Patients may be alarmed if a general dentist mentions that a tooth extraction may be needed during a routine appointment. A dentist’s primary goal is to preserve the teeth, but there some cases where a tooth cannot be saved using normal procedures. Understanding what situations can result in tooth removal and knowing the options available…
What Are Cosmetic Options for Gum Recession?
Oral health conditions like gum recession can alter the appearance of person’s smile. Gum recession occurs when the gum tissue surrounding a tooth begins to pull away from the tooth, exposing its roots and forming a gap. Not only does gum recession have the potential to cause serious issues like tooth decay and infection, but it also looks unsightly as more of the tooth’s root is gradually revealed.
Individuals with receding gums can enhance their smiles with different cosmetic treatment options. These procedures can help cover up exposed roots, restore inflamed gum tissue and give patients the confidence to smile.
Cosmetic options for gum recession
People who want to cover exposed tooth roots and restore their smile have several options for treating gum recession.
Gum tissue graft
Gum tissue grafts involve taking healthy gum tissue from one area of the mouth and attaching it to the site affected by gum recession. This helps cover the exposed roots. There are three main types of gum tissue grafts that a dentist will perform.
Connective-tissue grafts are a type of gum tissue graft where dentists take connective tissue from underneath the top layer of an individual’s palate and attach it to the area where the gums have receded. The area of the palate where this connective tissue was removed is then stitched back together so it can heal.
Gingival grafts are ideal for people who need a significant amount of tissue around their receded gums. This procedure is similar to a connective-tissue graft, but instead of using connective tissue from underneath the palate, dentists will use part of the palate itself for the graft. This is then attached to the affected area.
Pedicle grafts are used for individuals who still have a good amount of healthy gum tissue near the exposed tooth. For this procedure, dentists take healthy tissue from the area surrounding the tooth. This tissue remains attached to its original site, but it is partially cut, moved and stitched over the exposed root.
Sometimes, dentists will also perform gum tissue grafts using healthy gum tissue from donors. Regardless of which type of procedure the dentist conducts, this method is beneficial for covering up the spots that might tarnish a person’s smile.
Crown lengthening is a procedure through which dentists remove excess gum tissue and bone around an individual’s teeth in order to display more enamel.
This treatment option is good for people with gum recession because it allows dentists to remove unhealthy tissue or tissue that is creating pockets between the gums and the teeth. This tissue can then be reshaped so the gaps are removed and the healthy enamel is able to shine.
Scaling and root planing
Scaling and root planing is one of the least invasive cosmetic options for gum recession. The gaps caused by receding gums provide plenty of space for plaque to build up and turn into calculus. This calculus can cause tooth decay and infection.
Dentists can help take care of this problem by scaling and planing the tooth, which removes calculus from the enamel and root of the tooth. This can sometimes cause the gum tissue to attach itself to the tooth properly, getting rid of the open pockets.
Seeking cosmetic treatment options for gum recession
Individuals who want to improve their smiles after experiencing gum recession should schedule a consultation with a dentist about which of these cosmetic options is right for their needs.
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