Dental Tips Blog

Jun
21

What Can You Do About Receding Gums?

Posted in Gum Disease

There’s an abundance of “natural” treatments targeting gum recession. If you suffer from receding gums, then you may be desperate enough to rub anything on them to make them stop shrinking!

What can you do to treat gum recession? Here are the facts your dentist wants you to know.

Gums Can’t Grow Back

Gum tissue does not grow back on its own. Once it’s lost, it’s gone for good. Despite the claims of some natural gum health products or at-home remedies, there is nothing that will make your receded gums grow back again.

Rubbing Your Gums Might Be Making Things Worse

Gentle massage is great for gum tissue. It promotes healthy blood circulation and stimulates your gums to keep them strong and less sensitive to irritants. But if you rub them too hard with something abrasive like sea salt, then you could actually speed up the recession. Check with your dentist before trying any at-home gum recession treatments.

The Only Ways to Treat Gum Recession

The very first thing you need to do is identify the cause of your gum recession. Sometimes it’s a hereditary factor that you can’t do much about. More often than not, however, gum recession is linked to problems or activities that irritate the gums.

These can include:

  • Rough edges on dental restorations
  • Brushing too hard
  • Improper flossing technique
  • Irritation or abrasion from teeth whitening products
  • Using a toothbrush with hard bristles
  • Inflammation from gum disease

Your dentist can help you identify such problems and put a stop to them to halt the recession. Later, if you want to restore the gums around your teeth, you may qualify for a gum graft procedure.

Posted on behalf of:
Manhattan Dental Design
315 W 57th St Suite 206
New York, NY 10019
(646) 504-4377

Apr
18

Is Gum Recession Reversible?

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum recession can give the undesirable impression of having long yellow teeth. Receding gumlines also has more serious consequences, making teeth very sensitive and exposed to cavities.

If you are already suffered from receding gums, then you may be hoping they’ll grow back.

Gum Recession – Not Reversible, But Still Preventable

Unfortunately, once your gums shrink down they don’t grow back. The best thing you can do is stop the recession by correcting or avoiding things that cause it, including:

  • Gum disease
  • Irritating dental fillings or appliances
  • Rough toothbrushing
  • Crooked teeth
  • Teeth clenching habits
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Oral jewelry

How You Can Treat Gum Recession

While the gums don’t grow back, you can still do something to protect your exposed  teeth.

Dental bonding is one option. Your dentist can apply a small amount of filling material to the exposed roots. This will make them look white like the rest of the tooth and protect them from decay. Dental veneers can play a similar role.

In more severe cases, your dentist may recommend gum graft to restore the lost tissue.

Oral Hygiene Considerations if You Have Gum Recession

Until you’re able to undo the effects of gum recession, it’s important to do all you can to protect your teeth and gums.

Switch to a soft- or extra soft-bristled toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes are also good to use on delicate gum tissue and sensitive teeth.

Get plenty of fluoride through toothpaste and rinses. This mineral will strengthen teeth exposed by gum recession and increase their defenses against cavities.

See a dentist or gum health specialist as soon as possible to find out how you can repair the effects of gum recession.

Posted on behalf of:
Manhattan Dental Design
315 W 57th St Suite 206
New York, NY 10019
(646) 504-4377

Sep
17

Health Considerations for Oral Piercings

Posted in Gum Disease

Oral jewelry may look pretty, exotic, rebellious, or tough, but it can also be dangerous.

Here are a few things you should think about before you go ahead and get your lip, cheek, chin, or tongue pierced.

Infection

Even if your piercing was done with clean equipment, it’s still a hole in your mouth. Oral injuries are risky due to the high levels of bacteria found in your mouth. These germs can trigger an infection in a new piercing or an old one if it’s not kept clean.

Cleaning

Too many people neglect their piercings, not realizing how dirty they can get. You may find it’s a pain to regularly clean your accessory and make sure the pierced area is free of foreign debris.

Allergic Reaction

It’s one thing to have your earlobe swell up from a cheap piece of jewelry. But getting a tongue piercing is a bad time to discover you have an allergy. If your tongue or throat tissues swell up, you may have difficulty breathing and face a medical emergency.

