Caring for your teeth should always be a top priority - especially since your oral health directly correlates with your overall health. But, life is busy and that extra time that should be spent on your teeth gets pulled elsewhere. Unfortunately, without proper oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist, your gum health can begin to deteriorate. And once your gums are gone, they are gone.
Ready for some good news? Receding gums can be treated and, if done so timely, can halt its forward progression without doing too much damage.
What is Gum Recession?
Receding gums occurs when your teeth appear as though they are growing longer. In reality, your gums are pulling back from the teeth and exposing more of the tooth. For some, the roots may be exposed, too. This can be very painful.
Without treatment, the gap that forms between the tooth and gums begins to fill with bacteria and various pieces of debris. These become known as periodontal pockets and signal that the teeth are ailing from periodontal disease.
What may start as gum recession can quickly turn into an infection that breaks down the bone, leading to tooth loss.
Signs of Gum Recession
Regular trips to the dentist can catch gum recession early. Otherwise, by the time you are experiencing symptoms, the gums are already receding. A few signs to look out for include:
- Red, swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Pain at or around the gum line
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Visibly shrinking gums - and growing teeth
- Loose teeth
- Exposed tooth roots
As soon as you notice any of the above, make an appointment with your dentist.
Treating Gum Recession
There are a couple of treatment options for handling gum recession. One of the most popular and less invasive includes deep cleaning. This is also known as scaling and root planing. During this procedure, the gums are pulled back exposing the roots. The infection is cleaned out of the pockets and the roots are smoothed down making it more difficult for bacteria to attach themselves going forward. The gums then rest against the tooth and are able to reattach themselves with time.
Antibiotics may be prescribed or administered in a gel form to further protect the teeth.
For those who have excessively deep pockets or have begun to experience bone loss, oral surgery may be necessary. A deep cleaning just won’t be able to reach the root of the issue. Two common oral surgery procedures for gum disease include bone regeneration and gum grafts.
Bone regeneration is a lot like the scaling and root planing, just a bit deeper. It involves adding a material that helps the body to regenerate tissue and bone on its own before smoothing the roots and securing the gum again.
A tissue or gum graft is done when too much of the gums have receded. Often this happens at different rates throughout the mouth, allowing the oral surgeon to take some gum from one area and place it in a troubled area to help restore it.
Treatment for Gum Recession in NJ
If you are noticing any of the above-mentioned symptoms or you think you may be suffering from gum recession or more advanced periodontal disease, then it is important to contact the highly-skilled team at Costello Oral Surgery Associates.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact us at one of our three convenient locations:
Maywood Office 201-712-5556
Franklin Office 201-848-5015
Wayne Office 973-513-8100
Or, request an appointment online.