When it comes to having great dental health, there are many things to consider. Most people just think about the teeth with regard to dental wellness, but the gums are actually just as important. When you meet with a skilled cosmetic dentist, the health and condition of your gums will be carefully considered.
Right now, we'd like to take a moment to consider some of the basics with regard to gum recession and gum health. We'll look at the various causes of gum recession first and then look at treatment options and tips for prevention.
About Gum Recession
Gum recession refers to the loss of gum tissue along the gumline. This exposes part of the root structure of the teeth and leads to a number of dental health issues as a result.
Why Gum Recession Needs to Be Taken Seriously
For one, gum recession makes it more likely for tooth decay to occur beneath the gumline. This is more difficult to treat than gum disease that affects the crown of the tooth. The exposed root structure also leads to issues with tooth sensitivity, making it uncomfortable to eat foods that are very cold (e.g., ice cream) or very hot (e.g., soup).
If the gum recession progresses to a serious degree, it can also result in loose teeth or tooth loss. For these reasons, it's important to have your recession addressed as soon as it occurs.
Gum Disease and Gum Recession
Gum disease refers to the bacterial infection of the gums. Left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss and spread of the infection. There are three stages of gum disease:
- Advanced periodontitis
Tooth Loss and Gum Recession
When you lose a tooth, it is not uncommon for the gum tissue to recede since there is no longer any tooth structure for the gumline to support.
Gumline Damage and Gum Recession
One very common cause of gum recession involves brushing your teeth. If you use a toothbrush with hard bristles or brush your teeth too aggressively, it can injure the gumline and result in loss of soft tissue.
Gum Recession and the Aging Process
Years of normal wear and tear will eventually have an affect on your gumline. It's not uncommon for older patients to suffer from gum recession even if they have taken good care of their teeth.
Treating Gum Disease
One treatment to consider for gum recession involves controlling gum disease. There are numerous restorative dentistry options to consider. The most common treatment involves controlling the infection with antibiotics and antiseptic rinses.
Gum Grafting to Rebuild the Gumline
When it comes to rebuilding the gum tissue, the best option out there is gum grafting. This involves the use of donor tissue from the patient's palate or artificial soft tissue grafts that are sutured into place.
Preventing Gum Recession
Some good tips for gum recession prevention are as follows:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day (ideally after every meal)
- Floss your teeth every night (ideally after every meal)
- Visit your dentist twice a year for regular check-ups
- Use a toothbrush with soft bristles
Learn More About General Dental Care
For more information about gum recession and gum disease, it's important to contact our dental care center serving Philadelphia today. During your visit to our practice, we will be sure to go over all of your treatment options with regard to periodontal disease and recession. We will also discuss your many different treatment options in full detail.