Gum Recession

If a piercing constantly chafes against your gums when your cheeks or tongue move, that can trigger gums to recede. Sensitive tooth roots can be exposed to decay and require treatment such as gum grafts or gum recontouring.

Swallowing Risk

There’s always the chance that something doesn’t get screwed in right, and you accidentally swallow something sharp!

Before you get an oral piercing, carefully think about this: whether making a personal statement is worth destroying a free and healthy channel of expressing yourself – your smile!

If you’ve already made up your mind, talk to your dentist about how to safely care for the area to reduce your risk of gum damage and infection.

Posted on behalf of :
Prime Dental Care
417 Wall St
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 651-8618

 

Feb
11

5 Ways to Prevent Gum Recession and Long Teeth

Posted in Receding Gums

Long teeth are associated with things like lack of dental care or villains on horror movies. But the unfortunate reality is that many people are prone to getting longer teeth as they age.

How can you avoid the appearance of having long teeth due to a shrinking gum line?

  1. Use a softer toothbrush.

Brushing too aggressively and/or with a coarse toothbrush is a fast way to irritate your gingiva and make them shrink back. Switch to a brush with softer bristles for gentler brushing.

  1. Floss daily.

Gum disease is what causes inflammation that makes gum infected, eventually causing them to pull away from teeth. Flossing removes bacteria that causes periodontal infections. So floss every day if you want to save your smile!

  1. Irrigate your gums.

A gentle stream of water pressure can be very therapeutic for gum tissue, especially if you have trouble flossing. Water irrigators or water flossers are perfect for boosting your oral hygiene routine at home.

  1. De-stress!

Gum recession can occur in some areas as a result of teeth grinding. By addressing a teeth-clenching habit, you may slow down or even stop gum recession. Stress is often to blame for the habit, so try some relaxation techniques to soothe away the tension.

  1. See your dentist.

Your dentist is the best source of personalized advice for avoiding gum recession. He or she will keep a record of your gum measurements to watch for signs that your gums are receding.

If you have some areas where long yellow tooth roots are showing already, then your dentist will also have some tips for restoring the area.

Call your dentist today to learn more about options like gum re-contouring, gum grafting and periodontal therapy.

Posted on behalf of:
Gilreath Dental Associates
200 White St NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 514-1224

Nov
30

Is Gingival Recontouring Right for Me?

Posted in Periodontics

Have you ever looked at your teeth and notice that the gums are all different heights? Some may be too high, others too low. Many scenarios arise as to why this happens, but now you may be considering if cosmetic gum contouring is right for you and you want to know some options.

Reducing Gummy Smiles

A gum reduction is needed when there is too much gingival tissue covering the teeth. Your teeth may look short or uneven. Lasers are becoming increasing popular for reduction procedures, due to quick and easy recoveries. As the laser trims the tissue it is simultaneously cauterizing it, which aids the healing process. Removing excess tissue can be more satisfying to the eye, but also keeps a tooth healthier because there is less of a pocket under the gums for bacteria to accumulate.

When There Isn’t Enough Gum Tissue Present

One of the most common gum problems is called recession, when the gum is too low and teeth look long.  Gum tissue is a key structure in keeping your teeth stable and healthy. Once the gum is loss, it will not regrow on its own. A periodontist or dentist can graft new tissue either from your palate (or possibly use donor tissue depending on the scenario and location in the mouth.) Grafting isn’t a quick solution; it can be tender in the days that follow the surgery. Bruising may occur and recovery may take a bit of time to fully heal …so learning about what caused the gum to recede is essential in preventing the need for this type of gum treatment again.

Both gum recontouring procedures are equally important reasons to correct your uneven appearance. Ultimately, they will increase the longevity of your smile. Ask your dentist if you need gingival recontouring!

Posted on behalf of :
Prime Dental Care
417 Wall St
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 651-8618

Sep
27

Gingival Grafting Can Save Your Smile

Posted in Gum Disease

What is gingival grafting and why is it so important when it comes to saving the life (and appearance) of your smile? 

