Gum Recession-Causes and Treatment


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This share provides an in-depth look at why gums can recede from the crowns of the teeth, the various problems it causes for one’s oral health and what can be done about it.

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Gum Recession-Causes and Treatment

  1. 1. This share provides an in-depth look at why gums can recede from the crowns of the teeth, the various problems it causes for one’s oral health and what can be done about it. When it comes to smile beauty, most people focus on the shape, color and symmetry of their teeth, but what isn’t getting the attention it deserves is the gums. Gums that aren’t healthy have just as devastating an impact upon the aesthetics of your smile as decayed, discolored teeth do. According to an experienced dentist in Silver Spring, gum recession is a very common problem that can have severe repercussions on oral health, which in turn affects the quality of the smile you present to the world. 1 Gum Recession: Causes and Treatment
  2. 2. What is Gum Recession? Gum recession is the process whereby the soft tissue surrounding the teeth gradually pulls away, exposing a greater percentage of the crowns of the teeth and the darker tooth roots. The overall visual affect is that of larger teeth and a toothier grin. Silver Spring residents don’t tend to notice gum recession because it is a gradual process that tends to happen over the course of several months, if not years. The danger is that gum recession is a common symptom of gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss if left without treatment. “Aside from the visual aspect of gum recession, patients may also notice increased tooth sensitivity caused by the exposure of the tooth roots,” explains the dentist in Silver Spring. “They may also notice a notch above the gum line, which is where the crown meets the root of the tooth. Treating gum recession is extremely important for the dental health of Silver Spring residents, because it prevents more serious problems, such as tooth decay and loss, from taking hold.” 2 Gum Recession: Causes and Treatment
  3. 3. What Causes Gum Recession? “There are a number of reasons the gums can recede from the crowns of the teeth,” explains the dentist in Silver Spring. “Some of them are more of a concern than others, but in most cases, we recommend treatment to cover up the tooth roots.” Treatment for gum recession will be further explored in Part 3 and 4 of this article series. The most common causes of gum recession are... Periodontal (Gum) Disease Your Genetic Heritage Aggressively Brushing Your Teeth Bad Oral Hygiene Hormonal Fluctuations Smoking and Tobacco Use Teeth Grinding and Jaw Clenching A Bad Bite or Crooked Teeth Piercings 3 Gum Recession: Causes and Treatment
  4. 4. Periodontal (Gum) Disease When oral bacteria collect at and migrate beneath the gum line, their acidic wastes destroy the ligaments that attach the gums to the crowns and roots of the teeth. This forms deep pockets surrounding the teeth, which accumulate further bacteria and debris, to become inflamed and infected. Gum disease is a major cause of gum recession. Your Genetic Heritage The dental health of certain Silver Spring residents is more susceptible to gum disease and therefore to recession than others and this comes down to genetic heritage. Research surveys indicate that as much as 30% of Americans are predisposed to gum disease, even if they practice the right home oral hygiene. Aggressively Brushing Your Teeth “Using too much force when brushing your teeth can physically force them to recede from the crowns of the teeth,” warns the dentist in Silver Spring. “Aggressive brushing can also erode away the dental enamel. If your toothbrush looks more like an unruly mop of hair, it may be time to (1) buy a new one and (2) reassess your brushing technique.” Bad Oral Hygiene Dental Implants Specialist in Silver Spring If you don’t brush and floss regularly and thoroughly, the accumulation of bacteria at the gum line can harden to form tartar. Unlike plaque, no amount of effort on your behalf will be sufficient to remove this… only a professional cleaning by a trained dentist in Silver Spring can remove tartar. This hard substance causes tooth decay, gum disease and gum recession. “Bad oral hygiene and a lack of preventative care is also the number one cause of tooth loss,” warns a dental implants specialist in Silver Spring. Hormonal Fluctuations Periods of abnormal hormonal fluctuations can render you more vulnerable to gum disease and the resultant symptom of gum recession. For example, pregnant women are more susceptible to gingivitis. Puberty and menopause are also times of greater risk. Smoking and Tobacco Use Smoking Kills It is well documented in medical literature that smoking puts patients at a higher risk of gum disease, which can lead to gum recession. “Smoking is also a considerable risk factor for tooth loss,” warns the dental implants specialist in Silver Spring. “So be warned and do what it takes to kick the habit.” Teeth Grinding and Jaw Clenching “Grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw is a common subconscious expression of psychological stress,” explains the dentist in Silver Spring. “This habit puts enormous physical stress on the teeth and can lead to fracturing, decay and gum recession. Mitigation, such as a mouth guard, is incredibly important if tooth grinders are to save their teeth from certain destruction.” A Bad Bite or Crooked Teeth If the teeth don’t come together properly, undue stress can be placed on the biting surfaces of some of the teeth, while others don’t receive much wear at all. An uneven bite and crooked teeth can also agitate and damage the gums and bone, leading to recession. Piercings “Another prime cause of gum recession, especially localized gum recession, is a piercing,” says the dentist in Silver Spring. “Piercings in the lip or tongue can rub against and destroy the gum tissue immediately opposite them. By pushing down or destroying this tissue, the gum is forced to recede, exposing the darker and more sensitive root underneath.” 4 Gum Recession: Causes and Treatment
