What Is Gum Recession?
Gum recession happens when the root of your tooth is not covered by your gums. Let's talk about the causes of and treatments for gum recession.
While healthy gums usually attach to the teeth at a level that completely covers the root, this is not the case with receding gums. Gingival recession results in an exposed root, which can lead to many problems.
What Causes Gum Recession?
The most obvious cause for recession is incorrect, or overly aggressive brushing techniques. Brushing in a circular motion with light pressure and a fine-bristled toothbrush is ideal to keep your gums healthy. Avoid brushing horizontally with heavy pressure, since this will likely damage them and cause recession. Many electric toothbrushes, such as the Sonicare and Oral-B, have pressure sensors to warn you when you are pressing too hard.
Sometimes, crowding of the teeth can also cause recession. Forces that push a tooth outwards can result in a thinner, weaker area of the jaw bone and gums, which then leads to faster recession. Orthodontics can often be part of the treatment plan for eliminating recession.
Why Is Gum Recession Bad?
What Treatment Is Available For Gum Recession?
One conservative option for recession is treatment of the root with a topical desensitizer. This can be done quickly and inexpensively, without anesthetic, and results in lasting relief for many patients. If a cavity has formed, a filling may be appropriate.
To eliminate recession, gum grafting can be done by a periodontist, or gum surgeon.
If there is a problem with tooth position, braces are sometimes needed to correct the position before grafting can be achieved. A thorough exam with your dentist is necessary, in order to identify all the options that are right for you!