivity in the tooth, a tooth that appears more elongated than usual, or feeling a notch near the gum line. It is a problem that shouldn’t be ignored and requires making an appointment with your dentist.
There are a number of factors why gums recession occurs, including: bacterial gum infections (periodontal diseases), a genetic disposal to gum disease, inadequate dental care, aggressive tooth brushing, using tobacco products, having poorly made restorations, and changing female hormones. Eating sugary foods raises the level of acidity in your mouth and can cause bacteria to thrive which could lead to periodontal disease.
Other causes for the development of gum recession may surprise you, such as
grinding and clenching the teeth. Both of these actions exert tremendous pressure on your teeth which can cause your gums to recede. Too much force exerted on the jaw bone and gums from having misaligned or crooked teeth can also cause gum recession. Still another factor causing gum recession is the result of piercing the tongue or lip. Mouth jewelry can actually irritate and cause friction on the gums which can cause it to wear away. Fortunately, there are dental care services designed to restore gums to a healthy status.
Mild Gum Recession
Mild gum recession is treated by your dentist by deep cleaning (also called root planning or tooth scaling) the affected area. During the deep cleaning, accumulated plaque and tartar found on the surface of the teeth and its root below the gum line is gently removed. Also, the exposed tooth root area is smoothed to minimize the potential of harmful bacteria attaching itself to the root and antibiotics may be given to kill any residual harmful bacteria. If the patient has loss too much bone or if the pockets formed on the gums is too deep, gum surgery may be the only resort left by your dentist to repair extensive damage caused by receding gums.
Surgery Is Used to Treat Gum Recession
Several surgical procedures are used to treat gum recession. The gum treatment where the infected gums tissue is flipped back and cleansed from bacteria breeding in the pocket is known as pocket depth reduction. The dentist then secures the gum tissue firmly in place over the tooth root which significantly reduces the gum pocket’s size and eliminate the invasion of bacteria resettling within the gum tissue.
Bone Regeneration is performed when gum recession destroys the bone supporting your teeth and needs to be replaced. Your dentist will flip the gum tissue back and remove the bacteria as he would when performing a pocket depth reduction. A tissue-stimulating protein, graft tissue, or membrane will then be applied as a material to naturally encourage your body to regenerate bone and tissue in the damaged area. The gum tissue is then secured over the root of the tooth or teeth after the regenerative material is applied.
The most commonly used gum tissue graft procedure done out of the several types available is a soft tissue graft or a connective tissue graft. Subepithelial connective tissue is removed under the detached sheet of skin cut at the roof of your mouth (palate) and the transplanted via stitches to the gum tissue surrounding the exposed root. Afterwards, the severed skin sheet is stitched back to the palate.
Free gingival graft tissue is taken directly from the roof of the mouth instead of under a flap of skin. Sometimes, the dentist is able to graft gum from near the tooth and not remove tissue from the mouth’s roof at all when the patient has enough gum tissue still surrounding the affected teeth.
Preventative Measures Taken for Gum Recession
Practice regular oral hygiene. Clean the surface and the sides of the teeth with floss and a toothbrush and see your dentist or periodontist as recommended or at least twice per year; however, your dentist you to visit him or her more frequently if you have receding gums. Remember, to always use a soft-bristled toothbrush when cleaning your teeth. It is also important to know how to brush and floss your teeth the correct way to avoid damaging your gums.
If teeth grinding or an uneven bite is the culprit of your receding gums, discuss how to correct this problem with your dental practitioner. Other ways to prevent gum recession include stopping smoking and eating a well-balanced diet.
About 30 percent of the population is genetically predisposed to the development of gum recession. It is extremely important, then, that patients, particularly females, practice a regimen of good oral hygiene. This can greatly prevent the invasion and spread of bacterial infections; this can cause extensive damage to the bone and soft tissues of the tooth and eventually lead to tooth loss. Gingivitis is a common finding in children and adolescents in varying degrees, who are subject to destructive forms of the disease in rare genetic cases.