Cosmetic Dental Procedures for Receding Gums

Written by janet veverka
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Cosmetic Dental Procedures for Receding Gums
(Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Betsy Fletcher)

Gum recession occurs when the gum tissue in your mouth starts to erode, exposing the roots of the teeth. There are many possible causes including aggressive brushing, periodontal disease, grinding of the teeth, eating disorders, chewing tobacco and others. To correct this situation, dental professionals can perform cosmetic gum surgery. Periodontists or cosmetic dentists create skin grafts which are used to make a new gum over the exposed roots.

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Function

Receding gums are often referred to as "long teeth" or having a "long tooth smile". Over time, receding gums can cause such things as tooth sensitivity, discolouration of the teeth and cavities below the gum line. A cosmetic dentist or periodontist can create a young, healthy looking smile from even the worst case of gum recession.

Identification

You can determine whether you are a candidate for cosmetic dental surgery by consulting with your dentist. Depending on your age, dental history, past surgeries and severity of the problem, your dentist can instruct you whether or not this is a viable option.

Procedure

By taking gum tissue from the roof of your mouth, the dental practitioner can create skin grafts to make a new gum line over your receding gums. The new gum line reinforces the thinner gums and fills in the gaps where gums have completely recessed. Alternatively, if enough tissue is not available, the surgeon can opt to use tissue from another donor.

Benefits

Besides creating a better smile, the new gum line provides added protection to stop further erosion and prevent decay. The National Center for Aesthetic Facial and Oral Surgery states that, "Healing is usually quick and your more youthful and beautiful smile is obvious early on...cosmetic gum surgery additionally improves the health of your gums.. the procedure to correct receding gums may even reduce your tooth sensitivity to cold or hot foods or beverages while protecting your roots from decay and lessening further gum shrinkage."

Warning

The procedure is a surgery, and there are always risks when falling under a local or general anesthetic. Healing times range between two to four weeks. In some cases, you may need to undergo further treatment to achieve maximum results.

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