The gum is a fundamental tissue for the teeth, it is part of the periodontium together with the periodontal ligaments, cement and alveolar bone. The mission of the periodontium is to preserve and maintain the teeth in the mandible and maxilla.
What is a receding gum like?
A healthy gum has a punctuated appearance like the skin of an orange and has a bright pink color that covers the jaws and adjusts to the bases of the crowns of the teeth, which are the visible part of these and are covered by enamel, highly resistant tissue that gives the tooth that white color.
When the gum retracts, it exposes the neck of the tooth, giving it a longer appearance. The neck of the tooth with retraction loses the protection of the gum and lacks enamel like the crown and for this reason the intake of acidic, sweet, cold or hot foods can generate sensitivity by stimulating the endings present in the dental tissue. . Tooth decay is a consequence of the loss of this protection.
If the cause for which the gum recession has occurred persists, it will continue to progress and the rest of the periodontal tissue will be affected, compromising the stability of the tooth and the tooth will begin to move and may finally fall.
Gum recession will have the following consequences that we have already mentioned:
- Exposure of the dental neck causing dental sensitivity.
- Appearance of caries in the dental neck.
- Appearance of dental mobility and possible loss of the tooth.
- Aesthetic problem.
How and who does it affect?
Gum recession can occur at any age . It can occur even in people who have good dental hygiene . Gum recession can be localized or affect the entire dental arch. We could group the causes into:
- Traumatic causes that will affect where the trauma has occurred.
- Aggressive, strong or incorrect tooth brushing can cause gum recession.
- Lip or tongue piercings due to trauma or friction cause irritation and inflammation of the gums, generating retraction.
- Bruxism is the clenching or grinding of the teeth and can cause damage to the tooth structure due to the loads suffered with loss of hard tissue at the neck of the tooth and is generally accompanied by a retraction of the gums.
- Fixed prosthesis, crown or bridge that invades the gingival sulcus, a space of about 2 millimeters free of adhesion between the gum and the tooth. If this is occupied by a prosthesis, it causes inflammation of the gum and causes retraction.
Popularly called pyorrhea, gingivitis is the inflammatory process of the periodontium in an initial phase. When left untreated and uncontrolled, gingivitis is called periodontitis . The main symptoms are inflammation of the gums, which also lose their orange color to acquire a reddish hue, bleeding gums and in advanced cases gingival recession and loss of alveolar bone with dental mobility as a consequence.
- Genetics: some people are more susceptible to periodontitis and more severe forms than the general population. 70-80% of the population will suffer from periodontitis throughout their lives in one of its forms. In various studies, the population is estimated at 30%, which may be predisposed to periodontitis regardless of dental hygiene.
- Poor dental hygiene: not brushing your teeth properly after each meal facilitates the appearance of tartar that causes inflammation of the gums.
- Hormonal changes: they facilitate bacterial growth in different periods of a woman’s life such as puberty, pregnancy and menopause, which can make the gums more sensitive and vulnerable to recession, especially during pregnancy.
- Tobacco: People who smoke are more likely to develop periodontitis from the products that cigarettes contain. Its action on the gum can promote gum recession. Nicotine also has a vasoconstrictive action that harms the gums. In this case, there may be no gingival bleeding due to this vasoconstrictor effect.
- Dental malpositions make dental hygiene difficult and facilitate the accumulation of dental plaque, which could lead to periodontitis.
How to prevent gum recession
- Avoid traumas, tobacco.
- Discharge plate in bruxists.
- Good dental hygiene is essential, with soft brushes and good technique. If an electric brush is used , great pressure should not be applied. The use of dental floss or interdental brushes helps improve hygiene in cases of bad positions, gaps (spaces between teeth) where food remains can accumulate. Mouthwashes may also be recommended.
- It is convenient to carry out an annual hygiene where dental tartar is removed in consultation.
How to prevent recision progression
In patients with periodontitis, controlling the disease is essential to eliminate tartar and prevent inflammation of the gums due to the accumulation of food debris.
- The treatment is based on the aforementioned measures, with dental hygiene in consultation whose frequency will depend on the stability of the disease.
- Scraping, smoothing and curettage where the tartar adhered to the tooth, inflammatory tissue, food remains are removed… they facilitate the union of the gum again with the tooth.
Definitive treatment of recession
This treatment is surgical with the application of tissue over the recession, covering it in order to protect the neck and dental roots.
There are different surgical techniques: pedunculated autografts, autografts of the palatine or cheek mucosa (jugal mucosa) and techniques based on tissue regeneration.
Also Read: Why Do You Have Teeth On The Palate?