Gum recession, also known as receding gums, is an oral care concern that can cause future problems for dental patients. It affects your smile esthetically, and can also be a sign of gum disease. Explore a few FAQs (frequently asked questions) that patients have about gum recession, a dental issue that can be treated by our periodontist Dr. F. Neal Plant serving Athens, Georgia, and the surrounding areas.
What Causes Gum Recession?
The gums are soft tissues that protect the roots of the teeth and cover the jaw bone. When the gums recede, it causes sensitivity and pain in some cases, as well as exposure to bad bacteria. The possible causes for gum recession include:
- Brushing too vigorously or with a hard-bristled toothbrush.
- Flossing too aggressively.
- Gingivitis or periodontal disease.
- An injury to the gumline.
- A genetic predisposition to receding gums.
How Does Gum Recession Affect Your Smile?
When the gums recede, they expose more of your tooth than is normal. Usually, only about half of a tooth is visible above the gumline (the crown), but recession causes part of the root to show. Food can get caught in the areas below the gumline, and lead to bacterial dental infections. A case of receding gums may be a sign of gum disease or periodontitis, which could lead to tooth loss if it isn’t treated. Gum recession is also a cosmetic issue—when you smile or laugh you should see a relatively equal gum to tooth ratio.
How Can a Periodontist Fix Gum Recession?
One of the first treatments your Athens, GA, periodontist will likely recommend is scaling and root planing, which is a deep cleaning of the teeth around the gumline. In some cases, this can stimulate the production of new gum tissue. For advanced periodontal disease, surgery may be recommended. A gum graft can also help regenerate lost gum volume. It’s also important to be gentler on your smile when brushing and flossing after treatment.
Discuss Gum Recession Treatments with Your Periodontist
Have you noticed that your gums are receding, showing too much of the root of each tooth? Dr. F. Neal Pylant can fix this periodontal issue at his office in Athens, GA. Call (706) 543-0026 today to schedule an appointment.