Our teeth are not only vital to our appearance but also have an impact on our overall health and wellness. Tooth decay is often the biggest culprit when it comes to oral health but the other big issue is gum loss and gum disease.
Gum recession is when someone experiences the loss of gum tissue, causing an effect that looks like the gums receding further up into the gum line. There are a variety of problems that cause gum recession including gum disease, aging, or being too aggressive during tooth brushing.
Actually, even people with exceptional oral hygiene may find that their gums are giving them cause to worry. Occasionally, an abnormal tooth position can be all it takes to trigger gum recession. Genetics always play a strong role in the health of an individual’s mouth. These instances are unavoidable since no hygiene routine will be enough to combat them.
This receding is not only unsightly; it causes other issues since it gradually exposes the roots of the teeth to the air. This exposure could result in tooth sensitivity and pain, tooth decay, and other oral concerns.
If recession isn’t a concern for you right now but you are worried that it might be there are some preventive measures you can take to stack the deck in your favor.
- Use high quality toothbrushes and replace them every 3-4 weeks.
- Practice good tooth brushing practices. Ask your dentist what they recommend.
- Avoid acidic and sticky food and drinks. Acids speed up possible recession.
- Grind or clench? Get a night guard.
- Floss regularly.
- Keep those routine dentist visits and checkups.
If gum recession is already occurring, you will need to work with your dentist or periodontist. Common treatment options include:
Scaling and root planing – this is a deep cleaning process designed to remove plaque and smooth any rough surfaces on the tooth/teeth. Once the root surface is smooth it will be more difficult for bacteria and plaque to build up under the gum line. When it works, the gums naturally heal and reattach to the tooth’s surface.
Gum Graft – if the recession and affected area are significant, surgery will be necessary. Gum grafts are surgical procedures where skin is cut from the roof of the mouth and then stitched to the gum tissue to cover any exposed areas.
Pinhole Surgical Technique
One of the techniques our office offers is the Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST). This procedure is quite popular as it is a scalpel-free, suture-free option. Special tools designed for this technique allow the dentist to loosen the gums gently and manipulate them back into place. Since there is no dramatic cutting and no stitches, the process can be done in just a couple of hours allowing the patient to experience a quick procedure with instantaneous results.
Have you noticed anything with your gums that is causing you discomfort or stress? The sooner you get your gums evaluated by a dental professional, the better. Your dentist can then make recommendations on next steps to get you back on the track of oral health and wellness. Contact us today for a consultation!