Receding gums is often an indication of periodontal disease. As the disease progresses and bacteria flourishes underneath the gum line, the gums begin to lose tissue and pull away from the teeth. In mild cases, you may be able to cure your receding gums with a professional deep cleaning and continued care and monitoring. Otherwise, prepare to undergo surgery to either encourage the regeneration of the gum tissue, or to replace it with a graft. Healthy oral hygiene practices can help prevent your receding gums from recurring.
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See your dentist for a scaling, root planing and polishing. During this deep cleaning treatment, the dentist will remove plaque from below the gum line. Root planing smooths the tooth's surface to allow the gums to adhere to the tooth properly. Polishing helps prevent plaque from sticking to the teeth.
Take antibiotics to eradicate any lingering bacteria. Your dentist may recommend oral antibiotics or topical gel antibiotics that you apply directly to the gums.
Ask your dentist to measure the depth of the pockets that form between the teeth and gums. If your pocket depth is greater than 3mm, you may need additional treatments. If it is smaller than this, banish your receding gums with regular dental check-ups and careful cleaning.
Consider undergoing a guided tissue regeneration procedure. During this surgery, your dentist will fold back the gums and apply a regenerative material to the area to encourage tissue growth. This procedure may be a viable option for you, if your gum tissue is not worn thin.
Ask your dentist if pocket depth reduction is an appropriate procedure for your condition. Your dentist would fold back the gums, clean the area and anchor the gum tissue more securely on the teeth. This reduces the size of the pockets, which discourages gum recession.
Undergo a soft tissue grafting procedure, also called gum grafting if the other two procedures are not right for you. Patients with more severely receded gums may benefit from this surgery, during which your dentist will remove tissue from the roof of your mouth. He will stitch this graft to the gums, extending the gum line.
Tips and warnings
- Discourage receding gums by brushing and flossing after eating.
- Use a soft toothbrush to clean your teeth and avoid vigorous brushing, because this can lead to gum recession.
- Quit using tobacco, if applicable to discourage gum recession from recurring.
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