Gum recession is both a cosmetic and oral health concern, often caused by periodontal disease that has progressed and affected the bone in the jaw. Healthy gums rely on healthy bone structure and can become compromised over time if an underlying risk factor is not addressed. In addition to gum disease, receding gums can be caused by:
- Bruxism: habitual teeth grinding eventually impacts bone health and can lead to gum recession.
- Trauma: if the teeth and gum tissue has been damaged by an accident, it may lead to gum recession if not treated promptly with proper dental care.
- Genetics: certain medical conditions or a genetic predisposition for gum recession or weak gum tissue.
Maintaining gum health through good oral hygiene and routine dental care are the keys to avoiding gum recession. If you have receding gums, it is important to seek the advice of your local AACD dentist to identify the underlying cause and discuss how to address your oral health and cosmetic needs. There are surgical treatment options that can restore the aesthetics of your smile.
Rebuilding Your Smile: Treating Gingival Recession
The first step in addressing gum recession is to evaluate the condition of your gums and overall oral health. Minimal gum recession that is the result of existing periodontal disease may require only conservative treatments, such as scaling and root planing, to halt further recession and restore health. Your AACD dentist will discuss your oral hygiene and make personalized recommendations for the appropriate type of tooth brush and other oral care products for gum disease.
If gum recession is affecting the health and/or aesthetics of your smile, a gum graft may be the best long term solution to meet your needs. Your dentist will discuss the expected results of oral surgery to correct gum recession and the necessary steps in the process. A gum graft can cover exposed tooth roots and stabilize bone deterioration that is affecting your oral health. In addition to restoring symmetry to the aesthetics of your smile, a successful gum graft can reduce the side effects of gum recession such as increased sensitivity and the risk of advanced tooth decay.
Your dentist will go over all aspects of a gum graft procedure including aftercare for the best recovery. Most patients tolerate a gum graft well and will experience only minor discomfort and short-term dietary restriction.