When you look in the mirror each morning, are you noticing that your teeth are getting just a little bit longer? You’re not crazy. Many adults experience gum recession, a symptom of gingivitis. While you may not like how your new longer teeth look, gum recession is more than just a cosmetic concern. If you don’t treat your receding gums, you’ll be at greater risk for tooth decay, sore jaw, periodontal disease and even losing teeth. If you notice that your gums are receding, you should visit a dentist immediately to determine the cause and an appropriate course of treatment.
Treating your receding gums at home
- If you and your dentist conclude that your receding gums are a symptom of too-vigorous brushing technique, try to brush a little lighter. If you haven’t already, this is the time to switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Get serious about flossing. Flossing helps keep your gums clean and stimulates them into regeneration. If you weren’t flossing once a day before this, you should start now.
- Quit smoking. Smoking can exacerbate any oral health issues, so use this incident as motivation to finally quit.
Treating gum recession at the dentist’s office
In addition to lifestyle changes your dentist recommends, you may have to receive some treatment at the dentist’s office. You might need:
- Pocket depth reduction surgery, in which the dentist removes the bacteria from your gums and secures your gums back over the root of your teeth.
- Bone regeneration, which is important if you’ve lost bone and gum tissue from periodontal disease.
- Soft tissue graft, which usually uses a piece of skin from the roof of your mouth to cover exposed roots.