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Gum Recession: Q's and A's

Gum Recession: Q's and A's

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Published by grahbar
Commonly asked questions about gingival recession by our patients and best general answers provided by Gelareh Rahbar DDS
Commonly asked questions about gingival recession by our patients and best general answers provided by Gelareh Rahbar DDS

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Published by: grahbar on Oct 25, 2009
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Gum Recession
Common Patient Q’s and A’sGelareh Rahbar DDS These are some of commonly asked questions by our patients on this topic andmost relevant answers. If you have a question that is not addressed here pleaseemail it toinfo@rahbardentistrypc.comand I will gladly answer it and add it to thislist as well. Please keep in mind that this is a general Q & A resource and shouldonly be used as a general guide. You should always consult with your dentalhealthcare provider to find out the best available options for your condition.
Part 1 – Gum Recession
Q: What is recession and why is it bad to have recession?
A: Recession is the common term used for gingival recession which happens whengum recedes down on a tooth and we end up with exposed root surfaces in ourmouth. Root surfaces are not covered with enamel which is the protective layer of all teeth. Root surfaces are full of nerve endings and if they get exposed to ourmouth that means that we start having sensitive teeth. Not being covered byenamel also means that we don’t have that protective, strong and highlymineralized barrier on that area which predisposes the root to decay, abrasion anderosion. Another reason why we don’t want to have recession is that it gives ourteeth a long, tall appearance which is often not desirable. For an animation on thistopic check the following link:http://www.toothiq.com/dental-diagnoses/dental-diagnosis-gingival-recession-overview.html
Q: I have gum recession; will it ever grow back up?
A: unfortunately this condition is most often irreversible. When gum recedes itdoesn’t grow back on its own.
Q: Why do I have gum recession? I brush and floss everyday and I see thedentist on regular basis.
A: gingival recession occurs due to many factors, here are some commonconditions:Brushing too hard or brushing with medium or hard bristle tooth brushesClenching and or grinding teethDiscrepancy in bite due to multiple restorationsShifting of teeth after braces due to not wearing a retainerPeriodontal diseaseIt is very important to diagnose the factor that is causing the recession in everypatient in order to be able to stop the recession and maintain the current condition.1Rahbar Dentistry pcwww.rahbardentistrypc.com 
Gum Recession
Common Patient Q’s and A’sGelareh Rahbar DDSRecession has nothing to do with how well your home care is unless you arebrushing with a medium or hard bristle tooth brush or if it is due to poor oralhygiene. It is very important however that your dentist diagnosis this condition andidentifies the underlying cause and remedy that so it doesn’t get worse.
Q: What are the treatment options for gum recession?
A: the only treatment available for gum recession is a surgical procedure which iscall “gingival graft” where a graft is used from another site in your mouth which hashealthy gingival tissue to cover the exposed root surfaces.
Q: Does every patient with recession need to have a gum graft?
A: no, treatment is rendered most commonly when one or more of the followingconditions are present:“Lack of Attachment” which means that gum has gone down too far andthere is very little or no attached gingival is remaining. We need at least 3mm of attached gingival around every tooth to maintain health and when it isless than 3 mm we need to add attached gingival using a graft from othersites commonly palate.“Generalized Sensitivity” which means patient is very sensitive to cold, heat,acidic food or beverages and sweets sometimes even air that patient breathscould cause discomfort and this is due to exposure of many root surfaces“Esthetic Concerns” which comes about when recession renders the teeth talland unsightly
Q: I have recession and I know I clench and grind my teeth at night do Ineed to get a night guard? If so would an over the counter guard work  just as well?
A: if you are diagnosed with recession attributed to clenching or grinding at nightthen you need to get a custom fabricated guard which is only available through thedental offices. If a hard guard is not worn every night by those who have recessionand grind or clench at night, condition simply continues getting worse and now thatwe know it is irreversible one can imagine the extent of damage in the long run.Only hard night guards would stop/minimize the recession in such cases and thishas to be ordered and custom fitted and adjusted to your bite by the dentist. Apoor fitting guard could be as damaging as not wearing one to begin with or evenworse as it could cause TMJ problems as well.2Rahbar Dentistry pcwww.rahbardentistrypc.com 
Gum Recession
Common Patient Q’s and A’sGelareh Rahbar DDS
Q: I’ve been told I have gum recession but it doesn’t hurt or anything,should I be concern?
A: yes, if you are diagnosed with this condition, you should find out what is causingthis condition and address that so it doesn’t get worse. You may be in early stagesand lucky enough that it was caught early. Failure to identifying the underlyingfactor and finding a remedy for it will only worsen the condition over time and youwill be hurting in few years with much irreversible damages to your gum.
Q: I’ve been told I have gum recession but I don’t grind or clench and Ialways use soft bristle brushes and never had gum disease in my lifeeither so what could be the reason for my recession?
A: this is a general answer as every patient case is different but a common cause isshifting of the teeth after having braces and not wearing retainers afterwards.When the orthodontist finishes the treatment he/she will finish the bite as well andthis is a very critical step in maintaining the health of the teeth and gum. Mostpatients are not aware of the importance of the retainers and either don’t wear it orlose it later on and as a result teeth will shift over time. Shifting takes place veryslowly and often goes unnoted unless it is also happens in the front where we see itevery day. Shifting could lead to much interference in the bite which leads to lossof bone and attachment and gingival tissue on and around the teeth that areinterfering with each other.
Q: I have gum recession and I had braces and I have permanent retaineron the back of my upper and lower teeth so I know my teeth have notshifted, why do I still have recession?
A: if recession is your case is associated with shifting of your teeth, it could be dueto shifts in your back teeth not your front teeth. Just because you have permanentretainers for the front teeth it doesn’t mean that your back teeth won’t shift. Verylikely your recession is around your back teeth which have shifted or tilted overtime and this shift doesn’t even have to be significant to lead to recession. Evenminor tilts or shifts could lead to major interferences and subsequently recession.
Q: I have recession and never had braces and don’t grind either, whatelse could lead to my condition?
A: having multiple dental restorations (crowns, fillings) or missing teeth could alsolead to gingival recession. Often times when we have many filings or crowns and if they are done over many years by different dentists, your bite is altered over timeand if no dentist takes the time to analyze your bite and check it and if anyadjustments are necessary perform those, you could end up with “malocclusion”which is another underlying factor for recession.3Rahbar Dentistry pcwww.rahbardentistrypc.com 

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