Gum recession is a progression of gum disease in which your gums begin to wear away or move back, exposing more of the tooth’s surface or root. When this occurs, gaps form along the gum line and between the teeth, allowing disease-causing bacteria to build up. This is a serious and painful dental condition that can lead to tooth loss if left untreated.
The good news is that there are gum recession treatments available that are minimally invasive and virtually pain-free. In this article, we’ll look not only at treatment but also at the most common gum recession causes and symptoms.
Why do gums recede?
There are a number of gum recession causes, but periodontitis or gum disease due to plaque and tartar are the most common. Bacterial gum infections destroy the gum tissue and bone that hold your teeth in place. Although regular brushing and flossing help remove plaque and tartar, brushing too aggressively can also lead to gum recession.
If you have a family history of gum disease, you could be predisposed to this serious dental issue even if you’re diligent about taking care of your teeth and gums.
Age and hormonal changes can play a role for women in particular, since pregnancy and menopause can make gums more vulnerable to gum recession.
If you’re someone who grinds their teeth or clenches their jaw, you could be putting too much pressure on the teeth and causing the gums to recede.
A misaligned bite and missing or crooked teeth can also put too much stress on the gums and bone.
Oral piercings that rub against and irritate the gums can wear away gum tissue over time.
Smoking can cause a decrease in saliva and loss of blood flow to the gum tissue, creating a risk for gum recession. Tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco, can also cause increased plaque buildup and gum irritation.
Finally, inadequate dental care allows plaque to turn into tartar. This hard substance builds up on and between the teeth. If not removed by a professional dental cleaning, it can cause gum recession.
What are the signs of receding gums?
Since gum recession occurs gradually, many people might not be aware that their gums are receding.
Tooth sensitivity is usually one of the first signs. Does it hurt to bite and chew? Is it painful to eat hot or cold foods? The further the gums recede, the more it will hurt. Gum recession can also cause the teeth to shift and feel misaligned.
When you look at your gums, are they light pink and firm? Gums appearing red or swollen or bleeding during brushing or flossing are common signs of gum disease that could lead to gum recession. One of the easiest ways to tell if your gums are receding is if more of the tooth is visible and the space between the teeth has increased.
What are the treatment options?
Traditional gum recession treatment required grafting soft tissue and suturing it in place to rebuild the gum line.
Today, there is a much less invasive alternative to gum grafting that eliminates the need for incising gum tissue and sutures. Pinhole® Surgical Technique (PST™) uses a specialized tool to make a small hole in your gum and adds collagen to reposition and stabilize the area where the gums have receded.
The procedure is simple, almost painless, and patients notice an improved cosmetic appearance immediately after treatment.
Contact us today!
At Dentistry at Consilium in Scarborough, we offer advanced technologies to minimize or eliminate pain and ensure more comfortable and safe dental surgery.
If you have gum recession or other dental concerns, call our office at 416-296-1080 or book an appointment online/