Residents of the Philadelphia, PA region are looking into why gum recession surgery may be necessary
At David Spilkia Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, they offer patients a stress-free and pleasant experience while providing top-quality services. When it comes to gum recession surgery, Dr. Spilkia has produced extraordinary results. Regular examinations are critical to maintaining healthy gums and teeth. Dr. Spilkia is experienced in identifying when gum recession surgery may be a viable option for you.
Gum recession is the process in which the gums surrounding your teeth begin to wear away and recede. The reason this can be particularly dangerous (especially long-term) is because when the gum recedes, it is exposing more of your tooth and, in some instances, even your tooth’s root. When this occurs, you will have what is called a “pocket” or gap which forms between the tooth and the gum. Disease causing bacteria finds it much easier to build up in these situations.
There are many factors that lead to gum recession. Some of these include:
- Poor oral hygiene – the ADA recommends regular brushing at least twice a day as well as regular flossing. Rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash is also recommended.
- Periodontal disease – the primary cause of gum recession. Periodontal disease erodes your gum tissue as well as supporting bone holding your tooth in place.
- Over-aggressive tooth brushing – this can gradually wear away the enamel protecting your teeth as well as cause your gums to recede.
- Brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush – using a bristle that is too hard or rough on your enamel can also cause gum recession.
- Misaligned teeth – teeth that are unable to close together evenly can create unnecessary force on your gums and bone, causing recession of the gums.
- Use of tobacco products – this can leave residual plaque on your teeth which is difficult to remove and can lead to gum recession.
- Grinding and clenching your teeth – this can also cause undue force on your teeth and gums causing recession.
Many of our patients are not aware they even have a gum recession problem due to the very gradual nature in which it occurs. You may be experiencing gum recession if you experience tooth sensitivity, if you can feel a notch at the top of your tooth or if you see a noticeable change in the length of your tooth. All of these are reasons to visit Dr. Spilkia to get your gums checked out.
Surgical Options and What to Expect
When you visit Dr. Spilkia, you will undergo a thorough examination and, if necessary, will be recommended for gum recession surgery. There are several methods of gum recession surgery to restore and repair a patient’s gums.
Regeneration is necessary when the bone supporting your tooth is damaged due to the gum recession. The gum tissue around the tooth or teeth is pulled back so that surrounding bacteria can be removed. A material whose purpose is to regenerate tissue is then applied that is meant to naturally push your body to generate new tissue, effectively replacing what was lost. The pulled back gum tissue is then put back into place.
Open flap scaling and root planing is a procedure in which the affected gum tissue is pulled back to remove the bacteria from the pockets which have formed. Once this is completed, the gum tissue is secured back over the tooth root. This will effectively eliminate the pocket or, at the very least, reduce the size of the pocket.
Soft tissue grafting is a broad term for several different procedures. The most common procedure is a connective tissue graft. A flap is cut in the roof of your mouth and tissue from underneath (called subepithelial connective tissue) is taken and attached, via stitches, to the affected gum tissue around your exposed root. Once completed, the flap which was cut from the roof of your mouth is re-attached.
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Preventative Measure to Take Post-Surgery
Once you have had your successful gum recession surgery, it is critical that you take preventative action to ensure healthy gums and teeth moving forward. Regular brushing, flossing and mouthwash is the most important action you can take. In addition:
- Cease use of tobacco products if you are a user
- Watch your diet. Avoid highly acidic foods and drinks.
- Monitor and report any changes you detect in your mouth
With appropriate oral hygiene practices and regular visits to Dr. Spilkia, you will maintain healthy gums and teeth that will have you showing off a beautiful, sparkling smile!