One of the main causes of gum recession is a periodontal disease usually brought on by poor or inadequate oral hygiene. However, there are a number of other factors which can also trigger gum recession including aggressive brushing, certain medical conditions like dry mouth, age, and even genetics.
The question is… can receding gums grow back naturally?
Unfortunately, unlike skin tissue which has the ability to regenerate, gum tissue cannot. So once the process occurs, receding gums can be problematic if not dealt with.
When gums recede they (in effect) pull away from the tooth root structure meaning that the tooth root is often left exposed. Understandably, this can cause tooth sensitivity but can also cause bone tissue loss and eventually, if not treated – the loss of the tooth itself.
So What Are The Signs and/or Symptoms That You May Have Receding Gums?
Many people fail to notice the very early signs of gum recession because they can be difficult to spot. However, one tell-tale sign of receding gums is tooth sensitivity, especially to cold food or drinks.
As gum recession begins to further take hold, your teeth will appear longer and you will begin to notice the tooth root. Other symptoms that you can also experience include:
- Discomfort or bleeding when brushing your teeth
- Red or swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Separation between teeth and
- Noticeable pus forming between the teeth and gumline.
So now we know the answer to the question – “can receding gums grow back naturally?” the next question should be…
Is the problem of receding gums treatable?
In a word yes! However, the type of treatment for receding gums will often depend upon the underlying causes. The following non-surgical and surgical treatments can help to restore or reattach the gum tissue to support the teeth. These include:
Scaling and Root Planning
This is a non-surgical procedure carried out by your dentist or hygienist and is often the first step in treating the early stages of gum recession that a dental professional will recommend.
As the name suggests, scaling removes any damaging plaque or tartar from below the gum line where regular brushing cannot reach. The next part of the process – the planing part – involves smoothing or planing the surface of the tooth root to enable the gums to reattach.
Gum Grafting Surgery
When the problems of receding gums are more severe, then there are surgical dental solutions. One such solution is gum grafting surgery (or GGS). This surgical process involves taking a small piece of tissue (usually from the roof of the mouth) and using it to build up tissue at the gum recession site. It’s also designed to protect the previously exposed roots from decay and prevent any further problems with receding gums.
Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation Surgery
Whole other surgical and non-surgical techniques for treating receding gums are relatively invasive, Pinhole gum rejuvenation surgery is a revolutionary technique. Commonly known as the ‘lunchtime gum graft’ or ‘pinhole surgery technique’ (PST) this is a minimally invasive scalpel and suture-free procedure.
So What Exactly Does PST Involve?
- First, before pinhole gum rejuvenation surgery takes place, an anesthetic is gently administered to numb the gum area.
- Next, depending upon the number of gum recessions – one or two small entry points are made around the size of a tip of a ballpoint pen.
- Then, a small dental instrument is inserted into the entry holes to loosen the receded gum tissue while at the same time moving it back to a normal healthy position.
- Once in position, thin collagen strips are inserted through the entry points and underneath the gums. The collagen strips are designed to hold any previously receding gums in position during the healing process.
Typically the PST procedure takes around 20 minutes to 1 hour to complete depending upon the number of teeth and corresponding gums requiring treatment.
Because the process doesn’t involve any cutting or stitching of the gingival area, the entry sites heal very quickly, usually within 24/48 hours so downtime -if any- is negligible.
How To Prevent Receding Gums from Reoccurring
Even after undergoing restorative procedures, there is no guarantee that gum problems won’t develop again in the future. For this reason, preventative measures are key.
Good oral hygiene is a vital part of preventing gum disease. Twice daily brushing with a soft toothbrush along with daily flossing can certainly help in the prevention of gum recession.
In addition, visiting your dentist for 6-monthly dental check-ups are also important. Consider it a bi-annual service for your mouth. This way your dentist should be able to spot the very early signs of receding gums and treat the problem before it develops further.
If the cause of gum recession is a misaligned bite or teeth grinding (bruxism) then talk to an orthodontist about corrective treatment or a dentist who deals with teeth grinding issues to eradicate the problem.
Other ways to prevent an onset of periodontal disease and gum recession include:
- Quitting smoking – if you smoke
- Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet
- Closely monitor your mouth for any changes that may occur; or
- A combination of all of the above
If you are looking for answers to the question “can receding gums grow back?” you may have already noticed changes in your teeth and gums and are wondering what to do next. The answer is to get in touch with an experienced dentist who can help.
Here at Beyond Infinity Dental Dr Jack Yang has a special interest in preventative dentistry and regularly carries out gum rejuvenation (pinhole) surgery when the need arises. So call Dr Yang and the team on 02 8806 3799 or book online today. Don’t let gum recession problems take away your smile!