For many, receding gums are a common dental concern. In general, gum recession happens when gum tissues move down and pull away, exposing more tooth structure. The result is teeth that have an elongated look. It’s important to know—individuals that commit to good oral care and regular dental visits can have healthy teeth, even when gums are receded. However, without proper oral care and attention to dental health, a pocket can form at the margin of the gum tissue and tooth. As bacteria settle in the “gap,” infection and decay are likely. Depending on the amount of root exposure, build up of plaque, and tooth sensitivity, dental professionals may recommend Gum Grafts to put a stop to the loss of gum tissue.
While periodontal (gum) disease remains the leading cause of gum recession, there are other factors believed to play a role. Consider the following:
- Inadequate Oral Hygiene (including aggressive brushing techniques)
- Hormonal Imbalances
- Auto-immune disease
- Smoking (including other tobacco products)
- Grinding or clenching teeth
- Mouth piercings
Criteria For Gum Grafts
As mentioned, not every patient with receding gums will need gum grafts. While the only way to know if you need a gum graft procedure is to visit your dentist, the following are a few criteria used by dental professionals:
The Extent of Root Exposure and Plaque Build-Up: In cases where gum recession has advanced, a part of the tooth’s root may show. The concern here is that bacteria may reach the root. Because the patient cannot adequately clean the root, plaque and tartar settle there, eventually leading to infection or even tooth loss.
Sensitivity: Hand in hand with root exposure, individuals with advanced stage gum recession often experience severe tooth sensitivity as more and more of the tooth’s root is exposed. Common symptoms are sensitivity to hot and cold and sharp, shooting pain.
Cosmetic: For individuals that have receding gums without sensitivity or the threat of tooth decay, they may ask about gum grafts for cosmetic reasons. Essentially, the shape of the tooth along the gum line and root is restored to a more curved appearance, as opposed to the elongated look. Many feel as though this provides anti-aging benefits.
Five-Star Comprehensive Dentistry
With Five-Star Comprehensive Dentistry serving Charlotte and surrounding areas, Marvin Village Dentistry welcomes you to our practice today. Are you concerned about your receding gums? Are you experiencing tooth sensitivity? It’s wise to schedule your appointment today. While you may not need gum grafts, Dr. Walford can help you learn effective ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy. In turn, if you have questions pertaining to the cosmetic look and shape of your teeth, we are equipped to answer your questions and provide the guidance you need. Call us—we look forward to speaking with you today!
Posted on behalf of Marvin Village Dentistry