Gum recession is a common dental problem that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. It often starts gradually, so it’s easy to miss it unless you see your dentist or hygienist regularly.
Receding gums can be treated in several ways, including deep cleaning, flap surgery and a gum tissue graft. The type of treatment you need will depend on the severity of the recession and other factors.
Deep cleaning (also known as dental scaling and root planing) is a treatment recommended by dentists for patients with gum disease when tartar has built up in pockets between their teeth and gums and, in some cases, down to the teeth roots. It’s often the first treatment that dentists offer to people with gum disease, and it can help slow or stop the condition from progressing and causing tooth loss.
The procedure involves a deep clean of your teeth using a specialised tool to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line. Dentists use a numbing gel or injection to make sure that you don’t feel any pain during the treatment.
To start with, your dentist will measure the gap between your teeth and gums with a periodontal probe to determine how advanced your gum disease is. They may also check for signs of bone loss, which can indicate periodontitis.
During the treatment your dentist will use a specialised cleaning device to remove the build up of tartar, and they might use a tiny laser tool to get into hard to reach areas. They will also check for any signs of infection and might place an antibiotic gel in the pocket between your teeth and gums.
After your treatment you may find that your teeth and gums are very sensitive for a few days. This is normal and is unlikely to be a cause for concern. However, you should avoid eating or drinking anything that might be painful for a few days after the procedure. You should also rinse your mouth with warm salt water and brush and floss regularly to promote healing.
Your dentist will usually have you come back for a follow-up appointment around two weeks after your first deep clean. The follow-up appointment will involve them measuring the size of the pocket between your teeth and gums again, to see if it has reduced in size.
Having your teeth and gums deep cleaned is a great way to improve your oral health, but you will need to continue with regular visits for non-deep cleans to prevent gum disease from returning. Although this is a significant investment in your oral health, it’s worth it for the benefits you’ll receive.
If non-surgical treatment hasn’t been effective in addressing your receding gums, a doctor may recommend flap surgery. This surgical procedure cleans and repairs the roots of your teeth and the bone that supports them. It is often done by a gum specialist (periodontist) or oral surgeon.
Flap surgery can repair defects in any area of your body, such as after a trauma or mastectomy (breast removal surgery). This type of reconstructive plastic surgery has excellent results for repairing defects after traumatic injury and Mohs cancer surgery.
The first step is to assess the amount of tissue loss in the area that needs reconstructive surgery. This can be done by taking a biopsy or X-ray of the defect and evaluating it under a microscope. It can also be done by a Doppler test, which measures the blood supply to the area where you need to have surgery.
After the area is deemed healthy, you will be given anesthesia to numb the part of your body where surgery will take place. Your doctor will then cut a piece of your tissue from another area, usually the palate, and implant it over the tooth and exposed root to cover the damage.
It can take several weeks for the graft to heal properly, so you will need to avoid eating hard, chewy foods and brushing your teeth near the graft for the duration of your recovery. A vacuum dressing will be applied to your wound.
Once the graft has been placed and sutured, you will be sent home and need to follow your doctor’s instructions for caring for your flap or graft site. You will need to change the dressing a couple times over the next 2 to 3 weeks, as the site heals.
Your doctor will check the healing of your flap or graft site regularly to make sure it is progressing properly and the wound does not get infected. If there is an infection, you will need to see your doctor or go to the hospital for antibiotics and a cleaning. You can also call your provider if you have any questions about your flap or graft.
Gum Tissue Graft
Gum recession is a common dental condition, and it can lead to tooth decay and gum disease if left untreated. It affects 4% to 12% of adults and is often not noticed until it causes severe damage to the supporting bone.
Fortunately, there are receding gums treatments that can help you correct this problem. One of the most effective is gum tissue graft.
This procedure is a simple and effective way to restore your gum line, protect your teeth, and prevent further problems from developing. It can also improve the aesthetics of your smile and make it more comfortable to speak and eat.
A graft is a type of soft tissue surgery that uses your own healthy tissue to fill in gaps or spaces between your teeth and gums. It can also be used to cover exposed roots to reduce plaque accumulation and decrease sensitivity.
Your periodontist will select the best grafting technique based on your needs and goals. They can use either a connective tissue graft or a free gingival graft to repair your gums.
In a connective tissue graft, a flap is cut on the roof of your mouth to remove a thin layer of soft tissue. It’s then attached to the area of receding gum tissue and sutured into place. In time, the new tissue will blend with your existing gums for a more attractive appearance.
