Gingival recession is a condition which causes tissues known as the gingival margin to move away from the crown of a tooth or even multiple teeth. When the gingival tissue is healthy, it’s able to form a protective ‘collar’ around your teeth and prevent symptoms such as sensitivity or decay. However, when a patient suffers with gingival recession, the exposed root can lead to all the above conditions such as decay.
One of the leading causes of gingival recession is down to abnormal positioning of teeth. For example, crowding in the mouth during the time when permanent teeth start coming through can lead to one or more teeth protruding in an irregular way – leading to too little bone from the jaw covering the roots of the teeth.
Another leading cause is hereditary gingival recession; a patient may have simply, and unfortunately, inherited particularly fragile or insufficient tissue to cover the root of a tooth. Additional causes can also include everything from aggressive brushing of your teeth to periodontal disease.
With this in mind, it’s entirely possible for you have a healthy mouth, great oral hygiene and no other issues with your teeth but still suffer from gingival recession and the symptoms associated with it.
Gingival Recession Treatments
It’s vital that, even if you notice minor gingival recession, that the condition is addressed – ignoring this can quickly lead to further recession as well as potential bone loss. There are a variety of treatment methods available, and they really depend on the underlying causes behind a patient’s case of recession.
For example, aggressive brushing techniques or excessively frequent brushing causing recession can be addressed by a member of our dental practice staff showing you more effective methods of oral hygiene – including better brushing techniques and flossing.
If the cause is due to periodontal disease, then there is a two-step treatment plan that can treat both the periodontal disease and the gingival recession in one go. Scaling and root planing, a type of specialist cleaning for this particular condition, is the first and most significant step. Further check-ups and consistently good oral hygiene can, for a majority of patients, eliminate the periodontal disease and stem gingival recession.
In more severe cases, a procedure called a gum graft (a type of soft-tissue graft surgery) can help to create more of what is known as ‘attached gingiva’ in the mouth. Attached gingiva is easily identifiable as thick pink tissue which firmly attaches itself to underlying bone and closely grips teeth. Helping to create more of this tissue helps gingival recession from continuing and worsening, and helps to re-establish sufficient root coverage.