  5. 5. What are the Dangers of Gum Recession? Dental Implants Maryland “When the gums recede and pull away from the crowns of the teeth, the roots become exposed to the food you eat, bacteria and abrasive actions, such as tooth brushing,” explains the dental implants specialist in Maryland. “The difference between your tooth roots and crowns is that the latter is specifically protected against general wearand-tear by dental enamel. So, when the roots become exposed, they can easily become damaged and decayed. “Additionally, gum recession causes pockets or spaces to develop between the tooth roots and the gingival walls, affording oral bacteria excellent refuge from your attempts at maintaining good hygiene. The build-up of disease-causing bacteria in these pockets destroys dental, gum and jawbone health, leading to gum disease and eventual tooth loss. This is why prompt treatment is so important,” emphasizes the dental healthcare specialist. So... what treatments are available for gum recession? 5 Gum Recession: Causes and Treatment
  6. 6. Gum Recession Treatment There are essentially two solutions recommended for gum recession by dental implants Maryland specialists. The one recommended for you will depend upon the extent of recession. Mild recession can usually be treated with deep cleaning and root planing, which involves the removal of calculus from between the tooth roots and the gingival walls surrounding them. Your dentist will then smooth the root surfaces (known as “planing”) to make it difficult for bacteria to re-establish a foothold on the root. Your treatment may also be complimented with a course of anti-bacterial medication to ensure that you have as good a chance of complete recovery from infection as possible. Orthodontist in Silver Spring MD If your dentist determines that the extent of gum recession is too far advanced and the pockets between your tooth roots and gums too deep, you may be referred to a periodontics’ for surgery to eliminate diseased tissue and repair the damage done to your gums. This may involve procedures such as pocket depth reduction, soft tissue grafting and regeneration. These will be fully explained in Part 4 of this article series, but for now, the orthodontist in Silver Spring MD provides us with a list of gum recession prevention tips... How Can I Prevent Gum Recession? 1. Maintain good oral hygiene, which includes regular and thorough brushing and flossing 2. Quit smoking and/or chewing tobacco 3. Eat a balanced, healthy diet 4. Try not to press down so hard when brushing 5. Remove lip/tongue piercings that appear to be damaging the adjacent gums 6. Seek prompt treatment for any changes you may notice to your oral health 7. Treat problems and conditions such as bad bite alignment, crooked teeth, teeth grinding and jaw clenching. 6 Gum Recession: Causes and Treatment
  7. 7. What if you present with advanced gum disease and gum recession? Surgery for the Treatment of Gum Recession In advanced cases, the cosmetic dentist in Silver Spring may opt to perform surgery to eliminate diseased tissue, bacteria and other calculus from the entire tooth structure. He or she will then reverse the damage done to the gums (as far as possible) using the following procedures: Pocket Depth Reduction Advanced gum disease often causes deep pockets to develop between the roots of the teeth and the surrounding gingival walls. These pockets fill up with bacteria and other debris, leading to infection. During a pocket depth reduction procedure, the cosmetic dentist will thoroughly clean these pockets of bacteria and disease tissue before securing the gum back in place against the roots of the teeth, thus reducing pocket size. Tissue Regeneration Gum disease also causes the destruction of bone tissue (via the acid produced by bacteria) and if your case warrants it, the cosmetic dentist in Silver Spring may recommend regeneration to encourage the regrowth of lost bone and soft tissue. As with pocket depth reduction, the dentist will first eliminate bacteria and diseased tissue before placing a regenerative material, such as a tissue-stimulating protein, graft tissue or a membrane over the affected area. These materials encourage the growth of new and healthy bone and soft tissue. Gum Graft Last, but certainly not least, there’s surgical treatment for the loss of gum tissue. Unfortunately, while the gums can heal, they cannot grow back. So if your gums have receded a fair amount from the crowns of your teeth, the cosmetic dentist in Silver Spring may recommend that you undergo a connective tissue graft to cover up the exposed tooth roots. This procedure involves the harvesting of a thin sliver of tissue from the palate of the mouth, which is stitched to the gum tissue directly surrounding the exposed root. 7 Gum Recession: Causes and Treatment
  8. 8. A Final Note on Gum Recession Prevention is always better than cure, but if it’s too late for that, don’t hesitate to book an appointment with the dentist in Silver Spring MD. The very next best thing to prevention is prompt treatment! 8 Gum Recession: Causes and Treatment