Restorative treatments for your gums can help your teeth stay healthy and rooted in place
By Annette Brooks
Gum recession happens to people of all ages. Most of us aren’t aware of it right away because gum loss usually occurs gradually over time. Symptoms include but are not limited to tooth sensitivity, pain at the gum line, exposed roots, and swollen gums.
You can take proactive measures to help prevent gum loss, but once it occurs it’s impossible to naturally reverse the process on your own. Left untreated or undertreated, gum recession can cause a snowball effect. Bacterial build-up, for example, leads to inflammation and more recession, giving you that long in the tooth look, loose teeth, and even tooth loss.
With regular dental check-ups, your dentist can determine whether you suffer from gum disease and/or receding gums. The goal is to treat your gum loss to keep it from worsening. But what if it’s too late and your gum recession has gone too far? Fortunately, modern dentistry offers several solutions.
Gum Grafting Surgery
Traditional gum grafting surgery involves tissues being cut and stitched to cover exposed roots. This may include taking tissue from the palate to graft onto existing gum tissue, or it may involve cutting the gums, stretching them to cover roots, and then suturing them together.
Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation
This technique is considered to be less invasive, less painful, and requires less recovery time than traditional gum grafting. During the procedure, a small pinhole is made in the gums so they can be repositioned to cover exposed roots. Collagen is then injected into pinholes to ensure the gums remain as they have been positioned. Results are immediate.
During this relatively quick, virtually painless, and minimally invasive procedure, a precision laser is used to eliminate bacterial pockets formed by periodontal disease, allowing gum tissues and even bone to regenerate. The LANAP protocol is the first and only protocol to receive FDA clearance for True Regeneration, which is re-growing new cementum, new periodontal ligament, and new alveolar bone. Patients can usually return to normal activities within 24 hours after treatment.
Tissue regeneration uses a platelet concentrate gel applied to a collagen membrane as the graft instead of using tissue from the roof of the mouth. The graft is soaked in the patient’s platelets using blood drawn in the same visit. Placed over the receding tooth root, the graft is then surgically secured.
If you have or suspect you have gum loss, schedule an appointment with your dentist right away. Effectively treated, you can reduce the likelihood of further gum recession and keep your teeth from becoming loose and falling out.
Common Causes of Gum Loss
• Overly aggressive tooth brushing
• Inadequate brushing and flossing
• Periodontal disease
• Genetic predisposition
• Hormonal changes (especially in women)
• Clenching or grinding your teeth
• Crooked teeth or a misaligned bite
• Use of tobacco products
• Gum tissue trauma (such as a sports injury)
• Open mouth breathing