Gum disease is a serious condition that can lead to several problems if left untreated. The earliest stages of gum disease cause red, swollen gums. These stages are also easily reversible. However, as it progresses, more issues begin to present themselves.
A common symptom of gum disease is gum recession. In order to put a stop to the issues caused by gum disease, you need professional intervention. But can your gums be regenerated following treatment?
Gum recession is a side effect of gum disease. Healthy gums fit snugly against your teeth. Gum disease causes inflammation, which leads to the gum tissue pulling away from your teeth and allowing bacteria to fall below. As your gums pull away, the tissues die off, exposing more and more of the surface of your teeth. Eventually, the roots of your teeth can become exposed, leading to sensitivity and an increased risk for bacterial attack. Your teeth can even become loose and fall out. Gum recession cannot be reversed, but your dentist can do something about it.
Your gums cannot grow back on their own, but there are things that can be done to restore them. One option involves the use of regenerative materials (such as tissue-stimulating proteins) after pocket reduction surgery. These proteins encourage the growth of cells. Another, more common treatment option, is a soft tissue graft.
Soft Tissue Graft
A soft tissue graft is a surgical procedure that takes tissue from somewhere else in your mouth (or from a donor) and places it over the areas of recession. Your dentist may take tissue from the roof of your mouth (connective-tissue or free gingival), or rearrange surrounding healthy gum tissue (pedicle). The graft tissue is stitched in place and as it heals, it grows with your existing gums and forms around your teeth. Once healed, you will have a healthy, restored gum line.
Preventing Gum Recession
Taking proper care of your mouth can help you to prevent gum recession in the first place. Brushing and flossing regularly, along with biannual visits with your dentist will keep oral bacteria at bay and greatly reduce your risk of developing gum disease. And if you do happen to notice signs of gum disease, don’t delay. Contact our office right away.