Arkansas River Valley Dentistry creates healthy smiles throughout River Valley. Part of our comprehensive care involves the treatment of receding gum lines. When your gum lines begin to recede, more of the tooth becomes exposed, increasing the risk for gum disease and tooth decay. Your gum lines can begin to recede for a number of reasons, all of which impact the appearance of your smile and oral health. At Arkansas River Valley Dentistry, we will treat the issues causing gum recession while improving the appearance with gum grafting.
Understanding Gum Recession
Gum recession, also known as gingival recession, occurs when the gum tissue begins to pull away from the teeth, eventually exposing the tooth’s root. The gradual process can occur for a number of reasons, such as brushing and flossing too hard, family genetics, and even abnormal tooth positioning. The gum line can also begin to pull away as a result of grinding your teeth, trauma to the gum tissue, and even poor oral health. Most often, untreated periodontal disease leads to receding gum lines, leaving the gums and teeth exposed to additional complications.
Although it may not seem like a huge concern at first, leaving the gum line untreated will continue to wreak havoc in the mouth. As the gum tissue continues to pull away, deep pockets begin to form in the gum line. This causes bacteria to become trapped in the pockets, leading to further gum tissue damage. Not to mention, the teeth become susceptible to decay as bacteria accumulates in the pockets. Overtime, once the tooth root becomes exposed, tooth loss can even occur as a result of the tissue destruction.
Treating Gum Recession
You can treat receding gum lines with gum grafting. With the use of the tissue grafting, you’ll protect your teeth from additional damage while improving the appearance of your smile. Depending on your exact needs, the procedure will vary slightly. If your tooth root has become reposed, you will need connective-tissue grafts, which involves cutting a small flap of skin from the roof of your mouth and removing the small tissue under the flap. This is then stitched to the gum that’s exposing the root.
Free gingival grafts are similar to connective-tissue grafts, however, instead of removing the tissue under the flap, a small amount of tissue is removed directly from the roof of the mouth. As with the previous form, the tissue will be attached directly to the gum tissue.
Another common grafting procedure is called pedicle grafts, which takes tissue from the gum near the tooth needing repair. A small flap is partially cut to allow one edge to be attached. The gum is then pulled over to cover the exposed root and stitched into place.
While the procedures may seem scary, they are actually much less invasive than many people expect. At Arkansas River Valley Dentistry, we make the gum grafting process as easy and stress free as possible. Allow us to help repair the damage to your smile. Call us today at (479) 754-3357 to schedule an appointment today.