Many people consider the appearance and condition of the teeth when it comes to overall dental health and wellness. This is important, it's true, but the overall health and appearance of the gums is just as important as well. That's why good dental wellness is all about considering various structures in the mouth, and why a good cosmetic dentist can improve the health and beauty of your teeth and gums.
One particular problem that affects the gums is gum recession. We'd like to take a few moments right now to consider gum recession, its causes, and how it can be treated.
About Gum Recession
Gum recession refers to the gradual loss of gum tissue around the lower portion of a tooth. When a person loses gum tissue along the gumline, it exposed more of the tooth's root, making tooth sensitivity more likely. It can also lead to potential tooth decay beneath the gumline, which can be difficult to treat.
Common Causes of Gum Recession
The most common causes of gum disease include the following:
- Gum disease (periodontal disease)
- Aggressive brushing of the teeth
- Chewing tobacco
- Tooth grinding
- The natural aging process
A Word On Periodontal Disease
Gum disease refers to the bacterial infection of the gum tissue. The bacteria that causes gum disease to occur is the same bacteria that causes tooth decay to occur. There are three stages of gum disease: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. The further along the gum disease is, the more serious the gum recession and other symptoms.
Treatment Options for Gum Recession
With regard to gum recession treatments, each one is customized based on the causes of the gum recession. These restorative dentistry treatments allow dentists to improve your overall dental health and improve the overall look of your smile as well.
If your gum recession was caused by gum disease, the first step will be getting the bacterial infection under control. This can be done with a combination of antiseptic rinses and antibiotics depending on the severity of the gum disease.
As far as restoring the gumline itself, this will generally involve the use of grafting techniques. These will involve the use of artificial soft tissue grafts or donor soft tissue from another part of the mouth (often the palate). Before these grafting procedures are considered, any tooth decay or tooth damage along the gumline will be addressed.
Tips for Maintaining Healthy Gums
In order to prevent gum disease and prevent gum recession, we recommend the following:
- Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and be sure to brush gently
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day (ideally after every meal)
- Floss at least every night (ideally after every meal)
- Quit smoking/using tobacco products
- Visit your dentist twice a year for regular checkups
Learn More About Periodontal Care
For more information about your dental health treatment options and how we can help you achieve optimal dental health and wellness, be sure to contact our Kansas City cosmetic and restorative dentistry practice today. The entire team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve the healthy, wonderful smile of your dreams in the process.