Gingiva is a soft tissue which envelops and supports the teeth. It also protects the tooth root from external influences and bacteria. Healthy gums are pink, firm and closely adhere to the teeth.
Gingival recession is the retraction of the gingival margin from the crown of the tooth exposing the tooth root. It can affect one tooth or, in some cases, all teeth.
On their buccal (external) surface these teeth have a visible root and their gum level is substantially lower than the gum level on healthy teeth. They are often red, inflamed and bleed when touched.
When these visible symptoms are conjoined with the periodontal disease, bone resorption can occur. This implies the loss of the bone mass which over time leads to such severe bone loss that teeth start to loosen and eventually fall out.
Receding gums – causes
1. Gingivitis – gum inflammation is one of the most common reasons for receding gums. Due to accumulation of dental plaque, gums get inflamed, swollen, bleeding and finally start to recede.
2. Poor tooth brushing technique – When we brush our teeth making forceful horizontal movements instead of the vertical ones, it often happens that gums start receding. We can recognize this easily. Besides gum defects, shallow cavities appear on the tooth surface, near the gum margin.
3. Small folds of frenulum and plica which were not removed on time – Upper and lower lip are attached to the gums above the lower and upper incisors with the tissue called labial frenulum. The tongue is also attached to the inner surface of lower incisors by small folds in the membrane called plica fimbriata. When these folds are too tight and are “pulling” the gums back, gingival recession and exposure of tooth necks occur.
4. Traumatic contacts – In some cases, antagonists (teeth from the other jaw) make inappropriate contact. We present the most common causes for incorrect contacts which lead to receding gums:
- Inadequate dental work – prosthetic, orthodontic, conservative (fillings) – all this can lead to an inappropriate (traumatic) contact resulting in receding gums.
- Tooth loss – When we lose one or more teeth, adjacent teeth lean over with a tendency to fill the vacant space. This causes inappropriate contacts with the teeth from the other jaw, and due to the trauma, gums start to recede.
- Orthodontic anomalies – Sometimes the traumatic occlusion is from the onset a matter of genetic setup of our teeth. In this situation, gingival recession develops rapidly, especially if combined with poor oral hygiene.
Receding gums – consequences
- Teeth become sensitive to warm and cold stimuli.
- Due to external exposure, tooth root decay can occur.
- Periodontal pockets
- Loosening of teeth
- Falling out of teeth
Gingival recession - therapy
The Pavlovic Clinic offers the following services in gingival recession therapy:
- Selective filing down of teeth to correct a traumatic contact – removing the excessive enamel from the tooth making the inappropriate contact.
- Prosthetic rehabilitation – substituting lost teeth with prosthetic work, or replacement of inadequate or outdated prosthetic work.
- Orthodontic therapy – correcting disadvantageous tooth position.
- Surgical removal of inadequate junctions of frenulum and plica – frenulectomy
- Surgical procedures to transplant the soft tissue from palate to the site where the gums have receded. These procedures are known as SMAT and TVT.
- Education about proper oral hygiene
If you have any of these issues, the Pavlovic Clinic is the right place for you.
Call us because we can help you resolve your gum issues!