Posted on 8/10/2018 by Implant & Periodontal Associates NW
Receding gums happen when the gum tissue surrounding the teeth wears away, exposing more of the tooth or root.
In this situation, gaps between the teeth and gum line form allowing bacteria to build up. While this can develop into a more serious condition such as periodontitis, there are treatments available to stop receding gums.
During an oral examination, the gum line around each tooth is measured to determine what course of action needs to be taken.
Deep Cleaning or Root Planing
In this procedure, plaque and tartar that are attached to the tooth along the gum line and under it, is carefully removed with a special tool. The root surfaces below the gum line is smoothed to prevent bacteria from attaching to it. Deep cleaning usually requires local anesthesia.
In cases where deep cleaning or root planing are not possible due to excessive bone loss, surgery will be necessary to repair the receding gums. There are a few options for gum surgery:
Open Flap Scaling and Root Planning - this procedure consists of folding back the gum tissue to remove the bacteria from the pockets. The gum tissue is then secured, tightly around the root of the tooth.
Soft Tissue Graft - this will usually be a procedure called a connective tissue graft, where a flap of skin is cut in the roof of your mouth and connective tissue from under the flap is taken and stitched to the receding gums. Afterwards, the flap on the palate is stitched as well. There is another type of graft where the tissue is taken directly off the palate, not from under it. Yet another method soft tissue graft method involves using neighboring gum tissue and pulling it over the affected area.
Regeneration - when the bone that supports your teeth has been destroyed because of receding gums, there is also a procedure to regenerate the lost bone and tissue. Like the deep cleaning, a flap in the gum tissue if folded over and bacteria are removed. A generative material is applied to the area to regenerate the bone and tissue area. The tissue is then secured around the root or tooth.
We can discuss any questions you may have about your options for receding gums. Please don't hesitate to ask!
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