Treatment of Gum Recession
WHAT IS GUM RECESSION?
Gum recession is the loss of protective gum tissue surrounding the teeth. It can affect the tissue around a single tooth or around many teeth. Unlike periodontal disease (gum disease), patients can typically identify when they have receding gums, such as when teeth appear longer or have changed color due to exposed roots. As gum recession progresses, the softer aspect of the tooth is exposed to the elements. Continuing wear of the tooth makes the nerve within the tooth more vulnerable to inflammation. In some cases, receding gums are a precursor to a more serious problem, such as periodontal disease.
HOW DOES GUM RECESSION HAPPEN?
You may or may not be in control of the cause of receding gums. Aggressive tooth brushing habits, periodontal disease, mal-positioned teeth, and a past history of orthodontic treatment are all contributing factors. Patients with inherently thin gums are also at an increased risk.
TREATMENT OF GUM RECESSION
Previously, gum recession was treated using soft tissue grafts, which were performed by harvesting tissue from the roof of the mouth. With new developments in periodontal care, 95% of receding gums cases can now be treated with a tissue-like material known as a regenerative matrix.
Introduced in 1994, regenerative matrix materials were originally developed to treat burn victims. Today it is widely used in plastic reconstructive surgery in both medicine and dentistry. This procedure eliminates the need to do surgery on a second site in the mouth to harvest patient’s own tissue, allows more than one tooth at a time to be treated, and eliminates the possibility of bleeding gums. Regenerative matrix materials deliver a highly predictable treatment with better, faster healing. To achieve these results, readily available donor tissue replaces damaged gum tissue. The donor tissue undergoes stringent screening processes identical to those of other implantable tissue or organs. It also must pass rigid guidelines set forth by the FDA.
EXPECTATIONS FOR GUM RECESSION TREATMENT
An initial periodontic evaluation is performed and a thorough treatment plan is reviewed with the patient. Antibiotics and an antibiotic rinse may be prescribed to assist the gums throughout the healing process. Specific eating and cleaning instructions may be given. The speed and quality of recovery depends on the level of oral care that is followed after treatment. Some post-operative expectations are:
- First 12 hours: apply ice to reduce swelling
- Next day: you can return to work
- The next 3-4 days: you can expect minimal discomfort and swelling
- After 3-4 weeks: stitches are removed
MAINTENANCE AFTER GUM RECESSION TREATMENT
In order to maintain healthy gums after therapy, you need to follow the home care instructions that we provide. Continuing care with your family dentist is equally important, and we will work with you and your general dentist to protect your oral health. We will also provide long-term follow up care.
We provide gum recession treatment to residents of Naperville, Bloomingdale, Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates, Darien and Downers Grove in DuPage County, IL.