In our last post we covered the risks and causes of receding gums. If you think you may have a problem with receding gums, it’s always best to consult your dentist. However, here is an overview of treatments available and the best methods of preventing receding gums.
How your dentist chooses to treat your receding gums will depend heavily on what they determine is the cause. Obviously, if there is something that is still causing gum recession, your dentist will help you find strategies to counter the current gum loss. Once you stop your gum recession, you and your dentist can decide if there is a restorative treatment that’s right for your situation.
Scaling and Root Planing
This treatment is intended to help curb gum recession. Since a leading cause of receding gums is trapped bacteria causing infection, your dentist will use special tools to reach between your gums and your teeth to clean out trapped plaque and tartar. Removing the irritant and smoothing your roots will also encourage your gums to reattach to your teeth. It’s important for your gums and teeth to be firmly attached so your gums can protect your roots and give support.
Pinhole Surgical Technique
PST, or Pinhole Surgical Technique is a new treatment that helps restore your gums with minimal damage and a shortened healing time. Your dentist will make a small hole in the gums above recession. They gently separate the gum from the tooth, then stretch the gums back over the exposed root. Next, your dentist will insert small collagen strips in the hole and along the place where your gum should now reattach. These collagen strips help to speed up the healing and help your gums attach to the teeth in the right place, similar to a biological glue. Unlike Gum Graft Surgery, there is very little cutting which helps speed up your healing afterwards.
Gum Graft Surgery
Gum Graft Surgery is a fairly involved procedure, generally best for severe gum recession or multiple teeth with gum recession. First, your dentist will cut a portion of gum tissue out of the roof of your mouth. Next, they cut underneath the existing gum near the exposed roots. Then they place the replacement gum along the portion of exposed root and lay the original gum flap back down. Although it is more involved, it is an excellent choice for aggressive gum recession and protect your teeth from sensitivity and decay.
As always, the best defense is a good offense. Getting out in front of your gum recession produces the best results for the best price!
Follow your dentist’s recommendations for proper oral hygiene. This usually includes:
- brush your teeth with a soft bristle brush
- brush in small, gentle circles, massaging your gums
- use a toothpaste with fluoride in it
- use toothbrushes that are small enough to easily reach all parts of your teeth without adding pressure to your gums
- floss well between all your teeth at least once a day
- swish with antiseptic mouthwash
- visit your hygienist regularly for deep cleanings
Check and make sure you’re following the ADA recommended technique for brushing.
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
- Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
- Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
- To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
If you’re not sure if you are brushing correctly, ask your dentist to watch you and provide correction.