Receding gums are something you hate to find when you look in the mirror. Besides thinking that it means you are aging, which may not be the cause, it does mean that it is not apt to get any better on its own. Your gums will likely continue to recede unless you get some help. You can get gum grafting treatment from a periodontist to restore your gums.
The Cause of Gum Recession
There are several reasons why gums will recede. The first is because you may be brushing too hard or using a toothbrush with hard bristles. A soft-bristled toothbrush is better for your gums – especially since gums do not grow back.
A second reason could be because of your genes, making you more prone to gum disease than others. Researchers believe that about 30 percent of adults in America have this gene. Other possibilities include tobacco, hormonal changes, a misaligned bite, grinding your teeth, or body piercing.
One more reason may be the more likely one. You may have a gum infection, which is a sign of gum disease. This is a bacterial infection from bacteria that are normally found in your mouth. It usually gets started because of a lack of proper care of your teeth. Through irritation of your gums caused by the acid that the bacteria produces, a chain reaction from your immune system has started to attack your gums, the support structures for your teeth, and the jawbone.
Your gums will continue receding because they are being slowly destroyed by periodontitis. This process will likely continue until you get help from a dentist.
The Symptoms of Gum Disease
The first symptoms of gum disease are simply bleeding gums and inflamed gums. Once you have these two symptoms, you can usually get rid of gum disease rather easily – by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing.
Later, symptoms are going to be more inflamed gums with pus at the gum line, gum recession, pockets forming on the gums – which are filled with bacteria, and more. One unexpected thing about it is that you may not have any pain with it, either, until your teeth become sensitive because the roots are exposed, or they start to become loose.
When it is allowed to continue without better personal dental care, it becomes more serious – much more serious. It will keep on destroying the tissues and bone around your teeth, and they will eventually become loose and may even fall out.
Removing the Bacteria
This step is very important and may be used along with any grafting treatment. The bacteria and inflammation involved in gum disease are also known to cause other major health problems, which may include cardiovascular disease, stroke, heart attacks, cancer, and more.
In order to stop the process, because the bacteria are deep in your gums and unreachable by a toothbrush or floss, you need to get the help of a dentist. Most likely, the first step will be a non-surgical process called scaling and root planing.
This process will involve the dentist pulling back the gums and scraping the bacteria and inflammation out of the pockets. Then, the teeth will be planed to ensure that the bacteria cannot easily cling to the tooth easily to start a new colony. Medications will also be given in most cases.
Gum Grafting Treatment
Gum grafting involves the replacement of gum tissue to cover up the roots of your teeth. Because they do not have the enamel that is on the crown, they will develop cavities much sooner, and may also become sensitive. There are three different types of gum grafts.
Connective Tissue Graft
The primary method used to replace gum tissue is to take tissue from the roof of your mouth. First, a flap is cut into the roof of your mouth, then the layer underneath is removed. This underlayer tissue is stitched in a place where your gums need to be replaced. Afterward, the flap in the roof of your mouth is stitched back in place.
Free Gingival Grafts
This method is nearly identical to the connective tissue graft but with one major difference. Instead of making a flap, the tissue is removed directly from the palate, then stitched in place.
This treatment takes some of the gum tissue near the place where the gum tissue is to be placed. The gum tissue is partially cut away, leaving one side attached to act as a hinge, and then stitched in place.
Gum graft treatment can be rather painful during the healing time. Directions given from the dentist or periodontist need to be followed carefully to ensure faster healing. In general, the healing process should take between one to two weeks, but many people are able to go to work the next day.