Receding gums, or gingival recession, is a common problem that can drastically age your smile and face. This recession becomes a health concern when roots of the tooth are exposed, leading to oversensitivity, pain, and infection. Typically thought to be common in adults over 65, it can begin in men and women in their 40s. In fact, studies indicate 88 percent of adults have some level of gum recession above at least one tooth. Most people are unaware they even have gum recession, which is a form of periodontal disease, but with treatment in the early stages, many people can stop or reverse gum recession before losing teeth.
Dr. Marianna Farber at Contemporary and Aesthetic Dentistry in New York City, NY incorporates her experience with innovative surgical techniques to reposition your gumline while restoring your smile. Dr. Farber utilizes a minimally invasive technique to help remedy the condition with little downtime. Here is some important information on the causes and signs gum recession, how it is treated, and prevention of receding gums.
Causes of gum recession
Periodontal disease is a form of gingivitis caused by the build-up of plaque and bacteria along the gums and teeth. If left untreated, the plaque forces the gums to recede away from the teeth, resulting in eventual tooth loss. There are several contributing factors that may cause receding gums. These include:
Hormonal changes in women
Diseases like diabetes and HIV
Signs of gum recession
For men and women in New York City, regular visits to the dentist will detect early signs of periodontal disease. Patients may be unaware that they are experiencing symptoms of gum recession. Some visible signs include appearance changes in the teeth. You may notice they look longer in shape or there are significant gaps between your teeth. Another sign is sensitivity to hot or cold food or drink items. An exposed tooth nerve causes this sensitivity. If left untreated, receding gums can lead to tooth loss or decay, bad breath, and bleeding gums. There are treatment options that range from the more invasive, soft tissue grafting, to the less invasive, faster healing technique.
Treatment of gum recession
At Contemporary & Esthetic Dentistry, New York City patients who are experiencing gum recession are often treated by using the minimally invasive Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique. This technique allows for an improved appearance in the smile and reduces the look of a gumline that does not properly fit over the teeth. It is innovative in that it features little post-surgery downtime, no need for sutures, and can help correct gum recession in as little as one treatment.
A local anesthetic is used to numb the area. A small hole is made in the gumline with a needle, versus a scalpel, which would require stitches. The gumline is then loosened and repositioned over the teeth, eliminating pockets that could easily create an oral infection. By removing the space between the teeth and the gumline, it diminishes hiding spots where bacteria may settle. Next, collagen strips are inserted through the “pinhole” incision and are used to keep the gums in place. These strips act as support while aiding in the healing process.
During healing, the body naturally creates new gum tissue which attaches to its repositioned location. Patients can expect to heal more quickly versus other types of gum recession treatments. Other benefits of the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique versus traditional gum grafting surgery include reduced swelling and bleeding, less painful recovery, immediate cosmetic benefits, and reduced risk of infection.
Candidates for Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique
The best candidates for the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique are New York City area patients who experience frequent infections or have periodontal disease due to gaps between the teeth and gumline. Men and women who have mild gum recession and healthy gums are ideal candidates. Since no incisions are needed, patients can expect to heal more quickly than with other forms of gum recession treatment.
Preventing receding gums
While gingival recession is sometimes hereditary, there are preventative measures. When brushing your teeth, use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Careful steps should be taken to avoid harshly overbrushing; instead, opt for gentle strokes. Maintaining good oral hygiene with regular dental visits to prevent plaque buildup aids in preventing receding gums. Talk openly with your dentist about any concerns you may have regarding your gums or other dental issues.
If you think you may have signs of gum recession, we encourage you to make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Marianna Farber at Contemporary and Aesthetic Dentistry in New York City, NY. Dr. Farber is trained and certified in the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique and will discuss all of the various gum recession treatments with you, including this innovative method. Let us help you achieve your desired smile through safe and gentle techniques.