The gums are often taken for granted with regard to overall dental health and wellness. In fact, healthy gums are key for having a beautiful smile as well as a healthy one. Modern advances in restorative and cosmetic dentistry emphasize the improvement of health as well as aesthetics, allowing patients to have the best looking and healthiest smile possible.
Right now, we want to consider the nature of gum recession, its causes, and how this dental health issue can be most effectively treated.
What is gum recession?
Gum recession refers to the loss of gum tissue along the natural gumline. When this happens, more of the tooth's root structure is exposed, leaving the teeth more susceptible to tooth decay along the lower gumline or on the tooth's root structure. The teeth can also become loose with major gum recession, which is why it's so important that it be treated and avoided when possible.
Gum Recession and Gum Disease
Gum disease refers to the bacterial infection of the gums. This infection is the result of the same bacteria in the mouth that causes tooth decay and bad breath. There are three stages of gum disease to consider:
- Advanced periodontitis
Gum recession is a common byproduct of gum disease, with the gum recession becoming more severe as the gum disease progresses.
Gum Recession and Vigorous Brushing of the Teeth
Another common cause of gum recession that many people do not realize is the aggressive brushing of the teeth. When people move their brush too forcefully or vigorously, the trauma caused to the gums can lead to the loss of gum tissue.
Gum Recession and the Natural Aging Process
As people get older, their teeth tend to yellow to a certain degree and their gums often recede as well. This is all a natural part of the aging process, but that doesn't mean that the gum recession should be ignored.
Treating Gum Recession
There are many general dentistry options for treating gum recession and enhancinng periodontal health. If a patient suffers from gum disease that causes the gum recession to occur, the best option to consider the treatment of the gum disease first. This can be done using antibiotics, special medicated rinses, and laser therapies.
When any infection of the gum tissue is under control, the best option for restoring the gumline is gum grafting surgery. This will involve the placement of donor gum tissue or artificial soft tissue grafts along the recessed gumline. With regard to donor tissue, this is usually taken from the patient's palate.
Tips for Preventing Gum Recession
There are a few things that patients can do in order to prevent gum disease and gum recession from occurring:
- Brush at least twice a day (ideally after every meal)
- Brush gently and use a tooth brush with soft bristles
- Floss your teeth at least once a night (ideally after every meal)
- Visit your dentist for regular checkups
Learn More About Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry
If you would like more information about gum recession and how it can be addressed, be sure to contact our Troy, MI cosmetic and restorative dentistry practice today. Our entire team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve the best possible dental health through customized restorative and cosmetic care.