Gum Recession: Causes and Treatments
If you’re experiencing gum recession, you may be concerned with the esthetic and/or health implications. The problems arising from gum recession can be both esthetic and can impact your oral health. There are several causes of gum recession and different ways gum recession can be treated. In this blog post, we’ll go over some of the basics of gum recession: the definition, causes, and what can be done to treat it.
What is gum recession?
Gum recession can cause the roots of teeth to become exposed. Patients who have gum recession may notice that their teeth appear to look longer than normal as the gum tissues move towards the root.
What are the causes of gum recession?
Gum recession can occur because of one or more of several factors. Sometimes gum recession can be the natural result of aging and/or genetics. Aggressive tooth brushing can also cause the gums to recede. Plaque accumulation, smoking, gum disease, orthodontic treatment, and trauma to the gums are other factors that can contribute to or cause gum recession.
When does should gum recession be treated?
There are several indications for treating gum recession. Decay on root surfaces, increased sensitivity (especially to heat or cold), esthetic concerns, and/or the prevention of tooth and bone loss may be reasons that gum will be treated.
How can gum recession be fixed?
Gum graft surgery can help prevent the recession from getting worse, and in many cases, can even cover some of the exposed root surfaces to provide improved support for the teeth and a more esthetic smile. Gum grafting is an attempt to repair the gum line to a state of health and prevent further recession. Gum grafts often provide a combined benefit of improving both function and health- crucial to chewing, speaking and smiling-with comfort and confidence.
Where is the graft taken from?
Gum grafts can be taken from the patient’s own tissues as well as from donor tissues, depending on the patient’s initial presentation and symptoms. Free gingival grafts involve harvesting autogenous tissue (patient’s own tissue) from the patient’s roof of the mouth and transplanting it to the site that needs treatment. Connective tissue grafts also harvest autogenous tissue and are used to help obtain root coverage and thicken the tissues in order to provide additional support and an esthetic result. Autogenous tissues are often considered the gold standard.
What are the benefits of gum grafting surgery?
Gum grafting surgery has benefits ranging from improved esthetics of the smile to prevention of further recession and bone loss. Gum grafting surgery can improve tissue thickness and, in some cases, obtain coverage on the exposed root surfaces.
What is “tunneling”?
A minimally invasive approach to gum grafting involves a procedure known as “tunneling”. This procedure creates a small pouch beneath the gums and uses donor tissue to thicken the patient’s gums and even can cover exposed root surfaces in certain indications. The benefit is that the grafted tissue does not need to be taken from the patient’s roof of the mouth, thus reducing patient discomfort.
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Learn more about our periodontal services and our periodontist, Dr. Lindsey Pikos Rosati, here. To schedule an appointment to talk about your gum recession, call us at 1-800-NEW-LOOK.
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