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Should Gingival Recession Be Treated?

August 21, 2017

Filed under: Gum Recession — Tags: — Dr Gillis @ 6:53 am

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.

Gingival Recession

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.

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:

  1. The gingival recession was not visible in his smile
  2. Gingival recession is very difficult to treat successfully
  3. We can monitor the recession over time and assure that it is not getting worse
  4. 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.
  5. The gentlest thing next to gums is healthy tooth structure – not dental restorations
  6. Even with the recession, there is still adequate healthy gums around each tooth.

Stubler-10 G.Stubler6

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

 

 

Trauma Can Fracture Teeth and Permanently Damage Gums!

March 17, 2015

Filed under: Dental Health,Gum Recession,Gum Surgery,Uncategorized — Tags: — Dr Gillis @ 9:42 pm

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.

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.

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.

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

 

1190 Bookcliff Ave. Suite 201, Grand Junction, CO 81501 USA
Julie M Gillis DDS Grand Junction, CO cosmetic, general, & restorative dentist. (970) 242-3635 (970) 242-8479 jgillis@juliegillisdds.com