When your dentist notices a problem with your gums and recommends a visit to the periodontist near Allen, TX (a specialist who treats periodontal disease), then it is certainly time to be concerned about your dental health. The condition of your gums is an integral part of everyday health and the beauty of your smile.
Gums have the main role of anchoring the teeth to the jaw and protecting the roots from bacteria and plaque. Once gums deteriorate or start to recede, they negatively affect the teeth and body’s overall wellness.
How Do You Get Periodontal Disease?
Bacteria in dental plaque is what causes periodontal disease. The bacteria gradually collects and multiplies, forming a biofilm. When this plaque is left on the teeth, it directly affects the gums. When the gum line has receded to a certain extent because of periodontal disease, your dentist may suggest a gum graft.
What Is a Gum Graft?
Considered as a leading treatment for receding gums, gum grafting is the collective name that refers to all the dental surgical procedures that aim to cover an overexposed tooth root surface with grafted tissue. The procedure may sound more painful and complicated than it really is. Through a gum graft, you can protect your teeth from negative effects caused by gum recession. This will improve the aesthetics of your smile.
Gum recession is a process whereby surrounding tissue pulls away from a tooth, exposing more of its root or the tooth itself. According to statistics, gum recession is one of the most common problems that affects about 11% of adults. The condition is not easily noticed until it is more severe.
Benefits of Gum Grafting
As already mentioned, periodontal disease can wreak havoc on your gum tissue. Here are the top reasons for getting a gum graft:
Reduced level of sensitivity
If the tooth is exposed, eating or drinking hot or cold foods makes the teeth overly sensitive. Gum graft procedures permanently conceal the overexposed root and reduce discomfort as well as restore the health of the gums.
Improvement of overall gum health
Periodontal disease can destroy gum tissue very quickly. When untreated, a large amount of tissue is lost over a short period of time. Gum grafting will halt tissue and bone loss. It will also protect the exposed tooth from decay.
Periodontal disease is often characterized by receded gums that can distort the appearance of your smile. Grafting will make teeth shorter in appearance, symmetrical and more appealing. More so, the adjacent tissue will also be enhanced.
It is only normal for recessed gums to affect your confidence. There are many reasons in life to smile and your gums should not stand in the way of that. Gum grafting will immediately restore your level of confidence.
Treatment for Receding Gums: Understanding the Process
Before looking at treatment for receding gums, the need for gum grafting surgery has to be determined. Apart from periodontal disease, gums can also recede for the following reasons:
There are people who are more susceptible to gum disease. Studies show that 30% of the population may be predisposed to gum disease. This occurs regardless of how well they take care of their teeth.
Aggressive tooth brushing
Although many think that this is not a viable reason for receding gums, brushing your teeth too hard or in the wrong way causes wear on the gums.
Fluctuations of female hormone levels that may occur in adolescence, pregnancy or menopause can make gums highly sensitive and more vulnerable to gum recession.
Insufficient oral hygiene
Inadequate brushing and flossing makes it easy for plaque to turn into tartar. When this hard substance builds-up on your teeth, it causes gum recession.
A misaligned bite
When teeth are not even, too much force can be placed on the gums or bone, allowing gums to recede.
Poorly-fitted crowns, bridgework or dentures
Improper fitting of crowns or dentures puts a strain on the gum line and causes recession.
Symptoms of Receding Gums
Gum recession can be identified by the following symptoms:
- Teeth that appear larger than normal
- Highly sensitive teeth
- Exposed or visible tooth roots
- Loose teeth
- Increased gaps between teeth
- Change in the color of teeth
- Tooth decay below the gum line
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Teeth that feel rough at the gum line
Common Gum Graft Techniques Include:
- Gum tissue grafting
This is a common procedure for overexposed roots. It is a painless process which involves the removal of a tissue layer on the palate, and later on placed at the site of gum recession.
- Free gingival graft
This procedure is about the removal of gum tissue from the palate to be relocated to the area that is affected by gum recession. The free gingival gum graft procedure ensures both sides heal quickly without permanent damage.
- Acellular dermal allograft
This grafting procedure is advantageous because it does not interfere with the patient’s palate. It uses human tissue that is either donated or synthetically made.
Receding gums can be easily treated. In cases of mild recession, the dentist will first deep-clean the affected area to reverse receding gums. This involves the removal of tartar or plaque build up on the teeth and gum line. During this process, the exposed root areas and pockets are smoothed out to prevent further accumulation of bacteria.
