Gums do recede and the recession is often caused by lifestyle choices (e.g., cigarette smoking), poor dental habit (e.g., hard brushing), aging, misalignment, or genes. Regardless of the cause, having receding gums not only affects speech and bite but also implicates one’s self-esteem.
Can you reverse gingival recession?
The direct answer is no. Unlike the skin’s epithelial tissues, gum tissues do not regenerate. However, this does not leave the affected person hopeless. Treatments that slow down the process and restore the appearance are available.
What happens in gum recession?
Gums protect your teeth. The attached gingiva holds the teeth securely in place. It connects the teeth to the bones. Meanwhile, the unattached gingiva, the gingival mucosa, covers and protects the teeth, the cheeks, and the other parts of the oral mucous membrane.
Due to certain factors, the marginal gingiva, which lines the edges of the teeth, pulls back and exposes the roots of the teeth. Exposed roots create tiny gaps that often become the breeding grounds for bacteria causing decay, tooth loss, and even infection.
What are treatment options for receding gums?
Consulting with your dentist and/or periodontist for more information is the best way to confirm whether you have gingival recession. They measure the gaps to identify the condition’s level of severity and determine the existence of other gum and dental diseases, only then can they recommend appropriate course of actions.
For mild gum recession cases, dentists can help slow down the recession. No outright surgical treatment is needed at this point. Immediately, the dentist will require deep cleaning of the teeth, particularly around the gum lines.
Root planing and scraping removes tartar using ultrasonic devices or scrapers. Antibacterial mouthwash or gel is prescribed to fight bacteria causing tooth decay. Following this procedure, you’ll be advised to exercise preventive oral care measures.
For serious recession cases, dentists perform corrective surgeries to cover exposed parts. Gum grafting is one option. Tissues from other parts, such as the roof of the mouth, are extracted and implanted in the problem area. The success rate for the procedure is high, albeit some patients fear the thought of dental surgeries.
Another option is bonding, which requires attaching gum-colored resin to the root of the affected tooth, thereby reducing the appearance of recession. At the same time, this protects your teeth from further infection.
What is PST?
Pinhole surgical technique (PST) is an innovation in periodontal surgery that requires minimal invasion. It’s a scalpel-free and suture-free solution, often called the Lunchtime Gumlift, for under an hour.
PST somehow reverses the effects of receding gums. To cover the exposed parts, the marginal gingiva is positioned coronally by creating a tiny pinhole, specifically by piercing through the mucosa apical and the mucoginjival junction in the affected area. Collagen strips are inserted in between to extend the flaps and increase their fullness, instead of using sutures.
These collagen strips raise the periosteum and hold the flaps in place. Eventually, they will be pushed under the gingiva into the interdental spaces and effectively cover the exposed parts. They’re resorbable as well, and have been used in decades by periodontists for other purposes.
Are there natural remedies for gingiva recession?
Unfortunately, there are no natural remedies that can grow back the gum tissues. Oil pulling with sesame oil was proven to reduce inflammation and prevent gum diseases. But it does not re-grow tissues.
Likewise, applying aloe vera gel and drinking green tea help fight bacterial infection and decrease inflammation. Yet they do not correct the gingiva recession problem.
What are preventive measures for receding gums?
Since gingiva recession is caused by several factors, preventive measures should be holistic. You’ll be asked to shift to using a soft-bristled brush and to apply less pressure when brushing.
Misaligned bites or crooked teeth that also lead to gum recession will be corrected accordingly to prevent further recession. It’s high time to put an end to damaging lifestyle choices, such as smoking and over-consumption of sugary foods, and poor hygiene practices.
It’s highly important as well that you visit your dentists regularly for they may be able to detect the gum recession early, before the receding appearance becomes unsightly. But if regular visits seem less feasible, at the very least, don’t waste time as soon as you notice your teeth have become longer over time and the roots have become more visible.