If your gums are receding, you may not like the appearance of your smile since you may have uneven enamel as tooth roots are exposed. Take a look at what may be causing your gum recession and how to treat it.
What Causes Gum Recession?
It's natural for people to have a little recession as they age, but if your gums are receding a lot, there could be all sorts of causes, such as:
natural recession with age
poor flossing habits
aggressive brushing—or using a hard-bristled toothbrush
a diet that's high in fat and sugar
dry mouth—often from certain medications or illness
gingivitis or gum disease
If your gum recession is caused by gingivitis or gum disease, you'll want to treat that issue first before proceeding with cosmetic fixes. These inflammatory conditions are caused by a buildup of plaque, a sticky film that contains harmful oral bacteria. As plaque builds up, it can actually collect in recessed gums pockets and damage tooth roots and even your jaw bone. In short, a dentist needs to remove plaque from your gums to prevent further damage before you worry about cosmetic concerns.
What Cosmetic Procedures Can Fix Gum Recession?
If your receding gums are clear of plaque and your dentist gives you the go-ahead, you can look into cosmetic procedures to fix your gum line. Gum tissue won't grow back after receding, so two options to consider are gum contouring and gum veneers.
During a gum contouring procedure, your cosmetic dentist will use a donor gum graft or cut some tissue from the top of your palate to use as a graft. He or she will then attach that graft to areas of recession to cover exposed tooth roots. While some dentists use sutures, others may use lasers to decrease incisions and recovery time. You may be a little sore after this type of procedure and need to brush and floss very gently until the graft has healed.
You may have heard of veneers that fit over your teeth, but not gum veneers. Gum veneers look similar to dentures and fit over receding gum tissue to improve their appearance. While gum veneers only disguise the issue, some people may prefer them since there's no surgery involved. Your dentist only needs to take impressions of your teeth and gums to make sure the acrylic appliance fits well. Like with dentures, you'll need to remove and soak the veneer at night so that it can retain its shape.
Reach out to a dentist today for more information about cosmetic dentistry services.