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Post #41 – Do you have gum recession?

Do you have gum recession? How can it be treated?

Teeth are surrounded by bone and the bone is covered with a layer of gum tissue. Recession refers to the loss of the pink tissue that surrounds your teeth. Sometimes this can lead to sensitivity because the root surfaces become directly exposed to the oral cavity. These areas do not have any enamel for protection. The exposed root surfaces could rather be very sensitive.

So what causes gum recession? The tissue that immediately surrounds the teeth is much thicker than the rest of the oral tissue. Its purpose is to protect the root surfaces and resist any forces that would otherwise be too harsh. If you happen to have a thinner tissue in those areas, you will be more prone to lose it, thus, more likely to exhibit recession. Other factors could contribute to recession as well, such as, excessive and aggressive brushing using a hard bristled brush, type of food eaten, mal-positioned teeth, inappropriate use of toothpick, pressing at the gum line using your nails, overextended/bulky crowns, ill fitting dental appliances that apply unnecessary pressure at the gum lines, etc.

Can gum recession be cured? Yes; however, in severe cases it does become more problematic. As mentioned in the first paragraph, there is a layer of bone under the gums. As you develop recession, the bone is lost permanently. It cannot be grown back. If you seek treatment once the recession is rather large and bone loss has already taken place, then it will not be possible to restore all of the gum tissue that has been lost. For best results, it is always wise to treat recession at an early stage. Unfortunately, not all recessions are obvious to patients or exhibit discomfort. As a result, patients postpone treatment until it is too late to achieve an optimal outcome.

Gum recession can be treated with gum grafting. Basically, either gum tissue is harvested from another part of your mouth and transplanted to the site or a membrane from a donor body is used instead.

If you have specific questions, call or stop by our office to set up an appointment to discuss your individual need.

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