Just like wrinkles and gray hair, receding gums don’t form overnight. However, you shouldn’t write off receding gums as just a normal part of aging. This dental issue is more than a cosmetic problem. Gum recession occurs when the gum tissue that surrounds your teeth shifts back, exposing more of the surface of each tooth. It can eventually lead to sensitive teeth, exposed roots, and pockets that harbor bacteria, and unfortunately, gums don’t grow back by themselves. Learn how to fix receding gums with help from a qualified dentist or oral surgeon.
How to Fix Receding Gums
Your dentist’s approach to fixing receding gums will vary based on the severity of your case.
If your gums are in the early stages of recession, your dentist might just offer tips regarding how to prevent further gum recession and recommend frequent checkups to monitor the progression. In more severe cases, your dentist may recommend surgery to protect your teeth and their roots.
One common method for fixing receding gums is gum grafting. Similar to skin grafting, this surgery involves taking gum tissue from another location (like the roof of your mouth) and attaching it to the affected gums. Before the procedure, your dentist will deep clean your teeth to remove bacteria and debris, especially if your mouth shows signs of gum disease (source).
A newer, less invasive, and less painful treatment method is the pinhole surgical technique. This surgery can be completed in just one visit, but some patients prefer to treat their mouth one section at a time. If you and your dentist chose this method for fixing your gums, you’ll receive a local anesthetic. Next, your dentist will create a small pinhole in the movable gum tissue near the root of the tooth. Using a special device, your dentist will move the gum towards the crown of the tooth. Rather than inserting stitches to keep your gums in place, he or she will place collagen strips into the pinhole to hold the tissue in place as it heals and forms new tissue.
After you receive treatment for receding gums, you’ll need to take extra care of your teeth to prevent them from receding again. You can use these methods to prevent gum recession:
- Floss every day. Flossing doesn’t just prevent tooth decay. Flossing underneath your gums removes the bacteria that cause gum disease and recession. If you want an even deeper cleaning under your gums, invest in a water flosser.
- Receive treatment for bruxism. If you struggle with grinding your teeth at night, talk with your doctor. You may need to wear a mouth guard while sleeping. When you grind your teeth, the pressure can cause your gums to recede.
- Brush your teeth gently. Using a toothbrush with extra stiff bristles or brushing your teeth too aggressively can damage your gums and the enamel of your teeth.
- Correct your bite. If you have a misaligned bite, chewing can place too much pressure on certain teeth. Consult with an orthodontist to see if you need braces.
Now that you know how to fix receding gums, don’t wait any longer to talk with your dentist if you’ve noticed your gums are receding. Visiting your dentist regularly helps keep your gums in tip-top shape. Visits involve a thorough cleaning and allow a chance for your dentist to check for developments that may point to other health issues. Plus, an oral exam can detect early signs of poor nutrition, development problems, improper jaw alignment, and more. At Wilkinson Dental, we provide an array of general and cosmetic dental services, including regular cleanings, crowns, dentures, teeth whitening services, and more. Call us today at 417-708-0556 or contact us online to schedule your next appointment.