do gums grow back - Savina Clinic - Dental and Implantology Centres Malta and Gozo

Do gums grow back? This is one of the most common questions we get from patients who realise that their gums are receding. Receding gums cause the gum tissue that surrounds your teeth to recede and lower its position on your tooth, exposing the root of the tooth. Fortunately, although gums do not grow back, there are a few things your dentist can do to correct the issue and prevent it from getting worse. Here is an in-depth look at receding gums and how the problem can be halted or treated.

What causes receding gums?

Tooth demineralisation

Tooth demineralisation is the loss of minerals in the tooth enamel, which damages the coating. The process of jaw demineralisation takes away the gum tissue’s supportive structure (tooth enamel) that enables it to stay high on teeth causing your gums to recede.

Periodontal disease

Periodontal disease is the leading cause of gum recession. It is caused by the effects of inflammation from bacterial toxins and results in the recession of gum tissue and supporting bone.

Bruxism

Bruxism is the grinding and clenching of teeth. It puts a lot of force on your teeth and can result in bone loss and gum recession.

Trauma

Trauma to the mouth can tamper with your gums and cause gum recession.

Genetics

Some people are more prone to gum recession, especially those with a thin or weak connective tissue (Biotype)and or bone that can quickly wear away. If one or both of your parents have receding gums, you are at a higher risk of getting the same condition.

What can you do about receding gums?

Unfortunately, according to a study by the US national library of Medicine, receding gums cannot grow back. However, there are a few things you can do to prevent further recession and also improve the appearance of your gums.

Slow down gum recession

The treatment of receding gums highly depends on the extent of the recession and gum disease symptoms. So make sure to visit your dentist for a checkup. if the dentist finds pockets (spaces between tooth and gum created by this condition), they may start with a deep cleaning procedure. This involves scraping away the tartar underneath your gum line using a handheld scraper or an ultrasonic device to loosen and remove plaque.

The dentist may also opt to apply a slow-release antibacterial gel under your gum line and prescribe mouthwash. This treatment is highly recommended as the successful removal of tartar and bacteria can slow down or even stop the process. However, you will be required to pick up good oral hygiene habits to avoid further build up.

Switch to a softer toothbrush

One of the leading causes of gum recession is vigorous or horizontal tooth brushing. In such a case, your dentist may advise you to switch to using a soft-bristled toothbrush and demonstrate the correct brushing technique. While this will not correct an existing recession, it will help prevent it from receding further.

Use aids to stop tooth grinding

The force applied when grinding or clenching teeth can cause your gums to recede. To soften this force, we recommend that you wear a night guard.

Fix misaligned bite

A misaligned bit creates an excessive force on specific teeth and bone in your mouth causing bone loss and receding gums. In such a case, we recommend that you undergo orthodontic treatment to eliminate this bite interference. You can also use a night guard to protect the overloaded teeth due to nighttime grinding or clenching.

Give up smoking

Smoking creates a conducive environment for large amounts of plaque to attach to your teeth. The toxins present in cigarette smoke interfere with gum circulation and health and cause your gums to recede. healing is also extremely limited in smokers. To prevent this from happening, we highly recommend that you quit smoking or ask for help in doing so.

Better overall dental hygiene

Poor dental hygiene can cause receding gums. Hence, you should start brushing your teeth at least two times a day and floss or use interdental aids (brushes, airfloss etc) once daily to minimise the buildup of plaque, tartar and food debris along your gum line which causes gum recession.

Regular checkups

Regular dental checkups can significantly reduce the chances of gum recession as your dentist can point out anything that is not as it should be early and help you control it.

How to Treat Receding Gums with Dental Surgery

There are incidences where your dentist may recommend surgery to remove tartar deposits and granulation tissue that are beyond the reach of a standard hygiene session or to replace missing gum tissue. some of the most common surgical treatments for receding gums include;

Flap surgery

Flap surgery involves your dentist making a small incision in your gum tissue. This will allow him to lift the gum to expose any tartar that could not have been removed during scaling. They will proceed to remove this tartar before securing your gum back in place. This treatment helps prevent bone loss.

Gum Graft

This treatment is recommended for people with a considerable amount of gum recession. It involves the dentist taking tissue from another area of your mouth and attaching it to the deficient area. This helps reduce the appearance of gum recession and protect your tooth and bone from further damage.

Related Reading: Gum Graft Treatment In Malta

Bonding

Your dentist may suggest bonding, which involves placing a gum-coloured or tooth-coloured resin over the exposed roots of your teeth. This treatment helps minimise the appearance of receding gums and protect the roots of your teeth.

Pin-hole surgery technique

According to a study published in the International Journal of Periodontics and Restorative Dentistry, the Pin-hole surgery technique has a high rate of success and patient satisfaction. This treatment involves placing and manipulating the existing gum over the exposed roots.

Final thoughts

If not treated, gum recession can lead to severe health problems such as gum disease and tooth decay. That said, leading a healthy lifestyle can help prevent receding gums. Quit smoking, eat a balanced diet and practice good oral hygiene. Also, make sure to visit your dentist at least twice a year to check and take care of your teeth and gums.

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Savina Clinic – Dental & Implantology Centres are friendly, state-of-the-art practices in Malta and Gozo dedicated to comprehensive quality dental care. Savina Dental is an innovative dental practice in Malta and prides itself on the high-quality customer service, low waiting room times, attention to detail and the advanced dental technology at their disposal.

Joseph Xuereb
Joseph Xuereb
Principal Dental Surgeon & Owner of Savina Dental Clinics, Dr Joseph Xuereb BChD (Hons), MFGDP(UK), MGDS RCS(Eng), FFGDP RCS(UK), FICD is a general dental practitioner with a special interest in Implant and Restorative Dentistry. Dr Joseph & the teams' full biographical information can be found here.