If you have receding gums, you may have noticed how it affects the look of your smile. As a dental specialist with over 20 years of experience, Dr. Deborah K. Ruprecht understands the importance of esthetics in having a confident smile. If you live in and around Mission Viejo, Ladera Ranch and Solana Beach, California, and want to explore treatment options to improve your smile, call us today at 949-472-5499 or request an appointment online.
Receding Gums Q&A
What are receding gums?
Your gum tissue provides an essential layer of protection and support around your teeth and the underlying foundation of bone. Receding gums occur when your gum tissue begins to pull back from the surface of your teeth and expose the root surfaces.
What causes receding gums?
Receding gums may begin in two ways. First, a lack of brushing allows bacteria to accumulate, which damages the gums and bone that support your teeth. On the other hand, aggressive brushing for a person with genetically thin tissues will erode gums and bone and cause the same condition.
As recession progresses, additional plaque and bacteria may develop and compromise normal brushing and flossing. Exposed roots are more susceptible to tooth decay. If left untreated, receding gums can lead to tooth loss.
Additional factors that contribute to receding gums include:
- Hormonal changes (in women)
Also, certain medications can make your mouth dry and more susceptible to bacterial infections and minor tissue tears.
What are some treatments for receding gums?
Gum grafting is an effective treatment for improving the support and esthetics of receding gums. Many people who have excellent homecare and healthy gums need only grafting to treat recession.
But if you have an active bacterial infection, scaling and root planing is often the first step in treatment. This involves ultrasonic instruments and hand scalers to remove toxins and hard deposits beneath the gumline and possibly antibacterial treatments and antibiotics to combat aggressive pathogens. After the infection is stabilized, the next step is rebuilding your tissue with a gum graft.
Gum grafting repairs defects with small amounts of your own or donor tissue to thicken the gums and cover the roots. Not all roots can be covered once the bone loss becomes advanced, so adding a thick layer of tissue helps protect the bone and slows down the progression of bone loss.
Our periodontist can also use platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) with gum grafting to enhance the healing process and treatment results. This innovation uses a small amount of your own blood that is placed into an FDA-approved IntraSpin™ device.
Within a few minutes, Dr. Ruprecht has a powerful biomaterial made of your own platelets and growth factors to apply to the site of your gum surgery. The result is faster tissue regeneration and less swelling as your body heals. It is all natural and all from you.
Dr. Ruprecht will guide you in making the best treatment decision and approach that is safe and minimally invasive in your case, giving you the best possible treatment outcome for long term stability.
Learn more about treatments for receding gums during your face-to-face consultation with Dr. Ruprecht. Call us today or request an appointment online to take the first step towards a healthy and esthetic smile.