At his Sunnyvale, California dental practice, Dr. Perry Westbrook offers a host of periodontal disease treatments, as well as cosmetic periodontics solutions.
One of his most sought after cosmetic treatments is gum grafting, which addresses recession of the gingiva (and the recession of the jaw bone, which accompanies it).
In addition to leaving unsightly teeth, gingiva recession also results in the loss of one of the body’s key defenses against trauma and bacterial infection. Minor gum recession is often preventable through home care practices such as daily brushing and flossing with a soft toothbrush, such as an Oral B soft brush. Sometimes, if you have thin gums, electric brushes may not be the right choice.
If your gums keep receeding, stop using that, and switch to the soft brush above. Additionally, past history of orthodontics/braces, and grinding your teeth at night (which many people do), or combinations thereof, can also contribute to recession.
However, recession that advances and affects the mucosa compromises protection against bacteria. Root gouging and root cavities are the result of root surface being exposed, as the material is not as hard as tooth enamel. This exposure of the root causes sensitivity to cold and hot foods. However, these problems can often be resolved through a gingival graft, which involves tissue being removed from the mouth’s roof, or from the back of the mouth, and placed so as to shield the exposed root and create a stable band of tissue surrounding the affected tooth.