This four-part article series provides an in-depth look at why gums can recede from the crowns of the teeth, the various problems it causes for one’s oral health and what can be done about it.
Welcome to the final installment of this four-part article series on the causes, symptoms and treatments of gum recession. This condition is remarkably common and is most frequently a cause of gum disease, which is why it is so important for patients to seek prompt treatment from an experienced dentist in Silver Spring MD. In our previous article post, we began exploring the various treatments available for gum recession. We shall now provide a brief recap before continuing.
Gum Recession Treatment: Planing and Root Scaling
There are a number of approaches a skilled dentist can take to treating gum recession. First and foremost, he or she will want to diagnose the cause of the recession and provide treatment so that it ceases. In most cases, gum recession is caused by oral bacterial infection, so treating the infection will put an end to the southward (or skyward) march of the gum line. If the cosmetic dentist in Silver Spring MD determines that your case isn’t too far advanced, he or she will typically prescribe a deep cleaning of the affected area beneath the gum line and the polishing or “planing” of the tooth roots to make it difficult for bacteria to re-infect it. Planing and root scaling is often accompanied by a course of anti-biotic medication.
What if you present with advanced gum disease and gum recession?
Surgery for the Treatment of Gum Recession
In advanced cases, the cosmetic dentist in Silver Spring may opt to perform surgery to eliminate diseased tissue, bacteria and other calculus from the entire tooth structure. He or she will then reverse the damage done to the gums (as far as possible) using the following procedures:
Pocket Depth Reduction
Advanced gum disease often causes deep pockets to develop between the roots of the teeth and the surrounding gingival walls. These pockets fill up with bacteria and other debris, leading to infection. During a pocket depth reduction procedure, the cosmetic dentist will thoroughly clean these pockets of bacteria and disease tissue before securing the gum back in place against the roots of the teeth, thus reducing pocket size.
Gum disease also causes the destruction of bone tissue (via the acid produced by bacteria) and if your case warrants it, the cosmetic dentist in Silver Spring may recommend regeneration to encourage the regrowth of lost bone and soft tissue. As with pocket depth reduction, the dentist will first eliminate bacteria and diseased tissue before placing a regenerative material, such as a tissue-stimulating protein, graft tissue or a membrane over the affected area. These materials encourage the growth of new and healthy bone and soft tissue.
Last, but certainly not least, there’s surgical treatment for the loss of gum tissue. Unfortunately, while the gums can heal, they cannot grow back. So if your gums have receded a fair amount from the crowns of your teeth, the cosmetic dentist in Silver Spring may recommend that you undergo a connective tissue graft to cover up the exposed tooth roots. This procedure involves the harvesting of a thin sliver of tissue from the palate of the mouth, which is stitched to the gum tissue directly surrounding the exposed root.
A Final Note on Gum Recession
Prevention is always better than cure, but if it’s too late for that, don’t hesitate to book an appointment with the dentist in Silver Spring MD. The very next best thing to prevention is prompt treatment!