Receding gums: causes, symptoms, therapy and prevention
Causes, symptoms, therapies, prevention.
In the following I will describe the causes that can lead to receding gums, how you can avoid them for the most part and how you can treat them with modern methods
The receding gums, called recession, means a loss of gums beyond the crown portion of the tooth. It is a disease of the periodontium and therefore affects not only the gums but also the bones surrounding the teeth. Tooth root sections are exposed.
Various factors can play a decisive role in the development of receding gums:
- Incorrect cleaning technique and cleaning agents that are too aggressive: if a cleaning technique is wrongly used in the transverse direction (scrubbing) or if brushes and cleaning agents that are too hard and aggressive are used, small injuries are repeatedly produced on the gum line. With persistent injuries at the gum line, it becomes inflamed, the underlying bone is broken down and the gums recede.
- Functional overloads (clenching and grinding): Incorrect loading of the teeth often occurs in the case of functional disorders of the jaw joints or malocclusion of the teeth (tilting, rotation of the teeth). Psychological stress such as stress can also lead to grinding or clenching of the teeth, which usually occurs at night. This permanent overload can lead to reduced blood flow to the gums, which can lead to gum recession.
- lips and cheekbones: Lip or cheek frenulum can permanently irritate the gum line due to continuous traction. If you pull on the ribbon in question during the examination of the patient and this leads to an anemic reaction (white gum papilla due to lack of blood), this leads to permanent damage to the gum tissue in everyday life and as a result to gum recession (recession).
- Excessive or improper use of force during orthodontic treatment: Forced movements of the teeth can lead to recessions, especially in patients with very narrow bone surrounding the tooth. In doing so, a large part of the tooth root is moved out of the tooth-bearing bone, which can subsequently lead to gum recession. At the same time, it must be mentioned that orthodontic measures can also positively support the process of recession coverage by bringing teeth back into the tooth-bearing bone.
- Inflammatory or degenerative processes in the area of the gums (periodontitis and periodontosis): Beginning inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) can heal with early treatment without any consequential damage. Periodontitis can develop if treatment is started too late or if a disease is detected too late because regular dental check-ups have not taken place. In addition to the gums, the bone surrounding the tooth is also affected. If the bone then degrades due to the inflammatory change, the gums will also recede further and a recession will develop.
Receding gums can present both painful and aesthetic impairments. If the recession remains untreated, in the worst case it can lead to the loss of the affected teeth.
If treatment is started too late or if a disease is recognized too late because there have been no regular check-ups at the dentist, periodontitis can develop.
The most common symptoms of gingival recession are:
- Exposed tooth necks (longer-acting teeth)
- Sensitive teeth (pain from hot, cold, sweet and sour)
- Possible loss of the gums that are firmly attached to the tooth
- Possible loss of hard tooth substance in the area of the exposed root surface
Irrespective of the chosen surgical therapy, any existing inflammatory changes must be eliminated prior to any treatment to eliminate receding gums. In addition, incorrect loading of the teeth must be treated and the correct cleaning technique and cleaning agents must be shown to the patient in the course of oral hygiene instructions. Furthermore, the patient should be motivated to embark on a recall program with regular check-ups adjusted to the individual risk of further recession and inflammation.
Various surgical methods adapted to the extent of the recession are available for the treatment of receding gums (recessions).
- Coronary advancement flap (with or without free connective tissue graft)
With this technique, the gums below the recession are shifted upwards towards the crown of the tooth using special surgical procedures and fixed with sutures. In this way, the proportion of gum recession that has occurred can be covered.
In patients with a thin gum type, this technique can be combined with a free connective tissue graft. This can thicken the gums and make them more stable against new recessions.
- Removal of a free connective tissue graft
The connective tissue is usually removed from the lateral palate. With the help of magnifying glasses or microscopes, a portion of tissue can be microsurgically removed directly below the palatal mucosa. Sufficient connective tissue can be gained through this small intervention. The wounds then heal mostly without irritation and pain.
- Tunnel technique to cover receding gums
With this technique, relieving cuts within the gums are completely dispensed with. In this way, you can achieve completely scar-free results. This technique can also easily treat multiple recessions that are side by side.
To put it simply, this technique involves preparing a “pouch” deep in the gums, starting from the point where the gums receded. The gum papillae between the individual teeth remain in place. If there are several recessions next to each other, the prepared "bags" can be connected underground in the form of a tunnel. The free connective tissue transplant removed as described above can now be inserted into the resulting space. The gum is then fixed with fine sutures at the new level covering the recession.
Prevention: what does SNOW PEARL offer
Because incorrect brushing technique and cleaning agents that are too aggressive play a significant role in the development of receding gums, SNOW PEARL has created toothpastes that eliminate this risk factor. The KONEX HD filaments used in all SNOW PEARL toothbrushes are exceptionally soft and gentle, allowing for efficient and thorough cleaning while massaging gums and promoting healthy blood circulation without causing injury or irritation. The filaments are also very elastic and dimensionally stable, do not bend and are very durable. At their tip they are 8 times thinner than that of other normal soft filaments, their optimized density allows them to slide deep into the crevices and slightly below the gumline for excellent cleaning there too. This combination makes this generation of toothbrushes unbeatable.