4 Facts to Know About Gum Recession
Your gums play an important role in your oral health. They act as an anchor, keeping your teeth firmly in place so you can talk, chew, and smile without a problem. Gums also protect the roots of your teeth from decay and act as a shock absorber when you bite down.
Because our gums do so much for us, gum recession is a dental problem to be taken seriously. At 38th Street Dental in Austin, TX, Drs. David Tasch and Mike Meek want to help you take care of your gums so they can serve you for years to come. Here are 4 facts everyone should know about gum recession:
1. Gum Recession Has Several Causes
The most common cause of gum recession is gum disease (aka periodontal disease). This condition begins as gingivitis but can develop into severe periodontitis, an advanced and severe gum infection. As the disease progresses past gingivitis, pockets of bacteria form along the gum line, causing the gums to pull away from the teeth.
Other causes of gum recession include:
- Overly aggressive brushing technique
- Gum tissue trauma
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Misaligned teeth
- A lip or tongue piercing
2. Symptoms Can Be Detected Early
Tooth root exposure is the number one sign that your gums have started to recede. Additional symptoms that may be noticed earlier are:
- Pain, or irritation near your gumline
- Temperature sensitivity
- Bleeding when brushing and flossing
- Discomfort during dental cleanings
Understanding the signs of gum recession is important because early diagnoses can be key to a successful treatment. Left unattended, gum recession can cause bone loss or tooth mobility.
3. Treatment Is Possible
While gums that have receded cannot grow back, it is possible to treat gum recession. The methods vary depending on the cause and severity of the case. Mild recession may be treated non-surgically with methods like dental bonding or orthodontics. Severe cases will likely require gum grafting surgery.
Dental bonding may be used to camouflage the receded area. The bonding material (composite resin) can be color-matched to your teeth, so the addition of the material is unnoticeable. The composite resin will also protect the exposed roots so you no longer feel pain or sensitivity. If a crooked tooth is the cause of your gum recession, braces can properly align the tooth causing the gum margin to correct itself over time.
For more severe cases of gum recession, gum grafting surgery is the most reliable option. During this procedure, tissue can be taken from the roof of your mouth to replace the missing gum tissue. Depending on the extent of treatment, patients may recover in as little as two weeks.
4. Gum Recession Is Preventable
You can decrease your likelihood of gum recession by taking steps to prevent gum disease and injury. Here are a few ways you can take care of your oral health and reduce your risk of gum recession:
- Brush and floss daily
- Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and the proper brushing technique
- Visit your dentist regularly for routine teeth cleanings
If you already suffer from gum disease, periodontal treatment like root scaling and planing can prevent further gum recession. Our doctors at 38th Street Dental in Austin, TX, can stop the progression of gum disease by clearing plaque and bacteria from both the tooth surface and below the gumline, and then smoothing the root surface to prevent future bacterial accumulation.
Treat Gum Recession in Austin, TX
Caring for your gums is a great way to make sure your smile stays healthy for a lifetime. Drs. David Tasch and Mike Meek are both trained in advanced restorative care so they can provide you with quality dental service. To learn more about gum recession and treatment, call our office at (512) 458-6222 or contact us to schedule an appointment today.