By Dr. Kamsiah BDS , MDSc
Gum recession is a condition when the roots of the teeth are exposed due to the loss of gum tissue. It is a common oral health problem in adults, but teenagers are also susceptible to this condition. When gums recede, gaps or pockets form between the gum line and teeth. This is where bacteria build up and cause severe oral health complications. When left untreated, this oral health condition can lead to tooth loss.
Gum diseases or periodontal diseases, caused by bacteria, destroy the gum tissue as well as the bone supporting the teeth. According to many studies, gum disease is the most common cause of receding gums.
If you vigorously brush your teeth too hard or in an inappropriate way, especially with a hard toothbrush, the enamel of your tooth (the visible surface of a tooth) wears down, and this causes your gums to recede. Similarly, vigorously flossing in the wrong way may sever into the gums, creating a space for bacteria to build up and cause further harm.
Not adhering to the daily practice of brushing, flossing, and rinsing thoroughly allows bacteria to build up below the gum line and between the teeth. These bacteria may cause gum to recede.
Despite adhering to the daily practice of thoroughly brushing, flossing, and rinsing, bacteria may build up in certain parts of the mouth, which are undetectable to your eyes. These bacteria can cause harm to the teeth and gums. Only a dentist can identify them and remove them with professional dental cleaning. For that reason, dentists advise routine dental check-up every 3 to 6 months.
Clenching or grinding teeth (bruxism) too often can put excessive strain on the teeth. This excessive strain on the teeth can cause gums to recede.
Crooked or misaligned teeth do not come together evenly when closing the mouth. This puts too much strain on the gums and jawbone. Eventually, this excessive strain causes gums to recede.
Improper fitting of crowns, dentures or bridgework can put a strain on the gum line or cause damage to the gum line. The recession of the gums due to the strain or damage to gum line is most likely possible.
Consumption of tobacco products causes serious harm to the mucous in the mouth. Over time, it causes the gums to recede.
The jewellery on the lip or tongue can rub the gums and inflame them to a point that gum tissue is slowly worn away.
Due to their genes, some people are more vulnerable to gum disease. According to some studies, around 30% of the population are subject to gum disease, no matter how well they care for their teeth. Gum disease, as mentioned earlier, is the most common cause of gum recession.
It is difficult for the patient to identify receding gums as this condition is progressive in nature, which develops gradually over the years. The changes in the gums are very slow and, for that reason, patients might fail to notice the recession. Despite being difficult to notice, there are certain signs and symptoms that may indicate recession of the gums.
If you are affected by receding gums, it can be treated. For a mild recession, our gum specialists will help by deep cleaning the affected area. Deep cleaning or tooth scaling and root planing by our experienced periodontists aims at the careful removal of the plaque and tartar build up on the teeth and the gum line. During the procedure, our team also ensure to smooth the exposed root areas and pockets so that it becomes difficult for bacteria to accumulate and cause further harm.
In the case of severe recession, which cannot be treated with tooth scaling and root planing treatment, our specialists may advise for gum surgery. A severe recession causes excess loss of bone and formation of deep pockets, and to repair these, gum surgery is the only way.
In order to reverse gum recession, your gum specialist may employ one of the following surgical procedures:
During another type of graft procedure, called the free gingival graft, your gum specialist takes the tissue directly from the roof of your mouth instead of below the surface of your mouth. The rest of the procedure is same as the connective-tissue grafting.
Another type of graft procedure your gum specialist may employ is pedicle graft. In case you have enough gum tissue around the affected teeth, your periodontist, instead of using tissue from the palate, will use tissue from the gums of the nearby tooth.
Whichever graft procedure the gum specialist may employ, it ensures that you will have thick gum after the treatment, which will prevent the recession from occurring in the future.
Sometimes, deep cleaning or surgery cannot reverse gum recession. For such cases, gum specialists may advise a gum veneer. A gingival veneer can be a good alternative if deep cleaning or surgery cannot treat receding gums. A gingival veneer, which can be of acrylic or silicone, is a removable dental appliance, and can be worn by patients to address the cosmetic and functional issues caused by receding gums. The benefits of gingival veneer are:
Prevention is the best action for any disease. So, how to stop gum recession? Well, there are several ways to do this, some of which are very simple!
You should always adhere to good oral hygiene practices. Many oral complications are caused by failing to look after your teeth properly in the first place. By simply caring for your teeth and taking regular trips to your dentist, you can keep your overall oral health in good condition, avoid gum disease, and so prevent problems like receding gums.
