Gum recession is a condition in which the soft tissue of the gums shrinks away from the bone, exposing the lower part of the tooth and risking decay. There are many causes for this, including genetic predisposition and age. Fortunately, there are several treatments that your dentist can use for this condition.
Scaling and root planing
These are simple treatments that can be used when the gum recession is not too severe. Scaling simply involves removing plaque from the tooth below the gum line, where brushing can be very difficult. Root planing involves smoothing over the lower part of the tooth to remove diseased parts and promote the regrowth of your gums. These treatments are effectively a form of deep cleaning that is more thorough than what you can do at home, which can help with mild forms of gum recession.
Gum flap surgery
When the gum recession is more advanced, your dentist may use gum flap surgery to clean the bottom of the tooth. With this technique, the gum is pulled away from the tooth to allow for deep cleaning of the roots. It is then stitched back into place, reducing the depths of the pockets. However, this technique does not actually involve any new growth of the gums.
In more serious cases, gum recession may cause infection to move down the inside of the gum line and affect the bone itself. This can be treated by a bone graft, either from a donor or from a synthetic graft made in a laboratory. The damaged bone will be cut away and replaced with the graft, which will fuse with the surrounding bone and soft tissues. This allows the jawbone and teeth to regenerate and grow again as new.
Finally, severe cases of gum recession may be treated with a gum graft. Your dentist will take the soft tissue from other parts of the gum or from the upper palate and use it to replace the diseased tissues. This technique may seem drastic, but it can have the effect of actually causing the gums to regrow, making it an effective treatment for gum recession.
Although some causes of gum recession cannot be avoided, there are a few things you can do to help prevent it. A good daily dental hygiene regime, involving brushing and flossing twice a day and using mouthwash, can prevent a variety of dental issues, including gum disease and recession. If you have any concerns, just talk to a local dentist.