3 Ways To Treat Receding Gums

29 January 2015
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

Oral care, genetics and health conditions can all lead to gum tissue receding away from the teeth. The result is longer looking teeth, a potential increase in sensitivity and possible pockets that form between the shifting gum and its nearby teeth. There are a few different ways to treat receding gums. And though one involves at-home work, you're going to want to make an appointment with a dentist or cosmetic dentist regardless.

Use a Softer Toothbrushgf

If you have recently begun seeing signs of receding gums, then you might be able to stop the process by improving your oral healthcare routine. The gum problem can come from a lack of dental hygiene but if you brush and floss regularly and still have the problem, you might be brushing too hard.

Use a soft bristle toothbrush, a sensitive-teeth formula toothpaste and small circular motions to clean your teeth and gums. Practice using as light of a hand as possible that will still allow you to remove dangerous bacteria from your mouth but spares your enamel and gum tissue from abuse.

Remember that it's best to brush your teeth for two minutes, or 30 seconds for each quadrant, or on each side of both the upper and lower teeth. So go slowly and softly enough to match that timetable. Note that this method won't help if your gums are receding due to gum disease. That requires the work of a dentist.

Tooth Scaling or Root Planing

Tooth scaling and root planing are both nonsurgical gum treatments that your dentist can perform to try and thwart recession. The procedures use a similar process, but root planing is a bit more involved.

During a dental scaling, the dentist will use ultrasonic scaling instruments and traditional dental devices to thoroughly clean around the teeth and gums. The goal is to remove any plaque and/or tartar that is building up around the teeth or in the gum pockets. This is essentially a deeper clean version of the regular cleaning you get once a year.

Root planing uses the same ultrasonic scaling device but the dentist will focus on the roots of the teeth rather than the teeth and gums. This is usually done when there's an underlying infection or the gum recession has allowed the sensitive roots to become exposed. Planing cleans the roots of bacteria that can create infections and further promote gum recession.

Surgical Options

There are three common surgical options for treating gum recession: pocket reduction, gum regeneration and a soft tissue graft. A dentist might recommend these procedures if the gum recession is causing you physical pain or causing you to become self-conscious due to the appearance of your teeth.

Pocket reduction involves the dentist cleaning the gum pocket then using cuts and stitches to close that pocket back up – or at least make it smaller. Gum regeneration involves folding back the gums, cleaning the inside and then applying either a membrane, protein or tissue graft to promote regrowth of the gums. Soft tissue grafts is a type of gum regeneration that uses a section of soft tissue taken from the roof of your mouth to complete the graft.