Causes and Treaments of Gum Recession

Some of dentistry’s most significant conditions come on gradually. Gum recession is a perfect example of this. dentistryOver months or years, the gum tissue surrounding a tooth can wear away, exposing the tooth root.

While gum recession may appear gradually in the mouth, treatment of it using the tools of dentistry should be swift. Untreated, this malady can destroy jawbone and gum tissues, and result in tooth loss.

Causes of Gum Recession

  1. Aggressive toothbrushing. If you brush your teeth too hard or the wrong way, it can cause the enamel on your teeth to wear away and your gums to recede.
  2. Grinding or clenching your teeth, whether you are asleep or awake, can put too much pressure on them, and cause your gums to recede.
  3. Periodontal disease. If you do not brush and floss enough, and/or do not receive cleanings regularly at your dentist, the bacterial plaque that forms on your teeth can harden into tartar, which can cause gum recession.
  4. Female hormonal changes. Fluctuations in female hormone levels at key points during a woman’s lifetime, such as in puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, can make gums more vulnerable to gum recession.
  5. Unfortunately, some people are born with gums that are naturally thinner or weaker than others. About 30 percent of the population is at risk of gum recession, even if they care for their teeth and gums well.

Treatment of Gum Recession

  1. Scaling and Root Planing (SRP) treatment. This is the first line of defense in mitigating the impact of gum recession caused by bacterial plaque. A dentistry provider will do a deep cleaning of the plaque and tartar that has built up on the teeth and root surfaces below the gum line. Antibiotic treatments may also be applied.
  2. Correction of physical causes. If your gum recession appears to be caused by something other than bacterial plaque, your dentist may recommend a different brushing technique, use of a soft-bristled toothbrush, or the use of a mouth guard at night to reduce the impact of bruxism.
  3. Gum grafts. This periodontal surgery technique, used in advanced cases of recession, moves tissue from elsewhere in the mouth to the site of the recession. Once it heals, the gum graft will cover the exposed tooth root.

“Gum recession is a problem commonly seen in dentistry, but effective treatments can save precious gum tissue, as well as your teeth,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist with a practice in central Phoenix.

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