Gum disease is the cause of more lost teeth than anything else in the United States.
That means untreated gum disease can mess up your smile and interfere with your ability to eat. Please keep that in mind when you are brushing your teeth this evening, and remember to floss between your teeth, too.
We have seen the effects of gum disease many times at Dental Implants and Periodontology Of Arizona. We also have helped many patients in and around Phoenix treat their symptoms and repair their gums at our dentist office.
Today we want to talk about gum recession and what can be done to deal with it.
Causes Of Gum Recession
Gum recession is a symptom of advanced periodontal disease, but that isn’t the only reason that it occurs.
You certainly can reduce your risk of recession by keeping gum disease in check with good oral hygiene and routine dental visits. However, we also want you to know other reasons your gums may start to recede:
◼︎ Overbrushing — Yes, brushing your teeth too often or too can have negative consequences. The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day for two minutes at a time.
Scrubbing too hard or too long or with a hard-bristled toothbrush can damage the soft tissues of your gums.
◼︎ Poor oral care — It’s worth repeating that you should brush and floss your teeth every day. This is done to remove the plaque and bacteria that lead to gum disease.
◼︎ Bad fit — You may have partial dentures or an orthodontic appliance. If these do not fit correctly, they can weaken your gum tissue.
◼︎ Holding things — Dentists try to discourage people from holding or opening things with their teeth. If you do this habitually, then you may be rubbing what you’re holding against your gums. Over time, this can cause your gums to pull back, too.
◼︎ Anatomical issues — You may have a muscle attachment that pulls on your gum tissue or tooth that erupted in an awkward way that makes gum recession more likely in that part of your mouth.
Treating Gum Recession
Gum tissue serves an important role in protecting your teeth.
First and foremost, your gums protect the bones that hold the roots of your teeth in place.
Second, healthy gum tissue will help to hold your teeth in position. You probably don’t feel it, but your teeth move slightly throughout the day. Teeth press into one another and into the gum tissue in your mouth, but they remain in relatively the same positions.
Treating receding gums involves gum grafting. This involves attaching new gum tissue where it is needed to restore the appearance and the health of your gums.
To do soft tissue grafting, we need to attach gum tissue to your existing tissue.
As your gums heal from this procedure, the existing tissue and the new tissue will grow together. This will restore the strength of your gum tissue and the original appearance of your smile.
We can get the tissue for your soft tissue graft from one of two places.
The first option is to take gum tissue from another part of your mouth. This tissue can be transplanted where it is needed. Typically, this tissue is removed from the roof of your mouth.
The downside of doing this is this can be painful and sometimes it leads to infections.
An alternative is to use donated gum tissue instead. At our office, we use AlloDerm® tissue. We know we can trust tissue from AlloDerm because it has been screened and prepared for use in soft tissue grafting and cosmetic grafting procedures.
You will need to take some precautions as you recover from a soft tissue graft. For a short time, you will need to be careful about brushing your teeth and chewing food near the grafted tissue. We may recommend antibiotics or mouthrinses if needed.
Could A Soft Tissue Graft Help You?
We welcome you to schedule a free consultation at our dentist office in Phoenix, AZ.
After examining your mouth and gums, we can discuss whether you have a gum recession problem. If so, we can discuss your treatment options.
Our goal at Dental Implants and Periodontology Of Arizona is to find the right treatment for each individual who comes to see us.
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