At Dental Partners of Boston, we want to help you avoid the complications that come from gum recession. Gum recession is when the tissue around your teeth is worn down and drawn back, which results in more of the tooth being exposed. Because of the receding gum line, pockets of space work their way between the teeth and the gums, making it the perfect breeding ground for bacteria that can cause many problems if left untreated. Receding gums also expose the root of the tooth, which is softer than your enamel and susceptible to decay.
Gum recession occurs gradually over time, which means it may be hard to catch. However, there are some precautionary measures you can take to make sure your gums stay happy and healthy.
Gums recede for a number of reasons. The number one reason, however, is periodontal disease. This occurs when gums get infected and that infection goes untreated. When bacteria is left to wreak havoc on the delicate gum tissue, it can permanently destroy the gum, and even ruin the bone around the roots of your teeth.
Another common culprit behind gum recession is imperfect dental habits. Practice dental care by brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily. But take care not to brush too hard; rough brushing along the gumline can also cause recession. To remedy this, use a soft-bristled toothbrush, and be sure to gently brush in little circles around each tooth. Taking good, gentle care of your teeth will not only keep your pearly whites looking fabulous and free from cavities, it will protect your gums from periodontal diseases.
Grinding teeth causes a multitude of mouth problems, so it’s not surprising that it causes receding gums too. When you grind or clench your teeth, it puts stress on the roots of the teeth and the bones holding them in place. This damages the teeth and bones and causes the gums to recede.
Sometimes receding gums are just in your genes. Sadly, there’s no way to dodge that, and you’ll be prone to gum disease no matter what. However, it’s still important to keep good dental hygiene habits to lessen the chances of serious infections, and visit the dentist or periodontist regularly to catch and care for infections early.
If your gums have only receded a little bit, we can deep clean the teeth and gums, which will help stop further recession. If the gums are beginning to get infected, Dr. Guzman can prescribe antibiotics that will stop the disease in its tracks and hopefully keep it from worsening.
However, if receding gums or infections in the gums have gone untreated for a while, surgery will often be necessary. One common surgery is called pocket depth reduction. This surgery is used to remove the diseased tissue and pull the gum back down over the tooth root. You may also require gum grafts, where a small piece of graft tissue is taken from your soft palate and used to replace the receded gums.
Another way to treat serious gum disease is through regeneration. This procedure is performed when gum disease has caused permanent damage on the bone. For this surgery, we deep clean the gums before placing regenerative material, such as graft tissue, membranes, or stimulating proteins over the destroyed bone and teeth. The aim of this surgery is to jumpstart the body into naturally remaking the materials needed to repair the teeth and bones.
Once the gum has been cleaned and repaired via antibiotics or surgery, you’ll need to redouble your oral hygiene efforts. Healthy mouth habits like the ones listed above will protect the gums and prevent further infection.
At Dental Partners of Boston, we strive to provide the quality of care that will show you we are the best dentists in Boston. Schedule an appointment with one of our experienced dentists as soon as possible to prevent and treat gum recession.
Sergio A. Guzman