WHAT IS GUM RECESSION?
If your teeth start to appear elongated or you experience sensitivity to hot and cold, you may have receding gums, resulting in the exposure of the tooth roots. Gum recession is a slow process and may catch you by surprise. Gum grafts are an effective method of preventing the loss of gum tissue.
WHAT CAUSES GUMS TO RECEDE?
Periodontal disease is one of the most common causes of gum recession. Poor oral hygiene, improper brushing techniques (e.g., brushing too hard), bruxism (tooth grinding), misaligned teeth, diabetes, certain illnesses, hormonal changes, and genetic makeup are also risk factors. Tobacco products can make you four times more likely to experience this problem. Lip and tongue piercings can also irritate the gums and undermine the tissue.
HOW ARE RECEDING GUMS TREATED?
If gum disease and tartar buildup are to blame for receding gums, we recommend a professional cleaning first to stop the recession. Also known as scaling and root planing, this procedure has us remove bacterial plaque and tartar from the tooth and roots so that your gums can heal.
But if you have a more severe case of recession, you may need gum graft surgery. This procedure will not only repair the affected area but will also help to prevent further infection.
HOW MANY KINDS OF GUM GRAFTS ARE AVAILABLE?
integratedDENTAL performs three types of gum graft surgeries:
- Connective-tissue grafts involve taking a flap of tissue from the roof of your mouth and stitching it over the area where the root is exposed. This is the most commonly used grafting procedure used to treat gum recession in one or more areas.
- Free gingival grafts resemble connective-tissue grafts, except the tissue is taken directly from the palate.
- Pedicle grafts differ from the other two in that they use tissue right next to the affected tooth.
We can also use medically processed human tissue for grafting procedures.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF GUM GRAFTS?
Gum grafts not only stop gum recession and bone loss, but they also reduce tooth sensitivity to cold and hot foods and protect your tooth roots from decay. Gum grafts can also enhance cosmetics by evening out your gumline, allowing you to speak and smile without feeling embarrassed about your appearance.
DIAGNOSING GUM RECESSION
Watch out for symptoms of gum disease like halitosis (bad breath), and red, swollen and bleeding gums. Let us know right away if you experience any of these symptoms so we can take swift and appropriate action.
However, you might not even know you have gum recession until we find it during a dental examination. A professional cleaning within the same appointment will remove tartar that you can’t get rid of with your toothbrush. This is why it’s important to come in for biannual dental exams and cleanings.
PROPER DENTAL CARE
To prevent gum recession, keep your teeth and gums healthy by brushing and flossing every day. Use a brush with soft-bristles and a proper brushing technique. You can also use an antimicrobial mouthwash that will ward off bacteria quickly during the day.
If you have bruxism (tooth grinding), we can prescribe a mouthguard to wear at night. If your teeth are misaligned, we can discuss options for straightening them.