Receding gums occur when gums shrink or pull back on the tooth, exposing more tooth and sometimes even the root. This can be caused by certain life habits such as over-brushing, smoking, grinding, clenching, a misaligned bite or dry mouth. It can be painful, look unsightly, increase the tooth's sensitivity, damage the supporting bone or even cause loss of tooth. Gum grafting is a treatment to increase and regenerate the amount of protective gum in order to eliminate bone loss, increase tooth and gum health and aesthetically improve your smile.
The most common way to perform a gum graft is by remvoing a small portion of soft tissue from the roof of the mouth. Your periodontist will then lift the receding gum line and place the soft tissue under the gum line while still covering the exposed tooth or root.The gum line is then lowered back and stitches are placed.
For patients who have thin gums, the soft tissue is sewn next to the receeding gum line, rather than under the gum line. There have also been cases where patients have enough available gum tissue, so it is pulled down to cover the exposed tooth or root meaning no grafts are needed to be taken from the roof of the mouth.
It may take a week or two for it completely heal. During this time your priodontist will direct you on what types of food you should be eating and any anti-inflammatory or pain medication that should be prescribed. You may be asked to not brush or floss your gum line during the healing process and possibly provided with mouth rinse to control plaque in the meantime.
Like most problems in the mouth, they can be prevented by simply brushing and flossing regularly and scheduling regular check-ups with your dentist or dental hygienist. You can always ask one of our dentists or hygienists to show you how to properly brush and floss your teeth. Other ways you can prevent receding gums are:
These are in no way meant to cure receding gum lines but to minimize your risk. If it is something you suffer from, come visit us for a free consultation.
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