How can I prevent further gum recession? - Dr. Colin Richman

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How can I prevent further gum recession?

October 14, 2014

Gum recession can have a number of negative effects on a patient’s well-being. For example, receding gum tissue may make the teeth more sensitive. It can also add years to the patient’s appearance by making the teeth look longer.

Advanced gum disease can lead to gum recession, as the tissue shrinks upward away from the crown of the tooth. When experiencing this symptom, patients can proceed by addressing the issue and taking steps to prevent a recurrence in the future.

Patients who have gum disease that has progressed to the point of gum recession often need to get treatment from a periodontist, a professional who specializes in treating conditions that affect the gum tissue.

In cases of relatively shallow pockets or minimal recession, the periodontist may be able to intervene by thoroughly cleaning the area to remove bacteria and close off the pocket.

Advanced gum disease can lead to gum recession, as the tissue shrinks upward away from the crown of the tooth.

Gums that have receded more significantly also can be effectively treated through laser dentistry or a procedure known as a gum graft. In this minimally invasive treatment, soft tissue is taken from a donor site elsewhere in the mouth or obtained from external sources, and attached at the site of insufficient gum tissue. The procedure covers up any exposed tooth roots and restores the appropriate proportions of the smile’s frame.

If bone material is lost in addition to gum recession, the patient may also need to undergo a bone graft to provide additional support to the gum tissue. Most periodontists only graft the gum tissue. Drs. Richman have undergone advanced training and will often use a combination of bone (“hard tissue”) and gum (“soft tissue”) tissue in their grafting techniques.

After successful treatment for gum recession, patients should work with the periodontist to develop an aftercare plan that will reduce their chances of future gum recession. This will include good home oral hygiene habits and ongoing monitoring by the periodontist.

Some factors other than gum disease may also cause gum recession, such as overly aggressive brushing techniques or grinding of the teeth. In these cases, the underlying problem must also be addressed for the patient to reduce the risk of a relapse. Smoking can also exacerbate gum recession, so patients who want to protect their gums (and the rest of their bodies, for that matter) should give up this habit, too.

For additional information on steps you can take to prevent gum recession, or to learn more about your treatment options, contact our skilled periodontal team today.

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