Home

How To Prevent Gum Recession

Home

July 16, 2018

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…

What is gum recession?

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.

Why is gum recession bad news for your oral health?

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.

What causes gum recession?

Gum recession typically occurs for one of the following reasons:

  • The patient is brushing their teeth too hard, causing damage to the gum tissue and causing it to pull away from the teeth.
  • The patient clenches or grinds their teeth subconsciously or unconsciously – a condition known as bruxism.
  • The patient picks at their gums as part of a nervous habit.
  • The patient has a genetic predisposition to gum recession.

How to prevent gum recession

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?

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and be careful not to brush too aggressively.
  • Equally, you must be careful when you floss. Do so slowly and methodically horizontally rather than vertically as this could force the gum tissue downwards.
  • Ask our dentist to assess the position of your bite. This can be adjusted using orthodontic treatments such as a brace or Invisalign if needed.
  • If you suffer from bruxism, ask our dentist to provide you with a night guard which will help protect your teeth and gums while you sleep.
  • Visit our dentist regularly. Our dentist will be able to spot the early signs of gum recession and make you aware that a problem is developing before it becomes too severe.

Treatment for gum recession

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.