This type of recession cannot be treated with deep cleaning only. Dentists often opt for gum surgery as severe recession causes loss of bone and formation of very deep pockets. Although these are the best ways to reverse receding gums, it is important to understand that there are times when deep cleaning or surgery may not be able to reverse gum recession.
Gum Graft Cost
Depending on where you live near Allen, Texas, the cost of a gum graft procedure could vary. However, a majority of dental insurance plans may cover part of the costs. When more than one tooth is involved, the cost of the procedure may add up quickly. It is important to establish a gum graft surgical procedure as the ideal treatment solution, once it is recommended by a periodontist.
Several factors will also determine your gum graft cost. For instance, if you opt for gum contouring during the grafting procedure, then your bill increase per area. Additional costs may arise if you are in need of x-rays or diagnosis exams and various other tests.
The cost of gum grafting often depends on:
How long your gums have been receding.
How many teeth require grafts.
Which type of tissue will be used for the grafting procedure (grafts from tissue banks are much more expensive).
The location and skill level of your dentist.
Reducing Costs on Your Gum Grafting Surgery
In order to ensure that you maintain healthy teeth but still save money, here is some advice that will come in handy:
- Seek a second opinion
Recommendations for treatment usually vary for gum grafts more than any other dental procedure. Unfortunately, overdiagnosis of this condition is not unusual. There are dentists who will recommend gum grafts for moderate recession while others are more comfortable watching and waiting for progression.
First, ensure the specialist identifies the cause of your gum recession and which treatment option will be most suitable for you. This is because some treatments are highly proactive while others are conservative and/or reactive. Both of these approaches are useful but depend on the severity of your condition.
- Prioritize a treatment plan
When your periodontist recommends grafting in multiple areas, ask him or her to point out the area that need the most treatment and start there. As progression is slow, the treatment may be delayed thus stretching your gum graft cost.
- Maximize all the benefits of your insurance
Do not hesitate to make proper use of your insurance, especially if you have not used up the benefits for the year.
How To Prevent Further Gum Recession
To avoid gum recession from progressing, it is important for a dentist to develop a plan that will allow you to stop the recession in its tracks. Therefore, to ensure that you remain on the healthy end of the spectrum, follow these further prevention tips:
Wear a mouth guard when you sleep
Although a mouth guard may not sound flattering, its purpose is to protect your teeth from grinding at night. However, it is important to choose the type of mouth guard that will worth best for you.
The best mouth guards include:
Stock Mouth Guards
Easily available and ready-made in many stores, these types of mouth guards are an affordable option that will help in keeping your teeth and gums safe.
Boil and Bite Mouth Guards
Also commonly found in various stores, Boil and Bite Mouth Guards are easy to shape and provide more protection in comparison to Stock Mouth Guards. They are easy to use and provide an affordable option.
Custom Mouth Guards
These are the most recommended mouth guards. They are custom made to each individual. They may be costly but they are the best option.
Use proper brushing methods
Brush your teeth gently twice daily. Do not be aggressive when brushing and do not brush multiple times in a day. This may make your teeth enamel wear off. Remember to replace your toothbrush every three months.
Treat periodontal disease in its early stages
To prevent further damage to your gum or bone tissues, periodontal disease should be treated as soon as it occurs. This will prevent it from advancing. Mild cases of the disease only require deep cleaning while severe cases call for surgery.
If you notice that your teeth look longer or feel any excessive sensitivity in your gums, do not wait to see your dentist for advice and treatment, do it immediately.
Eat foods that will strengthen your gums
Nutrition is a major component of having optimal oral health. Highly nutritious, vitamin-rich foods maintain healthy and strong bones and teeth. Calcium and phosphorous are important components in our diets. Vitamin D, magnesium and zinc also play a role in strengthening gums.
Visit the dentist twice a year
Even if you take care of your gums and overall oral hygiene, a dentist can always spot problems that may be developing. As such, he or she will be able to prevent the problem from getting worse.
The good news is that bone tissue can always remineralize. Taking care of receded gums early will allow the jaw to remineralize.
Receding gums can have a serious impact on your overall health. The teeth obviously rely on the gums for protection against dangerous plaque and bacteria. The biggest problem with recession is that it happens slowly and that it may take time to be detected.
Thankfully, gum grafting is a procedure that has offered a reliable solution for gum recession near Allen, TX. It identifies the problem, restores tissue and allows for the bone to remineralize. As they say, it is better to be safe than sorry. You do not want to suffer from oral health complications. Needless to say, healthy gums are the first step to a long-lasting, healthy smile.