Take a look at your smile in the mirror. Do any of your teeth look longer than you remember? It might be a sign that your gums are receding, which could lead to sensitive teeth and embarrassment about your appearance in the future. However, you don’t have to worry about being stuck with your new gumline; receding gums are a fairly common problem that can often easily be corrected with gum recontouring. In this post, you’ll discover more about why the gums might shrink and how your periodontist in Baltimore may be able to help you.
What Does It Mean to Have Receding Gums?
Simply put, your gums are receding if they pull away from the tooth, causing the gumline to move higher. This means that more of the tooth is visible than normal, and that includes the more vulnerable, roots. Compared to the enamel-covered part of the tooth used for chewing, the roots are made up of much softer dentine. As a result, your risk for cavities and sensitive teeth will be much higher. It’s important to address gum recession as soon as possible before you start suffering from more severe oral health problems.
What Can Cause Receding Gums?
Many cases of receding gums are linked to advanced cases of gum disease. When a gum infection occurs due to poor oral hygiene, the soft tissues in your mouth will start to break down. The longer gum disease goes unaddressed, the more likely you are to experience gum recession.
Other possible causes of shrinking gums might include:
- Brushing your teeth too vigorously and wearing down the gums as a result.
- Gums that are naturally thin and thus more prone to damage.
- Dentures that do not fit properly and irritate the gums as a result.
Your periodontist or general dentist will need to figure out the underlying cause of your gum recession before they recommend a treatment to reverse it.
How Can Gum Recontouring Help with Receding Gums?
Gum recontouring is the process of reshaping the gumline for aesthetic or health reasons. For gum recession, recontouring usually involves gum grafting in Baltimore. A small amount of tissue is taken from the roof of your mouth (or from the treatment area itself depending on the situation) and placed over the exposed parts of the tooth. Once the graft has healed, the roots of your teeth will once again be properly protected, and the balance of your smile will be restored.
Gum recontouring is a relatively quick solution for receding gums, but like any procedure, it’s most effective when the problem is caught and treated early. Get in touch with your periodontist right away if your teeth are looking longer than you remember them.
About the Author
Dr. Melody Ward completed her residency in periodontics at University of Maryland Baltimore, and in 2014 she became a diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology. She loves how being a periodontist gives her a chance to teach patients more about gum health and how it relates to their wellbeing. If you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ward to ask about gum recession or gum grafting, visit her website or call (410) 583-5214.