Lucio H. Kim DDS

Can your gums grow back?

Unfortunately, when you lose gum tissue to recession due to gum disease or vigorous brushing or teeth grinding, it cannot grow back.

However, if your gum recession is mild, it doesn't put your teeth at risk. Gum recession becomes a problem when it leads to root exposure, which can be painful and causes damage to your tooth.

You can stop gum recession with excellent oral hygiene using proper brushing techniques and daily flossing to remove bacteria from in between your teeth.

Routine visits to your Glendale, CA dentist every six months for teeth cleanings and checkups will also help you avoid gum recession.

If you grind your teeth at night (bruxism) while you sleep, it can also lead to gum recession. Your dentist may discuss making a night guard for you to wear while you're sleeping to protect your teeth from damage and your gums from the recession that bruxism causes.

Dr. Kim also offers a less invasive procedure to help manage gum recession called Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST). This innovative procedure allows him to promote new growth by spreading your gum tissue out more evenly. 

Why Gum Loss Is So Bad for Your Oral Health

Your gums act like a tight turtleneck and form a tight seal around your teeth. This prevents bacteria from seeping in below the gum line and causing damage.

If your gums "recede" or shrink away from your teeth, that protection is diminished, and the chance that the tooth with become infected or loosen from the gums increases.

As the problem worsens, gum loss can cause:

  • Tooth sensitivity to temperature change
  • Exposure of the tooth's root, creating the risk of root cavities
  • Significantly increased plaque build-up under the gum line as bacteria get deeper
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Tooth loss as the gum surrounding the tooth and holding it in place retreats
  • Bone loss in the jaw
  • Bacterial exposure to the bloodstream potentially compromising the immune system

Over the years, gum recession may be slightly annoying or not even noticeable. But gone unchecked for a while, you can ultimately lose that tooth.

What Causes Gums to Become Recessed? 

Sometimes trauma or injury caused by brushing too hard can cause permanent damage to the gums and cause them to recede. However, bacteria often cause the build-up of plaque under the gums. Plaque pushes the gums away from the tooth, breaking the seal the gums should form around it, and inflame it, and eventually cause it to recede.

The first stage of this process is called gingivitis and is fully reversible. However, after that, the damage the plaque and tartar do to the gums cannot be reversed, but it can still be managed and prevented from causing even more damage.

In some cases, if caught early enough, a simple minor gum recession repair surgery is all that is needed to correct the gums and restore that protection to the tooth.

The minor gum procedure is called the Pinhole Technique or a Tunneling Technique. Dr. Kim is well trained in this procedure and can let you know what to expect in terms of recovery and surgical results.

If the damage is too significant, we need to perform a more extensive procedure to help repair the damage. And if it goes beyond there, the chances of saving the tooth become slim; then we start talking about dental implants to replace that tooth.

Gum Disease Treatment in Glendale, CA

Call for a consultation and see what Dr. Kim can do for you. If you are dealing with the discomfort of gum recession, contact your Glendale dentist today at (818) 242-3739 to learn more about how we can help you.

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