Don’t Play Around with Receding Gums
Back when we were in elementary school, “recess” was a word we all appreciated! Now that we are older, it’s not such a nice word anymore — as in economic recession, hairline recession, and gum recession. For our dentists, gum recession is the worst of these phrases and represents a very personal health concern. The gums help to hold our teeth in place and protect them from decay and infection. When they recede, it can lead to tooth decay or even tooth loss. So let’s talk about why this happens and what can be done about it.
What Causes Gum Recession?
The biggest factor in gum recession is age. As we get older, our gums naturally recede, and this fact has been recognized for generations. When young people experience gum recession, the most common factor is gingivitis progressing to periodontal disease. This often leads to more severe health issues. Along with gum disease, other contributing factors to gum recession are brushing too hard, too often, or with a toothbrush that has medium or hard bristles instead of soft ones. If a person has misaligned teeth or clenches their jaw, this could also lead to gum recession. Another cause is heavy tobacco use, no matter the method. And studies also show that oral piercings contribute significantly to gum recession.
Discuss Gums with Your Dentist
Healthy gums are pink, fit snugly around your teeth, and are free from bleeding. If you suspect your gums are failing in that description, please contact the Placerville Dental Group. After an exam, your dentist will discuss the findings in light of your daily oral hygiene routine. If the issue is mild, your dentist might suggest a modification in your routine, or adding appliances like a mouthguard to help with clenching.
If the situation is more severe, you might benefit from the Pinhole Surgical Technique, or PST. This procedure uses a special instrument to reposition your existing gumline back over your teeth, without cuts or surgery. A strip of biomaterial keeps the gums in place until they set and is safely absorbed into the body. Most PST procedures take less than an hour to complete, with far less recovery time than gum grafting. Even if your gums have receded naturally from aging, you could still benefit from PST.
Although gum recession is an issue, the Placerville Dental Group knows how to keep it at bay. If you would like to make sure your gums are in good shape, or if you would like more information about the PST procedure, please call our office or schedule a consultation. We might be able to turn your “recession” into “recess”!