When you notice your smile in the mirror or in a photograph, do you see teeth that are well sized or do they seem to be looking too long? Have those same teeth become sensitive to hot and cold temperatures of different foods and beverages? The problem may be that you have gum recession, which can expose the sensitive roots of your teeth. With gum grafting, your periodontist in Worcester builds up your natural looking gum line in order to cover exposed roots and create an attractive smile. Read on to learn more about receding gums and the gum graft procedure.
What Causes Gums to Recede?
Periodontal, or gum, disease is the leading cause of receding gums. The initial phase of gum disease—gingivitis—is marked by red and swollen gums that may bleed when you brush or floss your teeth. Left untreated, gingivitis gives way to periodontitis, the second and more serious phase that can lead to gum recession. As the bacteria that cause gum disease become more and more destructive, gums begin to pull away from your teeth, causing gum recession and that toothy grin.
A few more reasons for receding gums include:
- Teeth grinding and clenching that puts unusual pressure on gum tissue
- Brushing with too much force or using a toothbrush with hard bristles
- A misaligned bite
- Tongue and lip piercings that can irritate delicate gum tissue
Treating Your Receding Gums
If you are in the early stage of periodontitis, then a deep cleaning in our office may be the solution. Called scaling and root planing, this treatment removes the plaque and dried on tartar that have built up along your gum line and smoothes your teeth roots so these substances are less likely to accumulate again. In addition, you’ll need to begin a more stringent oral hygiene routine at home.
Gum Grafting in Worcester
If periodontitis is advanced, then the solution may involve gum grafting. During this procedure, Dr. Handsman or Dr. Jenny will surgically remove a small section of tissue from the roof of your mouth or another nearby location. This tissue is then attached to the area where gum recession has exposed tooth roots. This graft of tissue will help stop the advance of gum recession and give you a more attractive looking gum line. If you’d like, we can provide either oral sedation or IV sedation for a gum graft procedure that is more extensive.
Contact Our Office Today
If you can see the effects of gum recession on your smile, then call our office and ask about gum grafting. In Worcester, Dr. Handsman and Dr. Jenny will be glad to consult with you.