Brushing your teeth in a gentle manner with a softer toothbrush is another simple way to keep the receding gums at bay. You should always take great care when you brush your teeth. Be sure to avoid brushing your teeth too vigorously. Change your toothbrush every three to four months, or as soon as you notice that the bristles are frayed. If you have any doubt about your brushing technique, talk to your dentist; they will guide you in the best possible way.
Tobacco products seriously harm your oral health. The tobacco affects the mucous in the mouth. To be more specific, tobacco disrupts the normal function of gum tissue cells. This disruption makes you more susceptible to gum disease, which by the way, is one of the most common reasons for receding gums. Tobacco consumption also affects the overall physical health and is one of the reasons for cancers. To stop using tobacco products, your dentist can help. Talk to them, and they can advise certain medications that will help you calm your nicotine cravings.
A well-balanced, healthy diet contains all the nutrients you need to maintain good health and wellness. If your diet is low in the nutrients that your body demands, your mouth may have a difficult time resisting all sorts of infections. If your mouth cannot resist infections, it may result in gum disease, which is one of the major causes of receding gums and tooth loss. To get the proper advice on a healthy, well-balanced diet, you should talk to your dentist; they can tell you which food and drink are good for your mouth and which are unhealthy for your mouth.
Wearing a night guard reduces teeth grinding while you are sleeping. Teeth grinding, especially during the sleep, is one of those conditions that cannot be detected by the patient on his or her own. Grinding teeth can put excessive strain on your teeth, which can wear them down. Teeth grinding also causes the gums to recede. Wearing a suitable night guard prevents teeth grinding. When it comes to getting a night guard, it is best to talk to your dentist who can custom make the guard, best suited for your unique mouth.
Treating receding gums is vital as it is a serious oral health condition, which if neglected, can lead to more complicated oral problems. Receding gums not only creates functional issues, but cosmetic issues as well.
Receding gums can have some serious impact on overall health. Your teeth rely largely on gums for protection against bacteria and plaque. When gums recede, it is quite dangerous, and you should get in touch with your dentist as soon as you can. One of the symptoms is increased tooth sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures. Tooth sensitivity means that your tooth roots have become exposed and are more susceptible to bacteria. As bacteria form, you may start developing caries on the root surfaces very quickly.
In severe cases, receding gums can lead to tooth loss. If the cause of the recession is gum disease, it could indicate a substantial amount of bone loss. If a considerable amount of bone is lost or if the recession is so severe that a large portion of the tooth root is exposed, you are at a greater risk of tooth loss.
The biggest problem with receding gums is that it happens so slowly that it is virtually too hard to detect any day to day changes. By the time patients realize that their gums are receding, it is already too late. The first sign of the recession is in the appearance of the teeth. Many patients will go to their dentist, complaining that their teeth appear “too big” or “too long”. This happens because there is now only a little amount of gum tissue left surrounding the tooth, leaving a larger surface area exposed. Further, the root surfaces are darker in colour than the enamel part of the teeth, and they may even collect more stain. This difference in colour and the size of a tooth may spoil the smile of a patient.
In order to address both functional and cosmetic issues, treating receding gums becomes necessary. You do not want to suffer from any oral health complications or feel self-conscious due to issues created by receding gums. Treatment of receding gums should be at the earliest in order to minimise the damage it can cause.
Periodontal surgery: Crown lengthening to move gingival levels apically, typically performed on short teeth.
I just attended a 3-day Dental seminar. There’s a lot of new ideas!
But nothing beats this bunch of gossipers from a fake FB account operating on the pretext of a learning platform.
MOPA conducted courses to Dental General Practitioners.
This weekend they are conducting a seminar.
My apology for using the word “mafia-like ” to MAO is sincere , however , I don’t know about those who commented on this fake FB account of Malaysian Aesthetic Dentistry , including the person who actually conducts orthodontics courses in this country by proxy . Since I am blocked from Continue reading “Apology to MAO”
Dentistry can get so overwhelmed with all of the things we have to do in order to reach our goals . Some may even think that they are not “good enough” to be the dentist your patients would like to be.
WHAT ARE PORCELAIN VENEERS?
Porcelain Veneers or Dental Veneers are very thin “shells” made of either porcelain or composite resin that are bonded to the front surfaces of teeth. Continue reading “PORCELAIN DENTAL VENEERS”