What are gum recessions and how should they be treated?


Gum recessions are caused when the natural position of the teeth is displaced and completely exposed. This displacement of the gum has a multifunctional cause that we can find for common causes from intensive brushing or getting a piercing to the incorrect position of the teeth (malposition).

By not treating gum recession, a number of problems can be encountered over time. This leads to the development of dental hypersensitivity, the appearance of cavities, aesthetic alterations such as longer teeth, greater progression in recessions …

In short, we must prevent and take care of the gums so that we do not have appearances of this type.

How to treat gum recessions?

In the event that recessions have appeared in your gums, they should be treated, but in what way?

We will use a slightly invasive technique in which we will move the gum margin that leaves the tooth root exposed and place it in its natural position. For this, a single incision surgery of approx. 8 mm is performed. Later it is sutured to stabilize the position of the gingiva. The gingiva will have to be regenerated, there are several options:

  • A patient’s own gum graft is placed.
  • Platelet-rich fibrin is placed, this is achieved through centrifugation of the patient’s blood.
  • Biomaterial of animal origin is used.

Does it hurt to have a gum graft?

The question that any patient asks is if it really hurts to have this gum graft and the answer is that it does not. This process is painless since it is performed under local anesthesia but once the anesthesia has elapsed, the patient will notice the presence of discomfort after having manipulated the tissues (no more than after performing a filling or other dental procedure).

Once the treatment is finished, there is a post-operative period that usually lasts between 5 and 10 days. These days, discomfort and inflammation may appear, but together with the medications prescribed by dental experts, inflammation is minimized in intensity of pain and duration of time.

You can perfectly continue with routine daily activities after treatment, with some exceptions that your case is more specific. There is the option for more nervous patients to use intravenous sedation, with the intervention of an anesthetist.

Some of the objectives established for these treatments are to regenerate the gum that covers the roots of the tooth and to gain a percentage of tissue thickness to avoid future recurrences and thus alterations in the teeth.

After the treatment, how long does it take to heal the area?

The area that has been operated on is usually inflamed and with discomfort from 5 to 10 days as we have mentioned, this depends on the person. To improve inflammation and improve the healing of this area, the option of using growth factors that are extracted by centrifuging a little blood from the patient on the same day of the intervention is chosen.

One of the causes that causes recession in the gums is aggressive brushing. For this reason, experts advise that the brush should be soft. In the lower part of the teeth, near the gums, the dental or bacterial plaque that accumulates appears, with the soft brush it is easily removed. However, the use of hard brushes deteriorates our gums over time, causing the aforementioned effects. The important thing is to be consistent in oral hygiene after each meal. Our mouth has a number of bacteria that feed on food waste and saliva generating acids that attack tooth enamel that can create cavities, tartar and in specific cases periodontitis.

What is periodontitis?

Periodontitis is a disease that mainly affects the bone and reduces the hold of the tooth. To check how much tissue has been lost, the patient is subjected to X-rays and probes.

How do you brush your teeth?

The technique for correct tooth brushing is in the gum-tooth direction, vertically and never horizontally, for 3 minutes. The technique itself consists of “sweeping” and not “scrubbing”, maintaining an angle of 45 degrees. And don’t forget your tongue!

Which toothbrush is better to use?

As for the recurring question of whether or not to use an electric toothbrush, the answer is that it is more advisable, not mandatory, as it will help us to a deeper cleaning. This will favor the non-appearance of problems as common as recessions due to lack of dental cleaning.

What else can I do to improve the cleaning of my teeth?

For greater dental cleaning, dental floss or interproximal brushes are used (a fine wire brush covered with toothbrush hair for a more effective cleaning). The choice of this is based on the space we have between the teeth. Generally, forward middle-aged adults need interproximal brushes and young people and adolescents need dental floss.

It is important to use it, at least once a day, to avoid the remains of food between the teeth.

With these guidelines and tips, if you have consistency in using them, we will be able to reduce gum recession, as well as all the problems that can arise from it, such as gingivitis or periodontitis.

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