Gum recession affects at least 22.5% of young adults and 75% of older adults in America alone. This dental condition has many causes such as age, aggressive brushing, and gum disease. As people grow older, their tissues and overall body mass begins to shrink. When it comes to your gums, old age and a lifetime of brushing and flossing may result in gum recession. Aggressive brushing can wear away the gum tissues and cause them to recede. The more they recede, the more the tooth is exposed and this can expose you to many more problems. Gum disease may be the most prominent cause of gum recession, however, because this infection initially attacks the gums, wearing them away until periodontal pockets have formed where bacteria, plaque, and even food can gather. The best way to combat these causes of gum disease is to brush gently but affectively, and practice proper oral hygiene.
Some patients may suffer from gum recession because they’ve inherited the condition from family members. In this case, the gums are most likely thinner than an average set of gums, and so they recede much quicker than thicker gums. Again, your dentist can find solutions to this problem such as gentle brushing, special toothpaste, and even in-office treatments such as root planning and scaling to help strengthen the roots of the teeth.
Gum recession can lead to many other problems such as sensitive teeth, crooked teeth, cavities, exposed roots, and bone and tooth loss. Studies show that if a tooth has 4 mm of recession, the likelihood of the problem worsening is up to 98%.
Luckily, there are many treatments for receding gums. To begin, you must practice proper oral hygiene such as brushing, flossing, use of mouth wash, and regular dental checkups. If you do have gum disease, you’ll need follow-up maintenance to fix the problem. If gum recession is a little further along, you may be looking at surgery to fix the condition.
The surgery that is most effective is a surgical grafting procedure that can be accomplished three different ways that include grafting and tissue transplants. The type of surgery depends upon where the recession is and where the covering tissues are located. One problem facing this procedure is how much neighboring gum tissue is available for the graft site. Tissue can also be taken from the roof of the mouth to fix the recession. Since there is much more tissue to use from this area, there is a larger chance of full coverage for the afflicted site.
If you have receding gums, you know that it is both unattractive and painful. There are many ways to fix this unappealing problem, so contact a dentist right away to discuss procedures and treatment options. At home treatments include gentle brushing with an electric or mechanical toothbrush (to cut back on rigorous brushing), flossing at least twice a day, using gentle, non-drying mouth wash, and of course regular dental checkups. If you are already suffering with receding gums, talk to your dentist about grafting, root planning, and scaling procedures.