How Can I Fix My Shrinking Gums?

Advanced gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is the leading cause of gum recession. Gum recession is the condition where the gums start to ‘shrink’ or pull away from the teeth. From a health perspective, exposed roots due to receding gums can be damaged further by bacteria, causing sensitivity and ultimately gum disease.

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Also note that as gums start to recede, teeth start to appear longer. The appearance of your teeth bears how confidently you can talk and smile, and hence gum recession also affects your quality of life.

The following are the major causes of gum recession, and how they can be treated:

Causes of Gum Recession

  1. Periodontal Disease
  2. Teeth Grinding
  3. Genetics
  4. Poor Dental Hygiene
  5. Smoking
  6. Brushing roughly or with a bad tooth brush

As noted above, periodontal disease is the primary cause of gum disease. This is the stage where plaque buildup in the mouth exceeds dangerous levels and starts ‘eating away’ gum tissue.

Teeth grinding puts unnecessary force on teeth and cause gums to recede, and even swelling.

A significant number of patients who experience receding gums (almost 30%) are those who have a family history of gum disease.

Causes 4, 5, and 6 can be grouped together. Oral hygiene means brushing your teeth not only regularly, but properly as well. Brushing too hard can wear away the protective enamel and harm your gums. Also, smoking is also a leading cause of gum disease.

Treatments of Gum Recession

Most of the time, following good oral hygiene is also you need to prevent gum recession. Brush twice a day (and brush for a good 2-3 minutes), floss after meals, rinse your mouth with anti-bacterial mouthwash, and avoid bad habits like smoking.

For those who grind their teeth, a dentist can recommend a night guard. If you have gum disease, procedures like deep cleaning and scaling have to be performed before gum recession can be treated.

At advanced stages of gum recession, procedures like grafting, Alloderm, or Pinhole Surgical Technique® are required. Among the 3, the Pinhole Treatment is the most effective (and cost-effective). A doctor can perform this treatment on several teeth in one visit (up to 10), and only a minor incision is made for the procedure (hence the name).

To learn more about these treatments, contact Dr. Ed DeAndrade at the Anthem Periodontics and Dental Implants in Las Vegas.

To read more about the differences between the treatment options for gum recession, check out our infographic!

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