Do Gums Grow Back After They Recede?
When gum disease goes untreated for too long, it could eventually lead to gum recession. This is when the gum tissue pulls away from the teeth, exposing the roots and making them look unusually long. Many patients look at this damage and assume it will heal on its own, but is that really true? Do the gums grow back after they’ve receded? And if not, what can you do to address or prevent the damage? The following post explores the answers to these questions.
Why is Gum Recession a Problem?
Gum recession is not just a cosmetic issue. When the roots of the teeth are left exposed, they’re more vulnerable to bacteria attacks. In other words, your risk of tooth decay and infections will be significantly higher. In addition, unprotected tooth roots also tend to be much more sensitive, which can make it very painful to consume anything that’s especially hot or cold.
Can the Gums Heal on Their Own After Gum Recession?
Unfortunately, the answer is no; receded gum tissue will not grow back by itself. If you want to reverse the damage, you will need to see an experienced periodontist. As part of your gum disease therapy, they will most likely recommend a gum graft to cover the exposed parts of the tooth.
Gum grafting typically involves taking a small bit of tissue from the roof of your mouth so that it can be transplanted to the area where the recession has occurred. In some cases, the tissue might be taken from a donor instead; it largely depends on how severe the damage is.
Can Gum Recession Be Prevented?
The good news is that you can often avoid gum recession (and other negative effects of gum disease) by being proactive about your oral health. The following tips can help keep your gums healthy:
- Brush for two minutes at a time twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Be gentle when cleaning near your gums; brushing too hard could wear them down.
- If you grind your teeth at night, you should get a mouthguard to wear while you sleep. It will keep the upper and lower rows of teeth separated, thus preventing major dental damage.
- Start rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash. This will help eliminate many of the bacteria that can contribute to gum disease.
- Visit your dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning. They’ll be able to check for signs of gum disease so that you can start treatment before the worst of the damage has been done.
- Prevent any existing gum disease from growing worse by having regular periodontal cleanings done at your periodontist’s office.
Gum recession is just one more reason why you need to protect your mouth from gum disease. Reach out to your periodontist today if you have any concerns about the health of your gums.