Can Receding Gums Grow Back?

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Can Receding Gums Grow Back?

When the gums pull away from the teeth and make them look longer, it’s a condition called gum recession. In severe cases, gum recession can expose the tooth roots and cause painful sensitivity. If you have receding gums, you may be wondering, “can my gums grow back?” The experts at Prescott Dentistry explain how to treat gum recession below. 

Can Receding Gums Grow Back?

Unfortunately, receding gums do not heal on their own. Once the gum tissue is lost, there’s no way of growing it back naturally. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still save your smile. There are several ways to halt gum recession and even replace lost gum tissue. 

But before you can fix your receding gums, it’s important to understand what’s causing them to pull away from your teeth. Solving the root of the problem will ensure you can effectively stop gum recession from getting worse. 

Five Causes of Gum Recession

1: Gum Disease

The most common cause of receding gums is gum disease, a chronic infection known as periodontitis. If gum recession is accompanied by red, swollen, tender, or bleeding gums, or pockets of pus in the gums, it’s probably gum disease. If your gums are receding because of periodontitis, it’s crucial that you seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent further complications and tooth loss. 

2: Teeth Grinding

Grinding your teeth unconsciously at night or during the day when you’re tense is a condition called bruxism. Teeth grinding puts a lot of strain on your gum tissue, which can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth. Your dentist may recommend wearing a custom-fit mouthguard when you sleep and practicing stress reduction techniques to prevent bruxism and its side effects. 

3: Tobacco Use

Using tobacco products increases your risk of gum disease, the main cause of gum recession. Smoking slows the healing process, which makes it difficult to treat gum disease and receding gums with surgery. Quitting smoking will give you the best chance of fixing gum recession and keeping gum disease at bay. 

4: Brushing Too Hard

While it’s important to brush your teeth twice a day, brushing too hard can actually damage your teeth and gums, especially if you use a medium or hard-bristled toothbrush. Brushing too roughly wears down the tooth enamel and can irritate your gums, leading to gum recession. Brushing your teeth gently with a soft-bristled brush will help prevent gum recession from getting worse. 

5: Mouth Injury

Injuries to your gum tissues from sports, chewing on sharp objects, and other causes may result in gum recession. If you play contact sports, wearing a mouthguard will help protect your teeth and gums. You should also avoid chewing on pens or ice, using your mouth to open packages, and refrain from other bad habits that can damage your teeth and gums. 

How to Fix Receding Gums

Improve Your Dental Habits

If poor oral hygiene or brushing too hard is part of the problem, then correcting your dental habits can stop gum recession in its tracks. To keep your teeth and gums healthy, make sure to gently brush your teeth using a soft-bristled toothbrush. You should be brushing your teeth twice a day (for at least two minutes at a time) to effectively remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth and gums. It’s also important to floss daily to remove plaque between the teeth and along the gum line. Daily flossing can significantly reduce your risk of gum disease. 

Scaling and Root Planing

If improving your dental habits is not enough to fix your receding gums, you might need a scaling and root planing treatment. This deep-cleaning procedure removes the plaque and tartar hiding below your gum line that can’t be reached with regular brushing and flossing. Your dentist will remove plaque and tartar from the roots of your teeth, then smooth the roots out so your gums can reattach to your teeth.

Gum Graft Surgery

In severe cases, gum graft surgery may be necessary. Gum graft surgery involves taking compatible tissue from another area (usually the roof of the mouth) and using it to replace lost gum tissue. This type of surgery is necessary to cover and protect exposed tooth roots, and to prevent gum recession from progressing. 

Treatment for Receding Gums in Prescott

If you have receding gums, the team at Prescott Dentistry can help restore your smile. We’ll determine what’s causing your gums to recede, and discuss your options for the least invasive methods of treatment. For instance, we offer ozone/oxygen therapy to naturally kill bacteria and promote healing to help you fight gum disease. Give us a call at 928-445-1660 today to schedule an appointment. 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (10/18/2022). Photo by Jamie Brown on Unsplash