Another option is a pedicle graft, which is used when there is a lot of gum tissue near the recessed tooth. This is a method that is less invasive than the connective tissue graft, and it can be done in just one appointment.
You can expect to have a little bit of swelling and bruising after the graft, but it should go down in a few days. After that, you can start to eat more solid foods. However, you should avoid hard, crunchy or spicy food because they can irritate the graft.
In addition, it’s important to practice proper oral hygiene after the graft has healed. You should brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush and floss at least once a day. You should also use an antimicrobial mouthwash to keep bacteria from adhering to your teeth and causing issues with your graft.
A composite restoration is a type of filling that is made from tooth-colored plastic and glass. These fillings are used to repair decayed or damaged teeth as well as for cosmetic purposes.
Unlike amalgam fillings, which only cover a hole and rely on the geometry of the hole to retain it, composite material is bonded to tooth structure. The bonding of composite strengthens the tooth and restores its original physical integrity.
Because composites are bonded to tooth structure, less healthy tooth needs to be removed for the procedure than in the case of an amalgam filling. This is a great benefit because it reduces the risk of future caries.
In addition, because the dentist doesn’t need to drill into the tooth and destroy any healthy enamel, composites are a more conservative treatment than dental crowns. This can be especially helpful if the patient has multiple teeth that need work.
The process for a composite restoration usually involves removing the decayed area of a tooth, cleaning and shaping the affected area, then applying a tooth-colored material that will fill the hole in the tooth. This is typically done in one visit.
Once the cavity has been filled with composite, the dentist will polish it to prevent staining and early wear. This will ensure that the restoration will look natural in the mouth and prevent changes to the patient’s bite.
During the placement of a tooth-colored restoration, the dentist will carefully shape and contour the material. This is important because if the restoration is not shaped correctly, it could change the way that the tooth chews.
When the tooth-colored material is cured, it will become indistinguishable from the rest of the tooth. It will also be able to withstand more force than silver fillings, which means it’ll be stronger and last longer.
Currently, there are many different resin-based composites that can be used in posterior teeth. They have been improved over the years to make them more esthetic, with better color stability and reduced wear. These restorations can be placed in a single visit to your dentist and can be very beneficial to your smile.
Prevention Tips for Avoiding Gum Recession
Keeping up with good dental hygiene is the best way to prevent gum recession. Using the right brushing technique, flossing twice a day, and using a mouthwash rinse that combats plaque is key.
Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush when brushing, as aggressive brushes can cause the gums to recede. Additionally, avoiding smoking and other tobacco products can also help to reduce your risk of developing receding gums.
It’s also important to keep up with your regular dental appointments. These routine visits will give your dentist the opportunity to spot any early signs of gum recession and take measures to prevent it from getting worse.
If gum recession is due to periodontal disease, your hygienist may recommend a deep cleaning called scaling and root planing. This treatment helps to remove harmful bacteria that are causing the gum recession, and it can smooth out the surface of the teeth and root surfaces.
Other treatments for receding gums can include a process called gum grafting. In this procedure, your hygienist places a tissue-like material on the gum line to help it reattach to the tooth.
Another way to reduce your risk of gum recession is to avoid clenching and grinding your teeth at night. These habits can cause your teeth to shift in your mouth, which leads to recession.
Your oral health is a reflection of your general health, and gum recession can have an impact on other parts of your body. It can be very painful and lead to tooth loss if not treated properly.
When to See a Doctor For Your Receding Gums
When your gums are receding, you should see a dentist or periodontist as soon as possible. This is important because gum recession can lead to periodontal disease, which causes loose and wiggly teeth and jawbone loss.
Gums that have lost tissue can be replaced with a procedure called gum grafting. The procedure involves taking tissue from a different area of your mouth, usually the palate or roof of the mouth, and stitching it to the exposed root of your tooth.
Another treatment that a periodontist can recommend for receding gums is scaling and root planing. This cleaning removes plaque and tartar from below the gum line where it cannot be reached by regular brushing.
Receding gums can also be caused by clenching and grinding your teeth (bruxism). This is more common in people who smoke or use other tobacco products, so it’s best to quit smoking if you’re prone to bruxism.
Other factors that can lead to receding gums include gingivitis, periodontal disease, and misaligned teeth. Fortunately, many of these problems can be avoided by practicing good oral hygiene and maintaining regular dental appointments.
The main reason that receding gums occur is because of gum disease, which can lead to periodontal disease. Treatment for this condition includes antimicrobials, antibiotics, and gum graft surgery. These treatments can restore gums that have been destroyed by periodontal disease and prevent further damage to your teeth and gums.