August 21, 2017
Should Gingival Recession Be Treated?
Please see our previous blog on what IS gingival recession.
Should gingival recession be treated? The answer is, it depends! This blog will explore some of the reasons to treat or not to treat gingival recession. We hope you enjoy it!
We care about gingival recession for many reasons. Mostly because we want you to save your teeth for a lifetime and gingival recession is not a normal process of aging. Most importantly your dentist should help you determine the cause of your gingival recession and then tell you the things you can do to prevent it from continuing.
Several areas of gingival or gum recession noted
The gingival recession pictured here is severe. The patient has been informed as to the likely causes of his recession (Orthodontic movement of the teeth combined with excessive and hard tooth brushing) and instructed in how to prevent it from getting worse. Our patient really wants to have a better looking smile! The following are the patient’s main concerns:
- Dark colored front teeth
- Short side teeth (lateral incisors)
- Poor alignment of the front teeth
- Gingival recession is only a minor concern
Now, please look at the photo of our patient’s smile. Even with a wide smile, the gingival recession cannot be seen. The most noticeable things about the smile are the discolored or dark front teeth and the short side teeth that seem to stick out.
The patient’s concerns are apparent in this smile photo.
Our office decided to start with study models to show the patient what could be done to improve his smile. Conservative treatment including four porcelain veneers on his front teeth would take care of his esthetic concerns. We elected not to treat the gingival recession for these reasons:
- The gingival recession was not visible in his smile
- Gingival recession is very difficult to treat successfully
- We can monitor the recession over time and assure that it is not getting worse
- The patient has been instructed in the things he can do to prevent further gingival recession. This includes proper brushing and a gentle or no tooth paste.
- The gentlest thing next to gums is healthy tooth structure – not dental restorations
- Even with the recession, there is still adequate healthy gums around each tooth.
When you look at our result compared to the before treatment photo, you can see how well the gum tissue is responding to the new porcelain veneers. The improvement in the smile was perfect for our patient and addressed his cosmetic concerns while conserving healthy tooth structure and minimizing unnecessary surgery.
Our office would be happy to help you take the best care possible of your teeth. You can reach our Grand Junction, Colorado office at (970) 242-3635. Or visit our website at www.juliegillisdds.com for more information. We would love to have you visit and like us on Facebook or Instagram. Find us at Julie Gillis DDS on Facebook or DDSJulie on Instagram
Yours for better dental health,
Julie Gillis DDS, AAACD
Restoring Teeth/Restoring Smiles
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August 16, 2017
What is Gingival Recession?
This blog reviews what gingival recession is and the typical causes of gingival recession. Photos display gingival recession on both front and back teeth. By reading this blog is is hoped that you will become more aware of this problem and the ways that gingival recession can be prevented. If gingival recession is already present, you will read how you can help prevent it from progressing.
Several areas of gingival or gum recession noted
What is gingival recession? See the photo above. Gingival recession happens when the gums recede or move away from their normal position near the edge of the tooth’s enamel and move toward the tip of the tooth’s root exposing the root surface of the tooth. Once gingival recession has occurred, it will not go away on its own. Typical causes of gingival recession are as follows:
- Overly aggressive tooth brushing
- Brushing the teeth with a hard-bristled toothbrush
- Brushing the teeth with an abrasive toothpaste
- A gum infection, periodontitis or gingivitis may cause attachment loss especially if not treated early
- Orthodontic movement of the teeth into an area of very thin bone so that the bone resorbs and the gums move down the roots of the teeth
- An ill-fitting appliance that presses on the gums
- Clenching and grinding of the teeth alone or combined with any of the above
We care about gingival recession for many reasons. Mostly because we want you to save your teeth for a lifetime and gingival recession is not a normal process of aging. Most importantly your dentist should help you determine the cause of your gingival recession and then tell you the things you can do to prevent it from continuing!
In the photo shown here, the gingival recession is present in most areas of the mouth. As you can see, the front teeth have been beautifully restored with porcelain veneers. The likely causes of the gingival recession is Orthodontic movement of the teeth combined with excessive and hard tooth brushing. Look closely at the gingival recession present on the back teeth. The exposed root is much softer than the adjacent enamel on the crown of the tooth and because this exposed part is softer, the root is more likely to be damaged or worn away by excessive tooth brushing.
So, what should you do? If you believe that you have gingival recession you should talk about this with your dentist. We recommend the following:
- Use a soft toothbrush and a very mild or no toothpaste.
- Your teeth will get clean if you dip your toothbrush in a mouth rinse for brushing. This eliminates the problem of the paste wearing away your tooth.
- Review your brushing techniques with your dentist or dental hygienist.
- Have photos taken of your teeth that show the recession and then compart the amount of recession over time. It should not get worse if you are doing the right things!
Our office would be happy to help you take the best care possible of your teeth. You can reach our Grand Junction, Colorado office at (970) 242-3635. Or visit our website at www.juliegillisdds.com for more information. We would love to have you visit and like us on Facebook or Instagram. Find us at Julie Gillis DDS on Facebook or Julie Gillis DDS on Instagram
March 17, 2015
Trauma Can Fracture Teeth and Permanently Damage Gums.
This can cause a gingival defect known as gum recession.
Trauma to front tooth tore off enamel on the front of the tooth and caused ripping of the gum tissue and lip.
Luckily this patient does not show a lot of gum tissue when she smiles as trauma like this will almost always leave an area of gum recession on the root surface. Gum Recession or gingival recession is the term used when the gums move apically or away from their normal position. Areas of gum recession will leave root surfaces exposed. Since the root is softer than the crown of a tooth, gum recession can lead to excessive wear of the root surface causing sensitivity and or notches to develop in the root.
The fractured area of the tooth has been covered by a layer of composite or tooth colored bonding material.
Gums attach to the bone over the root of a tooth. There may be some attachment of the gums to the root surface as well. In an area of gum recession, the root is exposed without the normal layer of overlying bone and the root surface becomes contaminated with bacteria and proteins in the mouth. New tissue will not grow here and without periodontal intervention such as gum grafting, the root will remain exposed once the gum tissue heals.
The gum tissue has healed with an area of gum recession.
In the photos here you can see the recession caused by trauma and the appearance of the gum tissue after it has healed with an area of gum recession. A periodontist may still be able to improve the appearance of this gingival defect, This would be especially important if the area could be seen during smiling. Our patient here has a very low smile meaning that her upper lip covers this area of gum recession and she is not concerned with the defect from a cosmetic standpoint.
Our Grand Junction, Colorado office often sees areas of gum recession usually caused by periodontal disease, destructive habits or trauma. We would be happy to discuss your options for treatment of areas like this! Our phone number is (970) 242-3635. We would love to hear from you!
Yours for better dental health,
Julie Gillis DDS, PC
Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health