Do your teeth look longer than usual? Receding gums can change the appearance of your smile and also threaten your oral health. Our Athens, GA, periodontist, Dr. Neal Pylant, discusses why gum recession occurs and explains how it's treated.
Why have my gums receded?
Receding gums can occur if you brush your teeth too hard or don't use a soft bristle brush. Changing your brushing habits may be all you need to do to reverse the problem in this case. Some people notice gum recession when they grind their teeth. Often, wearing a nightguard when you sleep can stop the recession and also reduce wear and tear on your teeth.
Other causes of gum recession include smoking, hormonal changes in women, diabetes and a family history of gum disease. Poor oral hygiene may also cause your gums to recede. If you don't brush or floss regularly, plaque on your teeth becomes tartar, a hard deposit that can lead to gum disease. Gum disease, a common cause of receding gums, may cause tissue, tooth and bone loss if it isn't treated.
How are receding gums treated?
If there is an underlying cause for your gum recession, such as diabetes, poor oral hygiene or gum disease, addressing the cause can help stop the problem, although you may still need treatment to restore your gum tissue. Bacterial infections caused by gum disease can damage your gums and force them away from your teeth. Deep cleanings and pocket reduction surgery, in addition to antibiotics, may be needed if you have gum disease.
If you have receding gums, you've probably noticed that your teeth hurt when you eat or drink hot or cold foods. The problem occurs when your roots are exposed. Restoring your gum tissue will improve your appearance and help keep your smile healthy. Gum grafts are often used to treat receding gums. The tissue for the grafts is obtained from your mouth (typically the roof of your mouth) or from a donor and is sewn to your gum line during a procedure in our Athens office.
Don't let gum recession ruin your smile! Call our Athens, GA, periodontist, Dr. Pylant, at (706) 543-0026 to schedule an appointment.