Do your teeth look longer than natural? Are the roots of your teeth becoming exposed? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, you may be suffering from a condition known as gum recession. This potentially problematic but treatable dental problem is also entirely preventable if you know how, and we are delighted to share this information with you. But first…
Gum recession is a very common dental condition that occurs even in people with no cavities or obvious dental problems. While longer-looking teeth and exposed tooth roots are two obvious symptoms of gum recession, the sad fact is that most people affected by the condition won’t even realize that they are until their dentist points out that there is a problem.
Patients with gum recession will notice that their gums, which usually sit snugly around the bottom part of their teeth, will start to pull back, showing more of the tooth than normal. In some cases, it may even be possible to see the root of the tooth.
Gum recession does not only look less than attractive, it also poses significant problems for your dental health. This is because as the gum tissue pulls away from the bottom of the teeth it creates small, almost imperceptible gaps, known as periodontal pockets.
These tiny pockets are the perfect size to trap food debris and bacteria, but near impossible to clean with a regular toothbrush or piece of floss. Instead, the only way to remove whatever gets trapped within them is to have our dentist clean them using special tools. Failing to clean them can cause decay and the development of periodontal disease, a serious condition that, left untreated, can cause infection, tooth loss and even damage to your vital organs.
Gum recession typically occurs for one of the following reasons:
As you now know, gum recession is actually preventable, which is fantastic news for the health of your teeth. So, what can you do to minimize your chances of developing the condition?
If you do start to develop receding gums, our professional dental hygienist or professional gum therapist may recommend that you consider gum grafting, a procedure that involves taking soft tissue from the palate and using it to replace the recessed gum. This is a fairly invasive process that necessitates a short recovery period of a week or more.
Alternatively, you may want to consider another, newer technique called Chao Pinhole. This uses a special instrument inserted into your gum to manipulate the tissues back over the gaps created, with no need for incisions or sutures. This means a significantly faster recovery for the patient.
If you are suffering from gum recession and would like to make an appointment to discuss your treatment options, or if you would like to find out more about preventing gum recession from ever occurring, our knowledgeable dental team would be happy to help. Contact our offices today and start your journey towards better oral health.