Receding gums is possible one of the worst problems we can experience in regards to our oral health. They can be painful, unsightly and cause irreversible damage to our teeth. But, is it possible for your gums to recover after they have already started to recede?
There are a few contributing factors than can cause your gums to recede, including brushing too vigorously, grinding or clenching your teeth unconsciously, poor oral hygiene (periodontal disease), and trauma. However, in some instances, receding gums can simply be the result of genetics. A fascinating thing to know when understanding gum recession is that the problem actually starts in the bone. Gum tissue is a layer of skin that covers our jaw bones and keeps our teeth in place. When the bones in our jaws demineralise and wear away the gum moves further down our teeth. Without the bone to support the tissue and keep it in place, it is more susceptible to recession and begins to move further down our teeth, exposing the roots of the teeth.
Gum disease is one of the leading causes of gum recession and a build-up of plaque and tartar can cause your gums to pull away from your teeth, creating open gaps between your teeth and gums called ‘periodontal pockets’. The problem with reversing gum recession once it has started is that in some cases, in order to move the gums back into their original place, your bone would technically need to grow back. If you only have a mild case of gum recession that’s caused by gum disease, a thoroughly cleaning of your gums performed by your dentist may resolve the issue. They will clean out the pockets, remove any bacteria that might be to blame, and smooth down your exposed teeth to make it more difficult for bacteria to attach to them. However, if your jaw bones have been worn away too severely, you may need to resort to surgery. Your dentist might cut away the gum to remove the bacteria and afterwards apply a membrane to the area to stimulate bone and tissue regrowth. In other cases, they may need to perform a tissue graft. They will likely remove a piece of tissue from elsewhere in your mouth – usually from the roof of your mouth – and stitch it to your receded gum to cover the exposed roots of your teeth.
Returning your gums to a normal state after suffering from gum recession is a difficult and sometimes expensive process. So, if you want to prevent your gums from receding you should start making changes today. If your gum has only slightly receded there may be a chance that it will grow back on its own. If you have a tendency to brush your teeth too hard you may want to switch to a gentle electric toothbrush. There are some sonic electric toothbrushes to be found in our best electric toothbrush options that will greatly improve your brushing technique and prevent further recession. Other positive changes you can make include quitting smoking, eating healthier and avoiding too much sugar. If you have a tendency to grind or clench your teeth, consider speaking to your dentist about it. They may be able to give you a retainer to wear a night that is designed to stop you from grinding your teeth in your sleep. Overall, pay close attention to your oral health and make oral hygiene a priority.