Gum tissue protects the tooth root
When the gumline moves away from the visible part of the tooth, exposing the tooth root, we call this gingival recession.
Without gum tissue to protect them, tooth roots become more susceptible to decay and painful sensitivity.
The causes of gingival recession
This condition has a variety of solutions, depending on the specific cause.
Receding gums can be the result of many factors, including improper brushing technique, grinding and clenching your teeth, a problem bite, periodontal disease, tobacco use, and lip or tongue piercing.
Improper brushing can wear away gums when you brush forcefully, use a hard-bristled brush, or brush in a sawing motion across the teeth. Grinding and clenching or a bad bite can contribute to gum recession by putting improper stresses on teeth and jawbone. These stresses can gradually destroy the structures that hold teeth in place, causing the gum tissue to recede.
Gums infected with periodontal disease lose their attachment to the teeth and then pull away and recede from the roots. In addition, tobacco increases the risk of periodontal disease, and the many harmful chemicals in tobacco make it harder for gum tissues to heal and regain their attachment to the teeth. Lastly, pierced lip or tongue jewelry can rub on gum tissue and wear it away, often painlessly.
Diagnosis and treatment
We do a thorough exam to determine the causes of your gingival recession, and then we make treatment recommendations that fit your situation.
Some options are changing your brushing technique, treating bruxism, a malaligned bite or periodontal disease, avoiding tobacco, filling cavities, treating sensitive teeth, or removing pierced mouth jewelry. In some cases, we may also recommend surgery to replace the missing gum tissue. With proper treatment and homecare, we can help you maintain a healthy mouth and smile.