Originally Published: December 4, 2018 8:56 p.m.
Looking closely at your smile, do you notice that your gums are beginning to pull away from your teeth? You are not alone. Patients commonly bring this concern to my attention during dental examinations. Often individuals wonder the cause for this phenomenon and if it can be reversed. Fortunately, dentists have been able to identify the causes of gum recession. Treatments have been discovered to help restore your gums back to a normal state which protects your teeth and roots from decay, cavities, and sensitivity.
There are many contributors to gum recession, but the underlying cause of the condition is always inflammation. Gum-invading bacteria that manifest on teeth and gums trigger the immune system to protect the body from a bacterial infestation. The immune response of this action causes inflammation and leads to periodontal disease and gingivitis. When this condition is present, it can lead to bleeding at the gums and deterioration of the bone that supports roots. Routine cleanings with a dental hygienist are critical to protect teeth and gums from periodontal disease and to halt the inflammation cycle.
The second cause of gum and bone recession is an inflammation process caused by excessive force on teeth from chewing muscles. This results in movement and flexure of the tooth and its root. The small mechanical movements disrupt and irritate the bone and tissues that support teeth. These forces crush the minerals in teeth and bone as they flex. Eventually a cleft or notch in the tooth root appears and the thin bone that surrounds the root disappears.
Lastly, a major contributor to gum recession is trauma through rough or excessive abrasion while brushing. It is very important to thoroughly scrub and remove bacteria and irritating food debris from teeth but try to avoid hard bristles and abrasive oral care products.
Gum recession has many consequences beyond just aesthetics. Exposed roots around teeth can cause sensitivity to temperature, air, or from brushing teeth. These roots are more likely to develop tooth decay verses the enamel covered crowns of your teeth. Tooth decay occurs when acids dissolve minerals from teeth. Tooth roots have much less mineral than the enamel covered crown; and therefore, are more susceptible when exposed. As we age and experience health issues, it negatively contributes to gum health. Conditions like: diabetes, medication induced dry mouth, salivary gland disease, and reduced saliva output can cause decay in notched or exposed roots. Many people do not take the proper steps to commit to proper oral care until the damage is done and it is too late. However, it is an amazing era for dentistry and the knowledge, skills, and tools are available to correct gum recession.
Today, dentists can use regenerative therapies to help treat gum recession and other ailments. Tissue and bone can be grown to rescue teeth that may have been condemned for extraction in the past. Gum recession can be greatly improved with micro-surgical procedures that are non-invasive, less painful, and have a shorter healing period than procedures of the past. Unsightly gums and exposed roots can be treated and covered with closed surgical procedures that do not require harvesting of tissues from the roof of your mouth. Techniques that use a patient’s own blood to collect platelets, growth factors, and white blood cells (immune cells) can help to speed up recovery, decrease pain, reduce inflammation, and risk of infection.
There are many other treatments available to help prevent or treat gum recession. Receiving regular cleanings or laser therapy with a hygienist can stop gingivitis, periodontitis and future gum recession. Digital bite analysis can be used to find and correct excessive forces on teeth creating inflammatory recession due to mechanical irritation. Finally, education, proper hygiene techniques, and thorough examinations are available through enlightened dental care teams to help teeth and gums remain in optimal health.
If you are suffering from bone or gum recession, there are many options available for you. Do not wait to seek treatment as it could lead to more costly procedures and dental demise in the future. At Pro Solutions Dental Group, we would love to consult with you about your treatment options for receding gums. Call us today at 928-776-1208 to make an appointment with Dr. Jason Campbell or Rick Farnsworth. Please visit the Pro Solutions website for more information at: www.prescottdentist.com. Happy Holidays! We would love for you to take advantage of our special gift! For a limited time, receive a $39.99 gum recession consultation! Please mention the “Daily Courier Gum Recession Special” when making an appointment with our scheduling team. We hope to see you soon!