Receding gums are caused by a number of factors, including gum disease, brushing too hard at the gum line, poorly aligned teeth, grinding of the teeth, tobacco use, and various hereditary conditions. Gum recession often happens slowly, over a number of years, so it’s often difficult to pinpoint the exact cause. It is also a very common condition and one of the gum issues that Miami dental patients complain about most often.
Some of the symptoms of recessed gums are:
- • Teeth that appear longer because the roots are visible
- • Increased sensitivity due to the exposed roots
- • A notch on the tooth that can be felt near the gum line
- • Increased susceptibility to tooth decay, particularly near the roots
There are several different ways to treat receding gums, depending on the severity of the recession and its cause. If gum recession is caused by periodontal disease, routine dental cleanings, proper brushing with a soft toothbrush, and daily flossing may be enough to reverse the disease and restore gums. If not, a Miami dentist may also try laser treatments that heal periodontal disease by eliminating the deep bacteria that cause gums to pull away from the teeth. Lasers sanitize the gums so that the progress of periodontal disease process is stopped.
If gum recession is caused by misaligned teeth, orthodontic treatments may be effective. A Miami orthodontist can align the teeth properly so that the gums are no longer at risk of receding. Bite splints can also be helpful for those who grind or clench their teeth, creating excessive pressure that can cause gums to pull away from the teeth.
For some people, gum recession will still persist despite good oral care. In these cases, the receding gum line may be due to heredity factors, so gum surgery may be the best course of action. Surgical options for receding gums include:
- Soft Tissue Grafting – Gum surgery involving grafting uses tissue from a donor or another part of the patient’s mouth to cover the area where the gums have pulled away from the teeth. The new gum tissue may be sutured to the gum line or perhaps covered along the edges by the existing gums. Recovery times can vary depending on whether stitches are used or if tissue was grafted from the patient’s own mouth. Grafts taken from the patient will cause additional discomfort wherever the tissue was taken from.
- Pocket Depth Reduction – Gum surgery may also be necessary in the cases of advanced gum disease. In these cases, the depth of the diseased pocket is reduced so that the patient can better maintain his or her oral hygiene. This type of gum surgery is usually called pocket reduction or crown lengthening. During the procedure, the diseased gum tissue is removed to reduce the amount of detached gum surrounding the teeth. This facilitates better flossing and brushing, so the gums can be kept cleaner. The drawback is that the teeth will appear longer and could be more sensitive as additional root area is exposed.
The good news for Miami dental patients is that keeping gums healthy is the best way to prevent and minimize recession in the first place. Anyone experiencing symptoms of receding gums should speak with their dentists about the best treatment options for stopping gum recession in its tracks.