Despite what you have been told gum recession is not a normal part of aging! It is the loss of gum, which you can see, and the bone which supports the teeth, which you don't see. It can be caused by an infection such as periodontal disease or by mechanical damage from brushing too hard, clenching and grinding your teeth when you sleep and even damage from hard foods. Left untreated the loss of gum and bone can continue, exposing more tooth and resulting in areas that can be sensitive to hot and cold and vulnerable to cavities. Ultimately teeth can be lost if the process is not stopped and the damage repaired.
Taking steps to prevent gum disease now is a good way to avoid gum recession later. A visit with Dr. Steven Daniel and Dr. Gaydos-Daniel, leaders in middle Tennessee periodontics, can help you learn how to keep yourself healthy and free of gum disease and gum recession.
Causes of Gum Recession
- Gum disease –If untreated periodontal disease (gum disease) causes bone loss and gum recession.
- Brushing teeth too hard – hard brushing can wear away gum, bone and even enamel, resulting in recession.
- Poor dental hygiene – failing to brush and floss regularly allows plaque to build up on the teeth, which can develop into periodontal disease and gum recession.
- Tobacco – tobacco use, especially smokeless and chewing tobacco, can cause severe gum recession.
- Tooth grinding/clenching – grinding or clenching the teeth can cause them to shift and gums to recede.
- Crooked teeth/misaligned bite – misaligned or crooked teeth can stress the gums and bone. This can lead to recession.
- Body Piercings – pierced lips and tongues can severely damage the gum and bone around teeth.
Treating Gum Recession
- At a certain point the loss of bone and gum creates areas which can no longer withstand normal function (ie. eating, brushing, etc.) without further recession. At this point the lost tissue must be reconstructed as much as possible. The goal of tissue grafting is to create enough strong, tough tissue that the further loss of gum and bone is prevented. We are also frequently able to cover some, if not all, of the exposed root surface. This creates stable support for the tooth and also reduces sensitivity to hot and cold and susceptibility to decay. The grafting itself is done in our office. We can use either the patient's tissue for the graft or use donor tissue. Donor tissue means it is not necessary to create a second surgical site from which to take the graft. Most of our patients return to work the following day.
- How much grafting is needed, which materials will create the best result for you and what you can expect afterwards can be determined with a simple examination and consultation. Please call our office and let us help!
Prevent gum disease and gum recession. Please call us today for a consultation with Drs. Daniel and Gaydos-Daniel, leaders in middle Tennessee periodontics.