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The Causes of Gum Recession and Your Options for Treatment and Prevention

By Patrick Casey on July 03, 2014

A patient smiles in a white roomWe take all dental problems seriously here at Smile Montreal. Both Dr. Charles Casey and Dr. Patrick Casey believe that addressing the major and minor dental health issues is the key to a beautiful and healthy smile. This is why we offer comprehenseive dental care, including advanced reconstructive dentistry and state-of-the-art cosmetic treatments as well. We also focus on the health of the teeth as well as the gums, because periodontal health is crucial for total wellness.

One problem that many people take for granted is gum recession, which we'd like to consider right now.

About Gum Recession

Gum recession refers to the loss of gum tissue along the gumline. When this happens, more of the tooth and its root structure is exposed.

Why Gum Recession Is a Serious Dental Health Issue

Apart from being aesthetically unappealing, there are many reasons why gum recession is bad for your dental health.

For one, gum recession makes it more likely for plaque and tartar to build up at the gumline, which can lead to serious tooth decay and even the infection of a tooth if left untreated. In addition, the loss of gum tissue can make your teeth loose and more likely to fall out.

If you sense tooth sensitivity, it's often a warning sign of gum recession taking place. Be sure to have your dentist check this out right away.

The Common Causes of Gum Recession

Some of the most common causes of gum recession are as follows:

  • Gum Disease - One of the common symptoms of the bacterial infection of the gums is gum recession. The recession becomes more severe in advanced cases of gum disease.
  • Poor Dental Hygiene - If you do not brush your teeth or floss, there is a greater likelihood of gum disease and tooth decay taking place.
  • Aggressive Brushing of the Teeth - A common cause of gum recession that many people do not consider is aggressive tooth brushing. This trauma to the gums will cause recession over time.
  • Tobacco Products - Both smoking and the use of chewing tobacco increase the likelihood of gum recession.
  • Tooth Grinding (Bruxism) - Tooth grinding isn't just a cause of tooth damage and TMJ disorders. The tension and pressure can lead to gum recession as well.
  • Lip and Tongue Piercings - Over time, the gum tissue can recede if piercings make constant contact.

Treatment Options for Gum Recession

The ideal treatment option for gum recession will be based on the nature of the patient's dental health.

If the gum recession is the result of gum disease, it's first important to get the gum disease under control. This is usually done with antiseptic rinses and possibly the use of antibiotics. More invasive therapies may be used for serious cases of gum disease (i.e., periodontitis and advanced periodontitis). Deep cleanings may be performed to address decay and other issues along the gumline and tooth root as well.

Once any other issues are under control, treating gum recession will involve grafting procedures that will rebuild the gumline. These grafting procedures can use artificial soft tissue grafts or donor tissue often taken from the patient's palate. This tissue is sutured into place to ensure a fuller and healthier gumline.

Tips for Preventing Gum Recession

The following tips will help you prevent gum recession:

  • Use a toothbrush with soft bristles to minimize gum damage
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day
  • Floss your teeth at least every night
  • Quit using tobacco products (or just don't start)
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for regular dental maintenance

Learn More About Improving Your Periodontal Health

If you would like more information about improving your periodontal health, we encourage you to contact our advanced dental care office today. The team at Smile Montreal is eager to meet you in person to discuss your dental health needs and how we can best address them.

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Westmount Office

4695 Rue Sherbrooke O
Westmount, QC H3Z 1G2

Open Today 7:00am - 3:00pm

More Info Directions (514) 937-6558