What Causes Gum Recession?
Gum recession is a condition where your gum tissue (gingiva) pulls away, shrinks, or diminishes around the roots of your teeth. According to our Clear Lake dentist, there are several causes of gum recession, and this condition can also lead to other oral problems, such as tooth loss or root surface cavities.
Causes of Gum Recession
The following are some of the most common causes of receding gum lines:
- Gum Disease
Also known as periodontal disease, or periodontitis, gum disease is an infection in the gum tissue and jaw bone. This condition causes your gum tissue to puff up, detach from the tooth, bleed, and recede.
- Aggressive Brushing
The tissue around the gums is thin, so aggressive brushing or using a toothbrush with coarse bristles, can wear the gums away. This isn’t to say that you should avoid brushing the gums, you do want to brush them, just do so gently.
- Oral Trauma
Damage to the mouth, like being struck by something, can cause gum issues like recession on those affected teeth.
- Tooth Grinding
Grinding your teeth, whether it be in your sleep, or during waking hours, puts a lot of stress on your mouth and causes both your teeth and gums to wear down.
What Oral Problems Are Associated with Gum Recession?
There are other issues that are created by gum recession, including:
Tooth enamel only covers the part of a tooth that sits above the gum line. When your gum tissue recedes, your tooth root is exposed. Roots are made from dentin, which is naturally a darker yellowish color from tooth enamel. This discoloration is often visible when you smile.
In addition to being a different shade, the dentin portion of your tooth isn’t a protective layer like enamel is. This surface isn’t meant to be exposed to temperatures and doing so can cause quite a bit of sensitivity.
Dentin is softer than enamel, meaning that the effects that bacteria have on this layer of tooth is more severe. Therefore, cavities occur more easily when you have gum recession and root-surface exposure.
If your gum recession is caused by gum disease, then you can bet that you have bone loss. Since bone and gums are what hold your teeth in place, missing these key components can cause you to lose teeth.
Can Gum Recession Be Reversed?
Your gums won’t necessarily grow back enough to restore the amount of tissue needed to cover your tooth roots and form to it tightly, but there are some treatments that may be helpful.
For tooth sensitivity, our Clear Lake dentist offers prescription-strength fluoride treatments which you can have applied at your cleaning appointment.
Wearing a Nightguard
A nightguard is an oral appliance that you wear while you sleep. It separates your upper teeth from your lower ones, and positions your jaw in a relaxed position so that teeth don’t grind together.
The bonding process is just like placing a filling except we won’t have to remove any decay since there isn’t a cavity. All we would need to do is cover the exposed root with filling material. This will help with aesthetics and sensitivity.
Other Desensitizing Treatment
Another type of desensitizer is a liquid medication that we place on the roots, which seals off the microscopic tubules on your teeth. This desensitizing treatment lasts a long time but on occasion, may need to be reapplied.
Gum grafts are available to help with this condition. Our dentist will transplant gum tissue to the area in which it’s needed. Over a period of several weeks, your transplanted tissue will join with your natural gingiva, resulting in a new seamless gum line.
The best source for your gum graft is the tissue from your own mouth. To do this we’ll take a small sample from the roof of your mouth, but don’t worry, it will grow back rather quickly and easily.
Donated and processed human tissue also works well and is used fairly often in gum surgery. This source eliminates the need to harvest tissue from other areas of your mouth.
Gum Recession Treatments in Clear Lake, Texas
Rosas Family Dentistry is a general dentistry office that serves families throughout Clear Lake and the League City, Webster, Seabrook, Friendswood, Kemah, and NASA areas. If you’re on the Gulf Coast and are looking for a reputable and family-friendly dental practice, then look no further. Call us today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to meeting you!