Reviewed by Dr. Kerri Font, DDS
Gum recession is a dental issue where the gum tissue surrounding the teeth begins to wear away or pull back. When this happens, more of the tooth and its root are exposed. If left untreated, this can lead to sensitive teeth, increased risk of decay, and even tooth loss.
This blog post will dive into what a periodontist does for receding gums. We will discuss the available treatment options, including laser treatment, scaling and root planing and gum grafts.
Understanding Gum Recession
Gum recession is a symptom of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. Gum disease is a bacterial infection that attacks the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. When plaque and tartar build-up on the teeth, they can irritate and inflame the gums, causing them to recede over time.
Other factors that can contribute to gum recession include:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Hormonal changes
- Tobacco use
- Grinding or clenching teeth
If left untreated, gum recession can lead to tooth loss and even bone loss in severe cases. It is important to promptly address receding gums to prevent further damage and preserve oral health.
Gum recession occurs when gum tissue pulls back from a tooth, exposing the root. It can be caused by factors like gum disease, aggressive tooth brushing, and poor oral hygiene. Periodontists offer treatments to manage and reverse gum recession, such as scaling and root planing or gum grafts.
How a Periodontist Can Fix Receding Gums
Our periodontists, Dr. Mike Norouzinia, DDS, and Dr. Kerri Font, DDS, specialize in treating gum disease and repairing receding gums. We offer a variety of treatments to help restore your gum health and prevent further recession.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning procedure that removes plaque and tartar buildup from the teeth and root surfaces. This procedure allows the gums to heal and reattach to the teeth, reducing gum recession.
Scaling involves removing plaque and tartar from the visible surfaces of the teeth. Root planing smooths out rough areas on the tooth root to prevent bacteria from reattaching. This treatment may be done in one visit or several, depending on the severity of your gum disease.
Laser Gum Treatment
Laser treatment is used during the scaling and root planing procedure. The Biolase® diode laser technology helps to eliminate bacteria from the gums, promoting faster healing and reducing inflammation.
Laser bacterial reduction can be used as a standalone treatment to target and kill bacteria in the pockets between the gums and teeth.
Sometimes, gum recession is too severe to be treated with scaling and root planing alone. In these situations, a gum graft may be necessary. Gum grafting involves using healthy tissue to cover the areas of recession. Gum grafts can be taken from other areas of your mouth or from donor tissue. This procedure helps to protect the exposed root surface and promote new tissue growth.
Preventing Gum Recession
The key to maintaining good dental health begins with good oral hygiene! Brush and floss daily, and visit your dentist every six months for cleanings and once a year for a checkup.
Avoiding certain behaviors can also help prevent gum recession. These include:
- Aggressive tooth brushing: Brushing your teeth too hard or with a hard-bristled toothbrush can cause gum tissue to wear away over time.
- Tobacco use: Smoking and chewing tobacco can increase your risk of gum disease and, subsequently, gum recession. It’s advisable to quit tobacco use for your overall and oral health.
- Piercings: Lip or tongue piercings can rub against the gums, causing irritation and gum recession.
- Grinding or clenching your teeth: This can put a lot of pressure on your teeth and cause your gums to recede. If you grind or clench your teeth, talk to a dentist about a solution, such as a nightguard.
- Poor dietary choices: What we eat and drink affects our oral health. Consuming too many sugary or acidic foods and drinks can increase the risk of gum disease and recession.
Remember, early detection and treatment of gum recession can help prevent more serious oral health issues in the future. Regular check-ups with your periodontist can help identify any potential signs of gum recession or gum disease.
Stop Gum Recession in its Tracks
If you notice signs of gum recession, contact Highlands Ranch Periodontics & Implant Center for a consultation. Our experienced periodontists will assess your oral health and provide a treatment plan to stop gum recession in its tracks.
If you are searching for a ‘periodontist in Highlands Ranch’ or a ‘periodontist near me,’ we can help. Call (303) 683-1144 or complete the online booking form. If you’re in the area, stop by and say hello! We are located at 9090 S Ridgeline Blvd, #225, Highlands Ranch, CO.
FAQs About Gum Recession
This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on many factors, such as the underlying cause of gum recession. In general, the more gum tissue lost, the greater the risk of tooth loss.
There is limited research on the direct correlation between vaping and receding gums. What we do know is that nicotine can decrease blood flow to the gums and increase the risk of gum disease.
Yes, brushing too hard or using a toothbrush with bristles that are too firm can lead to gum recession over time. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle brushing techniques to protect your gums.
Yes, grinding or clenching your teeth can put excessive pressure on the gums and cause them to recede. Address teeth grinding with a dentist to prevent further damage to the gums and other oral structures.
No, flossing does not directly cause gum recession. Regular flossing can help prevent gum disease and subsequent recession. Flossing helps by removing plaque and bacteria between the teeth and the gumline. However, flossing too aggressively or using improper technique can irritate the gums and contribute to recession.
In some cases, braces can cause minor gum recession due to the pressure they put on the teeth and gums. However, this is typically temporary and can be managed by working closely with your orthodontist and dentist during treatment. Maintain good oral hygiene habits while wearing braces to prevent gum disease and recession.
In some cases, yes. If caught in the early stages, scaling and root planing can help reattach the gums to the teeth and prevent further recession. However, if the recession is severe, a gum graft may be necessary to restore lost tissue.
The best way to prevent gum recession is to practice good oral hygiene habits and avoid behaviors that can increase your risk of gum disease. Regular dental check-ups are also important for early detection and treatment of any issues.