If you’ve noticed that your teeth have become increasingly sensitive to that pumpkin spice latte or iced chai, you’re not alone.
Gumline recession is one of the major causes of dental discomfort, and it’s relatively common. Because recession occurs gradually, tooth sensitivity is often one of the first things someone in its early stages will notice. At Dream-Dentistry & Sleep Care, located in Quakertown, PA, we understand the toll it can take on your dental health and your happiness, and we want to help.
There are ways to temporarily relieve sensitivity, such as desensitizing toothpastes, but if receding gums are the root of your discomfort, it’s important to seek a more lasting solution. Left untreated, recession can leave your teeth vulnerable to bacteria and decay.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent recession and even restore receding gums. Even better, Dr. Roeder was among the first dentists in the state of Pennsylvania to offer the Chao PinholeⓇ Surgical Technique, a minimally invasive way to restore your gumline. Unlike traditional surgical procedures, there’s no cutting required!
Read on to learn how you can prevent and repair recession — and get back to enjoying the fall beverages you love.
What causes gum recession?
There are many causes of gumline recession. Overly aggressive brushing can lead to recession, but it can also be caused by not brushing frequently enough and neglecting proper dental care. Some other factors include:
- Tobacco products
- Teeth clenching or grinding
The largest contributor to gum recession, however, is periodontal disease, an infection of the tissue surrounding your teeth.
Women in particular are susceptible to gum disease and recession — thanks to estrogen and progesterone. These hormones cause increased blood flow to the gums, resulting in heightened sensitivity to plaque. This is why hormonal changes, like pregnancy and menopause, can be accompanied by gingivitis. In menopause, women sometimes experience bone loss in their jaws, and gumline recession can be a sign of this.
Why is it important to address gumline recession?
The bad news: There are major health consequences that can occur if receding gums are left untreated. More severe cases of recession will leave the roots of teeth exposed, creating “pockets” or gaps between the teeth and the gumline. This invites bacteria, which can cause disease and damage to the structures supporting the tooth.
In extreme cases, the damage can be so severe it results in tooth loss.
Aside from this, recession can wreak havoc on your smile. In addition to increased sensitivity, some people in the early states of recession notice their teeth look longer than normal. Unhealthy gums can also cause bad breath. As it progresses, recession can become even more of a problem cosmetically.
The good news: This is something that we can help you with. At Dream-Dentistry & Sleep Care, we’ll examine any gaps between your teeth and your gums and, if necessary, discuss a treatment plan. Call us at (215) 804-4777 to make an appointment.
How can you restore receded gums?
There are several surgical approaches to treating gum recession, depending on the severity of the damage. One procedure is called open flap scaling and root planing, which consists of folding back affected gum tissue, removing bacteria from the pockets and securing the gums over the tooth root. Sometimes, bone loss occurs as a result of recession. In cases like these, a dentist might apply a graft or protein to the affected area to encourage natural bone and tissue regrowth.
Gumline recession is often treated with a gum graft, which involves taking tissue from other parts of your mouth and surgically placing it over areas where the gumline has receded.
But there’s another way — a less invasive way — to restore your gumline and your smile.
It’s called the Chao PinholeⓇ Surgical Technique, and it doesn’t involve any cutting or tissue removal.
During the procedure, which can be completed in as little as an hour depending on your case, Dr. Roeder creates a tiny hole in your gums and uses special tools to position them in a way that better protects your teeth. Most of the time, our patients see full coverage of roots that were previously exposed. As part of the procedure, Dr. Roeder also puts collagen under patients’ gums, which leads to thicker, higher gums that are more resistant to future complications.
Want a healthier smile within a day? Call Dream-Dentistry & Sleep Care for a free consultation at (215) 804-4777.
How can you prevent receding gums?
Like many other dental maladies, recession can be prevented through good oral hygiene. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush everyday, and don’t forget to floss! Regular dental check-ups — every six months — will help you catch issues early so you can address problems before they worsen.
This is especially important since much of the time, people don’t experience pain from gum disease, so they don’t even realize that it’s an issue.
Dream-Dentistry & Sleep Care can provide regular exams and cleanings for the whole family. Call us at (215) 804-4777 to make an appointment.