Can You Fix Receding Gums?

added on: July 20, 2020
woman with gum pain

Have you ever wondered why your teeth are extra sensitive, especially when drinking something cold or even when you touch your teeth? There’s a chance that you may have receding gums. If left untreated, gum recession can cause even more sensitivity, an increase in tooth decay, and tooth loss. To make matters worse, once gum recession occurs, it can’t be reversed. However, your dentist in Chapel Hill can still help. 

What’s It Mean If You Have Receding Gums?

Receding gums, or gum recession, essentially means that your gum tissue has started to pull away from your teeth, exposing the roots. Once tooth roots are exposed, they’re left unprotected from the elements including hot and cold beverages – and maybe even your toothbrush. The result is shooting sensitive tooth pain. Gum recession also makes it easier for bacteria to settle into these newly created crevices and cause decay. Lastly, healthy gums are responsible for holding teeth sturdy in place, but receding gums weaken that hold and can result in tooth loss. As we’ve mentioned above, once gum recession starts, there’s no way to regrow lost gum tissue. However, there are still treatment options available, and your dentist in Chapel Hill can help you find the best way to treat gum recession.  

How to Treat Receding Gums

Gum recession treatment is highly dependent on the individual case, what caused the recession in the first place, and the severity of the recession. While the effects of gum recession can’t necessarily be reversed, there are ways to prevent further damage and strengthen remaining tissue. Some treatment options include: 

  • Scaling & Root Planing: If gum recession is in the early stages and you seek care quickly, your dentist will probably recommend a scaling and root planing. This deeper dental cleaning focuses on both the tooth surfaces as well as under the gum line and the tooth roots. It helps remove plaque and tartar that brushing or a regular dental cleaning just won’t touch and smooth out tooth roots to help prevent bacteria from latching on and sticking around. This procedure is often done with a local numbing anesthetic. 
  • Antibiotics: Another treatment option for gum recession is the temporary use of antibiotics. This treatment is typically used in conjunction with scaling and root planing and helps rid the mouth of any bacteria that may still be lurking. 
  • Surgical Techniques: The final treatment for gum recession that we’d like to cover today is gum surgery. Please note that just because you’ve been told you have receding gums – doesn’t mean you’ll automatically need surgery. This treatment is often reserved for the most severe cases. There are several gum surgery techniques available and your dentist in Chapel Hill will be able to help you determine if surgery is appropriate for you and which type of surgery will be best. 

Causes

There is a multitude of things that can cause gum recession, and this is probably why it’s an incredibly common dental problem that affects many people. Some causes of gum recession include: 

  • Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard
  • Trauma

Even though there is no way to reverse gum recession, there are ways to treat it effectively. There are also some easy ways to help prevent receding gums in the first place. To best protect yourself, brush and floss every day (but don’t brush too hard!) and see your dentist in Chapel Hill twice a year.