Gum recession is where the roots of the teeth are exposed after experiencing a loss of tissue in the gum. The gums are also known as the gingivae. The gingiva is the moist pink tissue in the mouth that meets the base of the teeth. There are two such gums, one of the upper and one for the lower set of teeth.
Why do our gums recede?
While gum disease is a main cause for receding gums, there are other causes for the condition – such as:
- Excessive brushing and flossing
- teeth grinding (or bruxism)
- Crooked teeth
- badly fitted crowns and dentures
Why are receding gums a problem?
Gum recession exposes the fragile tooth roots to bacteria, plaque and other forms of decay. Your teeth depend on the gum tissues for protection and stability. You will also notice an increase in sensitivity to temperature. Receding gums can also make us self-conscious.
In extreme cases, receding gums can lead to tooth loss – especially if caused by gum disease.
How are receding gums treated?
We may have to use surgery to replenish the lost gum tissue. We take a tissue graft and then stitch it over the recessed area of the gum. You will need a couple of weeks to heal before the stitches are removed.
If the receding gums are infected, we use pocket reduction surgery to remove the bacteria from the pockets then suture the gum tissue back into place.
In severe cases, we may need to use guided surgery to regenerate bone loss. We apply new material to the existing bone which will then encourage your body to regenerate bone and tissue naturally in that area.
Without the support of your gum tissue, your teeth can become loose. We can prevent your teeth from falling out using splinting.
Splinting is a technique used to stabilise loose teeth to their adjacent healthy teeth. It is applied to a group of teeth or on the whole dental arch. Depending on the type of fixation (gluing) to the teeth, there are two main types – mobile (removable) or fixed (non-removable appliances). They can be made of metal, plastic or glass fibres.