Gingival grafting is a procedure that is used to help cover the exposed root surfaces of teeth that have experienced moderate to severe gum recession. When gum recession takes place it can: 

  • Compromise the appearance of your smile
  • Predispose teeth to mobility or tooth loss
  • Allow sensitivity or tooth decay to affect the weaker root surfaces 

What causes gum recession? Although it can be a variety of different factors, some of the most common causes include: 

  • Aggressive toothbrushing
  • Gum disease
  • Tobacco use
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Grinding/Bruxism
  • Aggressive orthodontic therapy 

Covering the exposed root surfaces with host, or donor gingival tissue, the patient can prevent complications caused by gum recession. The new tissue fuses directly with the tissues in the surrounding area, and “blanket” the tooth so that it is no longer exposed to external stimuli. 

The procedure usually takes just one appointment. As mentioned, the patient can have gingival tissue used from another part of their mouth or from a host. Depending on the type of graft needed, sutures may not even be required. Over the next several weeks the tissue will begin to fuse in the area so that it becomes one with your existing gum tissue. 

It’s not worth the risk to lose your healthy tooth to gum recession. Your gums are an important part of a healthy mouth and keeping your teeth for a lifetime. Thankfully, gingival grafting is an excellent way to preserve your smile and avoid some of the common pitfalls that people find themselves in due to severe tissue loss. 

Posted on behalf of Find Local Dentists

Dec
3

Exposed Tooth Roots Pose an Increased Risk of Developing Decay

Posted in Gum Disease

Do you have gum recession, periodontal disease, or damage that causes your root surfaces to be exposed? If you do, it’s important for you to know that this area of your tooth is much weaker and susceptible to developing cavities than your strong tooth enamel. In fact, this part of the tooth is made of dentin, which is almost 70% weaker than enamel.

What does that mean for you? It means that additional care is needed to prevent your teeth from developing root cavities. Once root cavities begin to form, they can progress very quickly, complicating the health of your entire tooth. Taking the right steps can help prevent root cavities from forming, as well as other side effects like sensitivity.

Topical fluoride varnish is a simple, effective treatment that blocks the pores of dentin for up to 3 months. That means there’s no sensitivity and less likelihood to develop cavities. Varnish isn’t the same as other types of fluoride; it’s an even stronger paste that adheres directly to your tooth and is applied by your dentist or hygienist.

Gum grafting may be recommended if your recession is very severe. This uses a piece of donor tissue from you or other source to recover the existing exposed area. It’s applied just like a small blanket draped over the root of your tooth, which then adheres to the dentin and surrounding gum tissue.

Tooth colored bonding can help cover mild to moderate areas of exposed roots, and is similar to having a small filling placed. The composite material is matched to your enamel and shaped over the area of exposed root, bonding to your tooth structure the same way other types of tooth colored fillings are.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Virginia Kirkland, North Point Periodontics

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Jul
3

Gum Recession and Grafting

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum recession is the condition where the levels of gum tissue slowly work their way down the tooth, exposing the root. Several factors can cause gum recession, including:

  • Aggressive brushing with a stiff bristled toothbrush
  • Teeth grinding or clenching
  • Misaligned teethPeriodontal disease
  • Rapid orthodontic therapy
  • Tobacco use

When the root is exposed, it allows the next layer of tooth called the dentin to be exposed to external stimulates that it isn’t supposed to be. Normally this porous structure is protected by the gums and guarded from things that otherwise cause sensitivity or damage to the tooth.

You may notice areas of recession by:

  • Yellow areas on the teeth along the gums
  • Appearance of longer teeth
  • Sensitivity near the gumlines

When gum recession is severe, treating the area with surgical gum grafting can be very effective at saving the tooth or eliminating the sensitivity associated with that area. Grafting uses donor tissue from another part of your mouth, or from a tissue bank to place a new layer of gingival tissue over the tooth. In some cases there is not even a need for suturing. When cared for properly, these areas heal well, resulting in stability and decreased sensitivity of receded areas.

If left untreated, areas of severe recession can cause decay, mobility and loss of the affected tooth. Gum recession should be monitored very carefully, and factors such as gum disease (periodontal disease) or smoking should be eliminated to increase the success of grafting treatments. Also remember that using only soft bristled toothbrushes is an essential part of preventing gum recession and enamel abrasion. It may not feel as though you’re scrubbing hard enough to get the teeth clean, but gentle plaque removal is the best way to protect your teeth for a lifetime.

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