Treating and Preventing Gum Recession
Gum recession can be a very concerning oral health problem. Not only will receding gums damage the appearance of your smile, but they can also be a sign of gum disease. When left untreated, the supporting bone structures and tissues of the teeth could be damaged, resulting in tooth loss. Unfortunately, most cases of excessive gum recession will require dental surgery in order to correct the situation, especially if the tooth roots have been exposed. Learn more about your options when it comes to treating gum recession, and find out how you can stop this condition before it gets out of control.
Surgical Treatments for Gum Recession
If your periodontist has determined that surgical intervention is needed for your gum recession, there are a few options that might be discussed:
- Connective tissue graft. The most common procedure when it comes to gum tissue grafting is a connective tissue graft. During this surgical procedure, a flap of skin will be cut into the palate to remove tissue. Then, the flap will be secured and stitched closed, and the tissue that was removed will be stitched onto the gums to surround the exposed root.
- Free gingival graft. With this type of graft, tissue will be taken from the root of your mouth rather than under the skin.
- Pedicle graft. Another type of soft tissue graft, this option can be completed if you have enough gum tissue found around the affected teeth. In these situations, your periodontist will be able to graft gum from the area around the tooth rather than removing tissue from your palate.
- Regeneration. If the supporting bone around your teeth has been destroyed due to recession, your dentist may recommend a regeneration procedure to try and rebuild lost tissue and bone. In these procedures, your dentist will fold the gum back to remove bacteria. Next, a regenerative material like graft tissue, protein, or a membrane will be applied in order to promote your body’s natural healing process to regenerate tissue and bone. The gum tissue will then be replaced over the tooth.
- Pocket depth reduction. During pocket depth reduction, a periodontist will fold back the gum tissue to remove bacteria from the pockets. Then, the tissue will be placed back over the tooth root in order to reduce the size of the pockets or to eliminate them completely.
Prevent Gum Recession before it Starts
The best way to avoid surgical treatments for gum recession is to avoid the problem to begin with. Fortunately, gum recession isn’t an inevitable condition, and there are ways that you can keep it at bay.
First, it is crucial that you are taking the proper steps to reduce plaque build up in your mouth, as receding gums are most commonly caused by periodontal disease. This condition will begin with dental plaque, which is a sticky substance that contains food debris and bacteria. Plaque can wreak havoc on the gum tissue, so it is vital that you are taking proper precautions to get this substance removed rather than allowing it to accumulate.
There are a few other tips that you can follow in order to prevent gum recession. You should be sure to use proper technique when brushing, as it is entirely possible to brush too hard. Teeth clenching or grinding may also be aggravating factors in your gum recession, so you should ask your dentist if a night guard could be a good option to prevent your gum recession. While you’re at it, you should consider setting up an evaluation with your periodontist to have your gum recession properly examined to determine what else you can do to improve your oral health.
If you have questions about your specific situation and how your gum tissue can be treated, please contact us to set up a consultation.