gum recession

Gum recession is a common dental problem. Most people don’t know they have gum recession because it occurs gradually. The first sign of gum recession is usually tooth sensitivity, or you may notice a tooth looks longer than normal.

It’s a disorder in which the gums are pulled away from the teeth, exposing the root of the tooth. The gums around your tooth not only function as a support of the tooth but also as an insulation for your tooth so they are not too sensitive to the hot or cold temperature of food. When gum recession occurs, there’s space formed between the teeth and gum line, making it easy for disease-causing bacteria to build up. If left untreated, the supporting tissue and bone structures of the teeth can be severely damaged and may ultimately result in tooth loss.

Gum recession is not something you want to ignore. If you think your gums are receding, make an appointment with a specialist, the Periodontist. Some treatments can regenerate the gums and prevent further damage.

Why Do Gums Recede?

Gums recede due to several reasons, including:

  • Periodontal diseases: These are bacterial gum infections that destroy gum tissue and supporting bone that hold your teeth in place. Periodontal disease is the main cause of gum recession.
  • Aggressive tooth brushing. If you brush your teeth too hard or the wrong way, it can cause the enamel on your teeth to wear away and your gums to recede. Your gums cannot tolerate pressure from toothbrushing & the trauma from hard bristles
  • Grinding and clenching your teeth: Grinding or clenching your teeth puts too much force on the teeth, causing gums to recede.
  • Hormonal changes: Fluctuations in female hormone levels during a woman’s lifetime, such as in puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, can make gums more sensitive and more vulnerable to gum recession.
  • Malpositioned teeth: When teeth are not aligned in the arch or if do not come together evenly, too much force can be placed on the gums and bone, allowing gums to recede.
  • Lip and tongue piercing: Jewelry can rub the gums and irritate them to the point that gum tissue is worn away.

How Is Gum Recession Treated?

Once gums have receded, it doesn’t grow back on its own. A periodontist needs to intervene and help your gums regenerate by periodontal procedure called as ‘gum tissue graft’. In this procedure, a small portion of skin is taken from the roof of your mouth (palate) and transplanted on the tooth that has gum recession.

 When the gum recession affects multiple teeth, there’s an option of doing an ‘allograft’. An allograft is a donated tissue and works equally successful as the connective tissue graft. With advances in biomedical sciences, the periodontist may also use growth factors such as plasma-rich fibrin (PRF) to regenerate the lost gum tissue. The gum grafting procedure is done under local anesthetic where the area of the mouth is numbed, making it a painless procedure. There is an option of being sedated as well for people who have dental anxiety. Your periodontist can determine the best type of procedure to use on you based on your individual needs.

How Can I Prevent Gum Recession?

The best way to prevent gum recession is to take good care of your mouth. Brush and floss your teeth every day and see your dentist or periodontist at least twice a year, or as recommended. Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush and ask your dentist to show you the proper way to brush your teeth. If a misaligned bite or teeth grinding is the cause of gum recession, talk to your dentist about how to correct the problem. Your dentist will refer you to a dental specialist, periodontist to address the issue and help your gums rejuvenate back to their healthy status.

The author of this blog is Dr. Saba Khan, is American Board-Certified Periodontist & Implant Specialist. Dr. Khan has been practicing for over 15 years & maintains a Periodontics & Implant Dentistry practice in Mt. Prospect. If any questions, please contact her at ‘contactus@epicperiodontics.com’.

tooth sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is a common problem, and many patients encounter pain or discomfort when they eat certain foods that are hot or cold. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, around 40 million adults suffer from sensitivity. Usually, the pain is temporary and can be treated to improve, but not cure the condition.

At Epic Periodontics in Mt. Prospect, IL, we provide many general dentistry services including treatment for patients that suffer from sensitivity. We strive to provide quality dental care in a caring and friendly environment, where patients can relax during their treatment. We welcome new patients to our practice, and look forward to you joining our dental family.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity can happen suddenly, and to anyone. Typically, symptoms of sensitivity include a sudden sharp pain when your teeth are exposed to cold, hot, or acidic foods. Tooth sensitivity can also come after you brush or floss your teeth. Teeth whitening can cause sensitivity after treatment, so patients should consider this when they are deciding to start a whitening regimen.

Our teeth are protected by enamel, and underneath the enamel is a layer of dentin. Dentin is soft, and if the enamel on your teeth is worn down, or your gums have receded the dentin can become exposed. Dentin can be exposed from cavities or cracks in your teeth. The dentin is connected to the nerve area, and this is what can cause pain or sensitive teeth.

