What Causes Gum Recession

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Receding gums are a common dental problem. We see many patients who have issues with varying degrees of gum recession, and even though it is not rare, it is still a serious condition that you should not ignore.

Gum recession happens when the gums that are usually snug against your teeth start to pull back or wear away. Eventually, pockets between teeth and gums form, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and plaque. Some of the dangers of untreated receding gums are an infection, potential tooth loss and bone loss in the area where your gums are pulling away from your teeth.

There are several reasons for gum recession, some of these include:

• INADEQUATE BRUSHING AND FLOSSING- Most of our patients know the suggested oral health routine our dentist recommends. We advise patients to brush at least twice a day (although brushing after each meal is preferable) and thoroughly floss at bedtime. These ordinary activities are the first line of defense against numerous dental problems, including receding gums.

• PERIODONTAL DISEASE- Bacteria causes these infections, which are the leading source of gum recession. These infections are preventable, as proper brushing and flossing remove bacteria.

• TOBACCO PRODUCTS- Those patients who use tobacco have a higher amount of sticky plaque on their teeth. The plaque eventually leads to receding gums as well as gum disease and tooth loss.

• CLENCHING AND GRINDING YOUR TEETH- When you grind your teeth or clench your jaw, you are exerting a considerable amount of pressure on your teeth. Often, this persistent pressure leads to gum recession.

• BODY PIERCING OF THE TONGUE AND LIPS- The metal studs cause friction along the gum line. The consistent friction wears away the surface of your gums and causing them to retract away from the metal.

Often, our patients do not notice their gums are receding because it is a slow process with nearly imperceivably small changes. There are a few signs that indicate you have gum recession including tender or swollen gums, teeth that appear longer, bleeding gums, and loose teeth. Any of these conditions are a good reason to make an appointment with our dentist.

Treatment Options for Gum Recession

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We often speak with patients who notice changes in the appearance of their teeth. The teeth may be noticeably longer with less gum showing. This is a sign of gum recession, a treatable condition where your gums pull back exposing more of your tooth including the root. Gum recession is not only unsightly; it exposes your teeth and gums to decay and disease.

We treat a mild case of gum recession with a deep cleaning called scaling and planing. Our dentist or hygienist scrapes away built-up plaque and tartar on your teeth and below the gumline. Your gums go back into place, and you may receive an antibiotic to prevent bacteria growth.

Years ago, a gum graft was the solution to gum recession. Our dentist would suture donor tissue to your gums with the hope that the new tissue would attach, or graft, to your existing gum tissue and cover the exposed parts of your teeth. As you can imagine, this involved a recovery time which could be lengthy.

Fortunately, modern dentistry allows our dentist to offer you an alternative to the gum graft. A treatment which is known as Pinhole surgical technique or PST makes treating gum recession simpler with faster recovery time.

The PST procedure begins with local anesthesia to numb the area surrounding your receding gums. Then our dentist makes a tiny hole in your gum and inserts special dental instruments between your teeth and gums. Your gums are gently expanded and slid into their correct position, covering your teeth and roots.

Our patients give us positive feedback about the PST treatment especially regarding the fast recovery time and minimally invasive nature of the procedure. We also hear from patients who appreciate the fact that there are no grafts or donor tissue with the Pinhole surgical technique.

If you believe you may have gum recession, contact our office as soon as possible. Treating the condition at the earliest possible point in time will help to prevent damage to your teeth, roots, and gums. If you would like more information about PST, please reach out to one of our staff, we are always happy to help you.

What Is Pinhole Surgery?

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Many patients come to our office complaining that their teeth look longer, or that they are experiencing tooth sensitivity in their daily lives. This is often due to gum recession, when the gum tissue has pulled down and/or away from the teeth. Gum recession can be caused by gum disease (gingivitis or periodontitis), or brushing too aggressively. When receding gums leave the tooth roots exposed, these areas become more susceptible to decay and other serious issues. Our dentist uses pinhole surgery to move the gum tissue back into a healthier position and protect the roots of the teeth.

Pinhole surgery is a relatively simple procedure that does not involve scalpels, sutures, grafting. Our cosmetic dentist in Orange County simply makes a small hole in the gums. Special tools are then used to loosen and expand the tissue, which is then guided to cover the tooth roots and any other unprotected areas.

This procedure is done under local anesthesia, and demands less recovery time than other conventional treatment methods. Most patients see an immediate improvement in their gums and overall smile. If you believe you could benefit from this procedure, schedule an appointment with our pinhole surgery expert today.