mobile head model Gum Recession

Gum Recession

Gum recession is the gradual loss of the protective gum tissue surrounding the teeth, eventually leading to tooth root exposure. Symptoms include sensitivity to external stimuli, the appearance of longer teeth, halitosis, inflammation, and bleeding of the gums. Gum recession can lead to infections, periodontal disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss if left untreated.

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Receding gums are caused by a host of factors, some of which are not in a patient’s ability to control. Overaggressive brushing, poor dental hygiene, tobacco use, thin gums and bones, and structural anomalies in a patient’s mouth are all risk factors. Thus regular dental checkups to assess a patient’s risk can lead to an early diagnosis and treatment of gum recession. An accurate diagnosis of the patient’s true causes of gum recession is vital to a successful treatment. Once these underlying causes have been addressed with measures such as professional dental cleaning, scaling, and root planing, our gum specialist may recommend surgery of a cosmetic or restorative nature, such as gum grafting and gum regeneration.

Gum regeneration and gum grafting are the most common surgical treatments for gum recession. Gum grafting involves adding tissue to the area and attaching it to existing/remaining gum tissue. This serves to stabilize the existing gum, cover up the tooth root, and achieve a more symmetrical, aesthetically pleasing smile. The tissue used in the grafting can be taken from the patient, usually from the roof of his/her mouth, and some believe that using the body’s own tissues can promote healing. However, tissue removal can be painful; there are alternative options such as donor tissue and synthetic material. Donor tissue is strictly regulated by the FDA and undergoes the same screening processes as other implantable tissues and organs. Synthetic materials, known as regenerative matrix materials, have been used in the last eighteen years to treat burn victims and are now in common use for both medicine and dentistry. These synthetic materials can be crafted to match the patient’s exiting gum in color and texture and are often undetectable.

In gum regeneration, grafts are utilized to promote new growth and add gum root coverage for areas of gum recession. First, the gum tissue is peeled back away from the teeth and disease-causing bacteria are thoroughly cleansed from the site. Then, membranes, bone grafts, or tissue-stimulating proteins are grafted into the site to promote the body’s ability to regenerate bone and tissue. As with gum grafting, there is a variety of options for the implant material; the patient’s own tissues and bone can be used, or the patient may choose donor or synthetic material. The implant is placed between the gum and the tooth to ensure a tight fit, and the body will then grow new cells around the implant to restore the gums to their original healthy condition.

Our gum specialist at Luxury Dentistry NYC, Dr. Julie Pastagia, will be able to diagnose your condition and suggest a course of treatment that will best suit your needs in order to provide you with optimal results.

Written by Dr. Steven Davidowitz. Updated on 1/8/2020.



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