Other Actions That Can Cause Sensitivity

  • Brushing too vigorously
  • Gum recession from periodontal disease
  • Gingivitis
  • Teeth grinding or clenching
  • Cracked or injured teeth
  • Plaque
  • Acidic foods or drinks
  • Dental procedures such as sensitivity after a filling
  • Teeth Whitening treatments

What Treatments Are Available for Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity can never completely go away, but there are treatments available that can help alleviate the sensitivity you experience. If you are experiencing any sensitivity, we recommend you make an appointment for an exam in our periodontal office in Mt. Prospect, IL. We can treat sensitivity easier if we know that is what is causing you pain. Never leave pain untreated as this could lead to more serious issues in the future.

Sensitivity Treatments

  • Using a toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
  • Changing to a soft bristled tooth brush.
  • Use a mouthwash that contains fluoride.
  • Avoid acidic foods or drinks.
  • Avoid clenching or grinding your teeth.
  • Inlays or bonding can help fix a tooth and decrease sensitivity.
  • Gum grafts can help protect the root area of the tooth.
  • Fluoride gel or varnish treatment can help protect your teeth from wear and tear.
  • Root Canal therapy if needed can help with severe tooth sensitivity, but this is typically the last resort.

Taking care of your teeth and knowing when to call your dentist is important. Patients should never have prolonged pain or sensitivity to hot or cold. It is always important to take care of your oral health, and practice good habits at home. At Epic Periodontics, your oral health is our priority, and we strive to provide our patients with quality and affordable dental services. Let our team help you take charge of your dental health.

Ready To Schedule Your Appointment?

If you are interested in finding out more about treatments for tooth sensitivity, contact Epic Periodontics, and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you.

Dental Flap Surgery

If you have receding gums and notice they are not snug around your teeth, you may have been recommended to have gum flap surgery. When our gums recede and become loose around our teeth, bacteria and plaque can enter the area and collect. The bacteria are collected in the pockets of our gums, and if not treated this can cause damage or serious issues.

When you have receding gums normal brushing and flossing is not able to clean out the bacteria that has collected in the pockets. Not treating the issue can lead to unstable teeth, or even tooth loss. Attending your regular visits to our office is important, so we can monitor any issues with your teeth and gums, and provide the necessary treatment.

At Epic Periodontics, we have many periodontal services in Mt. Prospect, IL to help patients with receding gums. Gingival flap surgery is also known as gum flap surgery, and can help restore a patient’s gums. Our skilled doctors have years of experience in periodontics, and we work with each patient to develop a customized treatment plan that fits your needs. We welcome new patients to our practice, and always strive to provide quality and affordable dental care you can trust.

How Does Dental Flap Surgery Work?

When you arrive for your appointment, we will use local anesthetic to numb the area and keep you comfortable and pain free. Our doctor will gently pull back a section of your gum tissue and clean the roots of your teeth. If there is any bone damage, we will repair that as well.

Once the area is cleaned and bacteria free, your gum will be sewn back into place. During the procedure we can smooth or reshape the bone to avoid plaque from collecting in certain areas in the future. Bone grafting can be used to help repair the area, and allow the bone to grow back properly.

How Is the Recovery After Dental Flap Surgery?

After your surgery patients can expect the recovery to be a few days. Our staff will discuss at-home care instructions for you to follow while you heal. If you experience any pain or complications, we encourage you to contact our office right away. Following the instructions is important to avoid complications and allow the are to heal properly.

What Can I Do at Home To Help the Healing Process?

  • Use over the counter pain medications if needed or prescribed by our doctors.
  • Follow a soft food diet as you heal. Solid foods can be added back gradually.
  • Rinse with warm salt water a few times a day to clean out the area and aid in healing.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise for the first 24-48 hours as this can cause bleeding.
  • Carefully brush your teeth twice daily.
  • Do not use a straw. This type of sucking motion can cause issues with healing.
  • Avoid tobacco products as this can impact the healing process.
  • Take care of the area and change out the gauze as needed.

Dental flap surgery can help repair damaged gums and bone. This type of procedure has a high success rate, and your gums should become pink and healthy again. Patients may experience some sensitivity after the procedure, and antibiotics may be recommended to prevent infection.

Would You Like To Find Out More?

If you are interested in finding out more about how dental flap surgery may help you, contact Epic Periodontics, and our staff will be happy to schedule your appointment.