Gum recession, where gums pull away from the teeth, is common. Nearly 90 percent of people 65 and older have recession in at least one tooth. Even among younger folks, 50 percent of people aged 18 to 64 have receding gums.
Just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s no big deal. Gum recession looks unsightly and causes your teeth to be sensitive to heat and cold, which affects your enjoyment of meals. Worse, it makes it much easier for bacteria to get into “pockets” between your teeth and gums. This can threaten your teeth and may even make you sick. When the roots of your teeth are exposed, you’re more prone to decay and infection.
As with any health condition, receding gums remedies are easy to find online. If you Google it, you’ll get suggestions that include drinking green tea, taking vitamin C, or oil pulling (swishing around coconut or sesame oil in your mouth for 10-20 minutes a day).
We have no problems with some of these ideas. There is little, if any, downside to increasing your intake of green tea or vitamin C – especially if the vitamin comes from natural sources like oranges, kale, and broccoli. Much like brushing and flossing, though, they work better as a preventive measure than as receding gums repair.
If you do notice signs of receding gums, the best thing to do is get to our Royal Oak, MI dentist office right away for an exam and treatment. Gum recession is often not obvious in its early stages. You might notice a tooth or teeth that appear longer than usual or feel a notch near your gumline. Call 248-712-1522 to make an appointment.
Causes of recession can vary, but a common one is gum (periodontal) disease. And a common cause of gum disease is inadequate oral hygiene. The same habits that are good for your teeth are also good for your gums. Brush and floss at least twice a day, and consider using an antibacterial mouth rinse as well.
We’ll Treat Your Gum Disease With a Laser
A thorough dental cleaning can sometimes take care of gum disease in its earliest stages. But if your gums have begun to recede, we’ll need to use a more intensive, two-step deep cleaning process called scaling and root planing. We:
- clean above and below the gumline to remove bacteria
- then smooth your tooth roots to help gums adhere to your teeth and make it difficult for bacteria to accumulate between your teeth and gums
Many dentists use manual tools for these processes. At our office, we use a PerioLase laser. This makes the treatment quicker, more comfortable, and often less costly for you.
We Use Latest Techniques for Receding Gums Repair Too
We also use the latest techniques for receding gums repair. A traditional gum graft involves removing tissue from one part of your mouth, then stitching it to your gumline. But we use a procedure called the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique. It is minimally invasive. Our dentists simply make tiny holes the size of pinpricks at your gumline, then use special tools to gently reposition your gum tissue.
The Chao procedure is far quicker than a gum graft. We can repair your entire gumline in an hour or so. In contrast, it takes that long to do a gum graft for only a few teeth. In addition, there is minimal discomfort. You’ll likely only require local anesthesia. And you’ll heal quickly because no stitches or sutures are involved.
Your results will look great too. With a traditional gum graft, the transplanted tissue won’t always be a perfect match for your gums. You won’t have that problem with a Chao procedure because we use your existing gum tissue.
How to Prevent Receding Gums in the First Place
Genetics and hormones can sometimes cause gum recession, and you can’t control those. But you can control these other causes of receding gums:
- Gum disease. Again, the best way to avoid gum disease is by brushing and flossing your teeth every day.
- Body piercing. If you’ve got a lip or tongue piercing, it’s possible your jewelry could rub against your gums so much it wears tissue away. Avoid piercings that could impact your gums.
- Smoking. Smokers tend to have more plaque on their teeth, which makes it easier for disease-causing bacteria to cause problems. Avoid smoking.
- Overzealous brushing. Brushing too vigorously can damage your gums. Take it easy when you brush, and always use a soft toothbrush.
- Teeth grinding or clenching. If you grind or clench your teeth, the force you exert can cause your gums to recede. If we see signs of these destructive habits, we may recommend a mouthguard for you.
- Orthodontics issues. Crooked teeth or a misaligned bite can also put too much force on teeth and gums, leading to gum recession. We can use Invisalign to correct many common orthodontics problems.
There’s no harm in adding receding gums remedies to your oral hygiene routine. But if your gums have already receded, you’ll need a treatment in our Royal Oak, MI dentist office. Get your gums checked out by calling 248-712-1522.