Gum recession, when the gums shrink or pull away from the teeth, can happen to people of all ages. Sometimes it happens even if a person takes good care of his or her teeth. Gum recession can cause problems for your oral health.
If you have gum recession, your dentist can help you understand the causes and recommend a treatment. If the gums have become unattached from the tooth, it is important to treat gum recession otherwise it is likely to get worse.
- If your gum recession is due to brushing too hard, your dentist can show you a better way to clean your teeth.
- If the recession is due to gum disease, the first step usually involves a special cleaning called scaling and root planing, which removes plaque and tartar deposits on the tooth and root surfaces. The scaling and root planing helps gum tissues heal. For many patients, this treatment, plus excellent oral care with regular dental checkups, can help stop periodontal disease and gum loss.
- If the recession is advanced, a gum graft may be needed. A graft is when a thin piece of gum tissue is taken from another place in the patient's mouth and attached to the place where the gum tissue has receded. Once the graft heals, it covers the exposed tooth root. Tissue grafts may be done to protect one tooth or several teeth. Grafts protect the tooth root from sensitivity and decay and can also be used to make a smile look better. If you have a gum graft, your dentist will tell you how to care for your gums.