Gum recession occurs when your gums begin to pull back from the tooth, and in extreme cases can expose the tooth’s root. Severe gum recession can leave your mouth vulnerable to bacteria and infection. This may be caused by gum disease, aggressive brushing, dental trauma, or tobacco use.
While receding gums can not grow back, several dental treatments can correct the problem by reattaching the gums to the tooth or taking soft tissue from elsewhere in the body and replacing the missing gum. To learn more about what causes gum recession and how it can be treated or prevented, read on.
Many factors can contribute to gum recession, some of which are in your control and some of which are not. Your genetics can put you at an increased risk for gum recession if you inherited this from your parents.
Certain hormonal fluctuations can also increase your risk of gum recession by increasing your risk of developing gum disease. Women are particularly vulnerable to hormonal changes throughout their life, such as during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Other factors that can contribute to gum recession include:
Early detection of gum recession is important because when your gums pull away from the tooth, they leave the root exposed to harmful bacteria which can increase your risk of tooth loss. While you may be able to notice some signs of gum recession, these signs are not always noticeable, and is why regular dental visits are so crucial.
Your Red Bank dentist will be able to spot gum recession during an oral exam. However, the following signs may suggest your gums are receding:
Gum tissue is not regenerative, so gums that have receded will never grow back. However, just because this tissue can not grow back does not mean that the problem can not be corrected. Dental procedures can stop gum recession from becoming worse and restore the gum recession with corrective surgery or reattachment of the gums.
If your gums have receded significantly, the most likely cause is gum disease, which can be detected by your dentist by measuring the depth of the gum pockets that have formed. These pockets can trap bacteria and lead to bone loss, eventually causing tooth loss. Your dentist can tell what stage of gum disease you have by measuring these gum pockets.
When gum disease is caught in the early stages, it can be treated with a deep cleaning. Deep cleaning is when scaling is performed to thoroughly remove plaque and tartar from around the teeth and gum line. Root planing smooths out the tooth root so the gums can reattach themselves.
However, if you have advanced gum disease, deep cleaning will not be enough to treat the cause of the problem or correct gum recession. In this case, you will need gum surgery such as gum grafting, where soft tissue will be surgically removed from somewhere else in the body and transferred to your gums.
Other surgical options include open flap scaling and root planing, which folds back the gum tissue for a more thorough cleaning and better ability to smooth the tooth roots.
Do you have receding gums? This could be a sign of periodontal disease and should be checked out immediately. By measuring the depth of the pockets in your gums, we can determine how severe it is and work to develop a treatment plan for you. Contact us at Santo Dental Group today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Michael Santo, Dr. Miles Santo, or Dr. Katelyn Domingues.