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Gum Recession: Causes, Risks, & Treatments

Your gums are an important part of your body and of your life. Good gum health helps maintain good oral health and overall health – it’s as simple as that. And yet, many take little thought of the state of their gums until something begins to go wrong.
Excessive gum line recession exposes you to a variety of risks, and understanding its causes and treatment options will equip you to properly care for your gums.

Common Causes Of Gum Line Recession
Poor oral hygiene is the leading cause of both periodontal disease and gum line recession. But paradoxically, good oral hygiene may lead to a receding gum line too – if you brush your gums too hard and/or with a harsh hard-bristled toothbrush.

Smoking or excessive drinking can also contribute to a shrinking gum line, as can a generally nutrient-deficient diet over a long period of time.

Genetic factors like misaligned teeth or unusually thick gum or unusually thin gum tissue are also sometimes a factor. Gums inflamed from infection (periodontal disease) will also tend to recede. And tongue or lip piercings may also cause periodontal tissue to recede as it seeks to avoid contact with the metal of the ring.

Risks Of Gum Recession
No one wants to see their gums slide further and further down toward the tooth roots, but there are more risks to gum recession than just a negatively altered smile.

First of all, lack of gum tissue over a larger portion of your tooth roots means increased risk of cavities. Root canals, extractions, and dental implants may ultimately be needed when caries have such free access to the foundation of your teeth.

Tooth hypersensitivity to hot/cold, bone loss, drifting of teeth out of position, teeth coming loose and wobbling about, infections, and bleeding of the gums are all closely associated with gum recession.

PST Grafts VS Soft Tissue Grafts
While root planing and scaling or laser periodontal treatment can treat gum disease as such, PST grafts can also play a role. PST (pinhole surgical technique) grafts serve to raise a fallen gum line to its proper place again, hold it there stitches-free with collagen strips, and allow damaged gums to heal and firmly reattach to your tooth roots.

The other major option for gum restoration and replacement following extreme gum line recession and/or periodontal disease is a soft tissue graft . With soft tissue grafts, tissue from another part of your body – often the soft palate, or from a tissue bank is used to replace your missing gum tissue. Key areas are re-covered to protect them, and the gums gradually integrate the new material and generate additional tissue as well.

Both PST grafts and soft tissue grafts are viable options for reversing gum line recession, but the PST technique is minimally invasive, involves minimal pain, swelling, and bleeding of the gums, and can be done on multiple adjacent teeth faster. Recovery time also tends to be quicker when you go the PST route.

Taking good care of your teeth and gums now through regular oral hygiene and regular checkups with a dental professional is the number one way to prevent serious gum recession. But the fact is, it can happen to anyone, even to those who are the most careful about dental hygiene. Delaying diagnosis and treatment can only make matters worse, so don’t put off that “gum checkup” any longer!

For more information about gum recession, PST grafts, and more, contact periodontist Dr. Kenzik today in Ormond Beach, Florida!

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Ormond Beach Periodontics and Implant Dentistry is conveniently located on Nova Road in Ormond Beach, Florida. We help seniors, adults, and teenagers smile with confidence.

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