If you notice that your gums are starting to pull away and your teeth look longer, it’s natural to be conscious and concerned with your smile. Receding gums is a common condition that may indicate an underlying dental condition, a hereditary trait, or a bad dental habit. Discover if receding gums can still grow back and how you can prevent it from getting worse.
As a periodontal therapy provider in Charlotte, Matthews, Wesley Chapel, and Mallard Creek, LandMark Dentistry aims to educate patients about the causes and risks associated with gum recession. Our gums are as important as our teeth and they can be more sensitive when it comes to infection and physical trauma.
What causes the gums to recede?
Healthy gums should snuggle your teeth and hold them in place. However, several factors can cause them to pull away and cause receding gums. These include:
- Periodontal disease
- Ill-fitted dentures
- Brushing too hard
- Genetics (patients with thin gums)
- Tobacco use
The progression of gum disease
In some cases, gum recession occurs due to plaque buildup in the gum line. Patients with dental anxiety and poor dental habits are often closely monitored to prevent further gum recession and the progression of gum disease.
As the gums pull away from the teeth, they create periodontal pockets and expose the tooth root. Plaque and food debris can build up in the tiny pockets that can cause gum inflammation and bleeding and lead to gingivitis. Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease and can still be reversed with good oral hygiene and dental treatments.
Can receding gums grow back?
Unlike other soft tissues in our bodies, our gums don’t grow back once they recede. However, early intervention can prevent the gums from receding and other complications like tooth loss. Since receding gums is a sign of gum disease in its early stages, patients can work with their dentist in reversing periodontal disease and avoid impairing their immune system.
When gum recession is left untreated, the disease-causing bacteria will continue to attack the gums and teeth. They will start to trigger gum inflammation, bleeding, and tooth decay in the tooth roots. Due to the exposure of the tooth roots, the patient’s smile and tooth sensitivity are usually affected.
How to treat receding gums
To prevent the progression of gum recession and improve the appearance of your teeth and gums, your dentist can recommend any of the following:
Scaling and root planing (deep cleaning)
Scaling and root planing is a deep teeth cleaning procedure that removes plaque buildup and tartar below the gum line. With the removal of plaque, the undamaged structure of your teeth, gums, and jawbones can be preserved and keep the inflammatory impact of gum disease at bay.
Scaling is the method of removing the plaque and tartar in your teeth and tooth roots. Root planing, on the other hand, is the process of making your tooth surfaces smooth to prevent the food debris and bacteria from getting stuck. A smooth tooth surface also encourages your gums to snuggle back your tooth and get rid of periodontal pockets.
If you have genetically thin gums or advanced gum recession, your dentist may recommend a gum graft. It is a surgical procedure wherein connective tissues from other parts of your mouth, like the roof of your mouth or gums around the affected area, are placed on the receding gums.
As the gums heal and connect to the implanted tissue, your gums will be restored to their pristine condition. The post-treatment care can last for two weeks to a month, depending on your healing progress.
To monitor the progression of gum disease, periodontal maintenance is done every three months to patients with significant bone loss and a history of gum disease or gingivitis. It is a teeth cleaning procedure that specifically gets rid of any plaque or tartar in the gum line. Your dentist also assesses any other symptoms such as inflammation and bad breath.
Ways to prevent receding gums
Most patients don’t notice that they have receding gums until they become severe. The gums also recede in a gradual process and reduce in size by a millimeter at a time. So, to prevent your gums from getting thinner and pulling away from your teeth, here are some helpful prevention tips:
Brush and floss daily
Nothing beats the preventive impact of dental hygiene. If you brush your teeth two times a day and floss at least before bedtime, you can prevent the formation of plaque and tartar. With every brush, you remove loads of food debris and sugar that will keep the bacteria alive.
Regular checkups with your dentist
Since the bacteria from plaque is too microscopic to the naked eye, there are certain nooks and crannies in our mouths where bacteria can build up. Regular teeth cleaning and checkups with your dentist will help you get a thorough assessment of the status of your oral health. You might be developing a silent progression of dental conditions like gum recession that only your dentist can see.
Any excess is not good for our health, even with brushing too hard. Too much force from brushing can irritate the gums and cause them to pull away from your teeth. The cleanliness of your teeth does not depend on how hard you brush but on being thorough in cleaning all the surfaces, especially the gum line.
Your diet also plays a vital role in protecting your oral health. Fibrous fruits and vegetables can naturally scrape the surfaces of your teeth and clean them naturally. They also contain essential nutrients such as fluoride and calcium that will keep your teeth strong.
Prevent your receding gums from getting worse with LandMark Dentistry
Your receding gums can get worse with time. Schedule an appointment today so you can still reverse the early stage of gum disease and avoid losing more gum mass. Your gums are as important as the other parts of your mouth. Call us today to learn how to have the best gum health.