GUM RECESSION IS A GRADUAL PROCESS that people don’t realize it’s happening until it’s already occurring. Lana K Anderson, your periodontist in Wichita, Kansas, has got you covered.
What are receding gums?
The recession of the gum line happens when the tissue surrounding the teeth wears away or is removed, exposing the crown of a tooth or its root. Gaps start to form between the gums and the teeth where bacteria can gather. This bacteria causes periodontal disease and wears away at the teeth. In advanced cases, the infection can break down the bone underneath, causing tooth loss.
Gum recession is quite a common problem. When brushing or flossing, signs of receding gums are usually tooth sensitivity, red or swollen gums, bad breath, mouth sores, pain, or bleeding.
What causes gums to recede?
Several factors can cause gums to recede, including the following:
- Periodontal diseases. This bacterial infection affects the gums and the supporting bone, which keeps the teeth in place. This type of gum disease is the leading cause of gum recession.
- Genetics. Unfortunately, some people are predisposed to gum disease, no matter how good their oral health is.
- Aggressive brushing. Brushing too hard or incorrectly can cause premature wear of tooth enamel and gum recession.
- Poor oral health. Not brushing and flossing your teeth often or adequately enough encourages plaque to convert into tartar. This hard substance accumulates on the teeth can only be removed by professional tooth cleaning.
- Smoking. Smokers are more likely to develop a layer of tobacco bi-products on their teeth which is difficult to remove and promotes gum recession.
- Bruxism. Clenching or grinding teeth can create an overload on the teeth and the loss of hard tissue on the neck of the tooth.
- Crooked teeth. When teeth are crowded or overlap, it isn’t easy to clean them. Plaque eventually accumulates, which leads to a retracted gum in that area.
- Oral piercings. Piercings can rub against and irritate the gums to the point of causing the gum tissue to retract.
- Poor Diet. Choosing healthy foods such as crisp fruits and vegetables helps reduce plaque. The growth of bacteria is discouraged by the nutrients from healthy food.
Can a periodontist do surgery for receding gums?
Periodontist surgical treatments options and periodontal procedures can address your receding gums. Even though gum recession is irreversible, there are things you can do to keep the problem from getting worse.
- Deep Cleaning – A deep cleaning periodontal treatment, also known as scaling and root planing, can help address mild gum recession. During this process, your periodontist, Dr. Anderson peels back the gums to expose the roots of the teeth, which are then cleaned and smoothed down. Sometimes an antibiotic gel is applied to the teeth; other times, oral antibiotics or a special antibiotic mouth rinse is prescribed.
- Bone Regeneration – Regenerative surgery is needed when you’ve lost bone and gum tissue. The surgical procedure is similar to deep cleaning and root planing. A regenerative material, such as a membrane, graft tissue, or tissue-stimulating protein, encourages the natural regeneration of bone and tissue in that area.
- Soft tissue Grafting – If too much gum material has been lost; a periodontist may need to do a graft to restore the gums. This tissue can be taken from the roof of your mouth.
If you notice any signs of gum recession please contact periodontist Lana K Anderson DDS, immediately so we can begin the process of treating and preventing further damage to your gums.