Gum Recession: Dealing with the experts at Periodontal Associates Made it much easier!
My name is Danielle and I have receding gums. Yes… this is something that I’ve tried to ignore and have spent years fearing. I’ve even thought about avoiding the dentist because I am afraid to hear the words, “you need gum surgery,” come out of his mouth. I am ashamed to say that this fear is born out of pure ignorance on my behalf and solely based on a few friends who have experienced gum disease over the years.
What I have come to learn is that not every experience with periodontal disease will be the same for each of us and the damage from not addressing my gum recession can cause more harm and potential work down the road. So with that, I have done some research, talked with the experts at Periodontal Associates and have learned the following:
What is gum recession and how do I know if I am at risk?
Gum recession, or gingival recession, is when the gums themselves wear away from the tooth, often exposing the tooth’s roots. What also happens is that pockets appear in the gums and this becomes the perfect breeding ground for bacteria to hide and cause advanced gum disease. Fun, right?
If you are now wondering if you should be concerned about gum recession, here are some common signs to look for. Remember, if you are visiting your dentist regularly, they will alert you to any concerns, so be honest and share if you notice any of the following:
- Tooth movement – feel “wiggly” in your mouth
- Visible roots
- A tooth that feels notched around the gum line
- A change in the colour of your gums
- Gums that are red around your teeth
- Gums that bleed every time you brush or floss
- Teeth that are overly sensitive for no reason
- Bad breath (halitosis)
Addressing Gum Recession
The worst thing you can do is leave gingival recession untreated and there are some simple options that your periodontal expert will share with you, like mine did with me.
First, we talked about Gum Grafting. This is where your periodontist will either take extra gum tissue from a neighbouring area within your mouth or from the roof of your mouth and build the receding gums back to a healthy level. This is the one that worried me the most, but I was assured that it could be done while I sleep. Of course, there will be recuperation time required, usually a week or two depending on the type of graft you’d need and some discomfort. Your periodontal team will talk specifics with you before the surgery so that you can plan your recovery accordingly.
Next we talked about Tooth Scaling and Root Planing (these were new to me). This is where the periodontist will remove any plaque and tartar that has built up on the tooth and root surfaces below the gum line and then smooth the exposed root area to make it more difficult for bacteria to attach itself. This is generally used when gum disease is in its early stages and has not yet affected the bone. Sadly, I learned this was not an option for me.
The most important fact that I learned is that while gum recession is not always avoidable due to genetics, it can be delayed by adhering to proper dental hygiene, avoiding over-aggressive brushing habits, making sure you visit your periodontal expert or dentist regularly and STOP SMOKING (if you do).
If you suspect you might have gingival recession, don’t delay… talk to the experts at Periodontal Associates today about what you can do to care for your gums. They are the only gums that you have.
Contact us today if you have questions about Gum Recession, Dental Implants or any other Periodontal Disease at 647-360-9742.