If you’re like most people, you probably spend your time focused on your pearly whites. After all, who can resist a dazzling smile?
However, your gums play a vital role in the appearance and health of your smile. If they start to recede, this can dramatically impact how your teeth look. But, worse yet, it can leave you vulnerable to pain, sensitivity, and even tooth loss.
Daniel Park, DDS, can diagnose and treat gum recession at Beaumont Cherry Valley Dental in Beaumont, California. Have you looked at your gums lately? Dr. Park recommends taking these steps to protect your smile and overall health.
Why gum recession matters
If gum tissue starts pulling back from a tooth, this can put you at risk for numerous problems. On the less severe end of the spectrum, receding gums can lead to sensitivity and discomfort, but on the severe end, it can lead to infection, pain, and even bone and tooth loss.
Your gums form a protective base around your teeth, holding them in place and providing support to keep them firmly anchored in their sockets. When healthy, gums are pink in color and firm to the touch.
Unfortunately, gum recession impacts approximately 88% of people over age 65. It can affect one tooth or several, and it can occur for numerous reasons, such as:
- Aggressive brushing
- Poor oral hygiene
- Periodontal disease
- Damage or injury to the gum tissue
- Abnormally positioned or misaligned teeth
- Tobacco use, including chewing tobacco
- Piercings in the lip or tongue
Once you lose gum tissue, it won’t grow back on its own. However, Dr. Park can treat gum recession at every stage. And, as you might expect, the sooner you get a diagnosis, the better.
Spotting the signs of gum recession
Gum recession can cause big problems, but it can be easy to miss the earliest warnings of a problem.
In most cases, the most obvious sign of gum recession involves an exposed tooth root. However, additional symptoms include:
- Discomfort or pain along the gum line
- Sensitivity to temperature or sweets
- Sensitivity while brushing, flossing, or during dental cleanings
However, Dr. Park can also diagnose receding gums, even in its earliest stages, during a routine exam. During each of these visits, the Beaumont Cherry Valley Dental team uses a special instrument to assess your gum tissue. A healthy pocket should fall between 1-3 millimeters.
If your gum measurements come in at 4 millimeters or higher, this can indicate a problem.
Treating gum recession
Dr. Park determines the best course of treatment by diagnosing the cause of your gum recession. For instance, if you have gum disease, he could address your condition with topical antibiotics or a deep dental cleaning. However, gum recession that develops from alignment issues may require orthodontic treatment.
Another highly effective treatment for gum recession involves surgery. During this treatment, a portion of healthy tissue — either from your mouth or a human donor — gets used to replace your missing gum tissue.
Dr. Park can also offer personalized recommendations to restore the appearance of your smile if needed.
Your best course of action against gum recession involves practicing good oral hygiene and seeing your dentist every six months. But, if you’re prone to developing gum disease, Dr. Park can offer more personalized guidance to protect your oral health.
Do you have receding gums and want treatment, or do you want to see if you have receding gums? Dr. Park can give you a thorough evaluation and discuss your next steps. To learn more, call 951-845-2661 to book an appointment with Beaumont Cherry Valley Dental today.