Gums are the soft tissue which cover your jawbone and help support your teeth. Normally pink and adequate in size and thickness to protect roots and nourish teeth, gum tissue can recede, or pull back, from teeth. Your dentists in Clarksville from Arkansas River Valley Dentistry perform in-office tissue grafting procedures which restore gum health and adequately cover tooth roots so oral health improves.
Why Gums Recede
Gum tissue reduces in height and thickness for many reasons. Some are related to improper or neglected oral hygiene. Others are health and nutrition related. Contributing factors include:
- Poor tooth alignment
- Genetic predisposition, or hereditary factors
- Bruxism, or tooth grinding, which also compromises tooth enamel and dental restorations
- Brushing teeth and gums too vigorously
- Poor dental hygiene, leading to gum disease (periodontitis)
Left untreated, gum recession leads to tooth loosening, very unattractive smile appearance, increasing tooth decay and dental sensitivity.
Treatment of Gum Recession
There are many treatments for mild to moderate gum recession due to periodontal disease. Most commonly, expert dentists, Dr. Fisher, Dr. Cook and Dr. Nichols at Arkansas River Valley Dentistry, prescribe deep cleaning and root planing. This scaling of teeth to remove extensive deposits of plaque and tartar on tooth and root surfaces allows gums to heal and reattach to enamel. Instillation of antibiotics quells infection.
However, when recession is too advanced, the doctors perform tissue grafting procedures. These oral surgeries take some of the patient’s own soft oral tissue and suture it over the thin or bare spots on tooth roots.
The three kinds of tissue grafting available are:
- Connective tissue grafting involving a flap of tissue taken from underneath the roof of the mouth and sutured over the exposed area
- Free gingival grafts using tissue right from the roof of the mouth (good to cover thin gum tissue)
- Pedicle grafts, tissue pulled from around neighboring teeth and stitched around bare spots
The dentists perform these procedures chairside and keep patients very comfortable. Tissues heal quickly, and results last with good oral and in-office hygiene.
Care after Soft Tissue Grafting
After a gum grafting procedure, the patient goes home to rest and to eat a soft diet for a few days. He or she may take antibiotics if prescribed by the dentist in Clarksville and use a special antibacterial mouthwash. Over the counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen, controls any discomfort.
How are Your Gums?
It’s just as important to take care of your gums as it is to take care of your teeth. Be sure to drink plenty of water, eat a nutritious, low-sugar diet and brush with a soft brush twice daily. Flossing each day reduces plaque and tartar and wards off gum disease. Plus, kids and adults alike should come to Arkansas River Valley Dentistry twice a year for oral examinations and hygienic cleanings.
To arrange your routine appointment, or if you suspect you have gum recession, contact Arkansas River Dentistry for an appointment. Your smile will thank you for it.