Thursday, January 23, 2014
Gum Recession – What Can Be Done?
You may have noticed when you last brushed and flossed that your teeth seem to be either getting longer, or your gums are receding. “Gum recession occurs when the tissue surround the teeth wears away and pulls back from the tooth, exposing more structure,” says Dr. Judith Ko a Cosmetic and Restorative Dentist fromHemet Valley, California.
This process can occur due to a number of factors. “Many times it is the result of aggressive brushing – remember, use a soft bristled brush and brush in a circular motion,” adds Dr. Ko. “Sometimes it is due to hormonal changed, or uncontrolled periodontal disease which can be exacerbated by hereditary factors.”
In the early stages, mild gum recession can be treated by non-surgical methods. “Your dentist may recommend root planing and scaling,” says Dr. Ko. During this procedure your hygienist will numb the affected area and then using specialized instruments, will clean all the way to the root of your teeth. This procedure allows your hygienist to remove bacteria that have attached to tartar below the gum line.
If the damage is too extensive, a surgical procedure might be the only option. When this is done your dentist or periodontal specialist will pull back the tissue and remove the harmful bacteria. They may recommend bone and tissue grafting.
Bottom line: when you see signs of recession – increased sensitivity, elongation of teeth and/or reduction of tissue surrounding your teeth you should see your dentist immediately to determine what can be done.
And the best way to prevent gum recession? “Brush twice a day and floss daily,” says Dr. Ko, “Oh, and see your dentist on a regular basis. We look for signs of recession and measure to make sure we know if it starts so it can be treated early on.”