Gingival recession is a fairly common disorder that occurs especially after the age of 40. What are the causes? How is it prevented? How is it treated? Are there effective natural remedies?
The gingival recession, also called gingival retraction, is the withdrawal of the gingiva towards the root of the tooth. It occurs most commonly after the age of 40, but sometimes the phenomenon can begin earlier.
The causes are to be found mainly in the incorrect oral hygiene habits, therefore much can be done in terms of prevention. Mild recessions can also be treated in a natural way, for important recessions, instead, surgery is required.
Gingival recession: The symptoms
One of the main symptoms of gingival recession is the cosmetic defect: the teeth appear longer and the color is not uniform. There is also a sense of discomfort and / or pain, especially when brushing your teeth, which leads the person, concerned to brush less accurately, with consequent formation of tartar and plaque, which further increase the discomfort and cause further potential problems to the dentition.
Another very common symptom of the receding gums is the increased sensitivity to hot and cold and, consequently, a sense of annoyance when consuming particularly hot and / or cold food and / or drinks. Finally, the gum can become inflamed, swollen and bleed. Halitosis problems also often appear.
Causes of gingival recession: Why do the gums retreat?
One of the main causes of the gingival recession is incorrect brushing, combined with the use of a too hard brush. Basically, there are maneuvers, which we use for cleaning the teeth which, if incorrect, can cause traumas that, over time, lead to gum withdrawal. Even if the floss goes too deep, it can cause damage to the gum.
Furthermore, there are physiological causes. The gingival recession occurs mainly in people with particularly thin gums, with particularly protruding tooth roots and / or with rotated teeth. Another physiological cause is the presence of a frenulum that inserts into the gingival margin, preventing correct cleaning; the latter cause can be resolved with a laser treatment of the frenulum.
Other causes of gingival recession are lip and tongue piercings, improperly performed tooth neck fillings, herpes simplex infection, plaque and tartar buildup, smoking, bruxism, vitamin C deficiency, hormonal imbalances.
How to prevent gingival recession
The gingival recession is prevented above all with correct oral hygiene. The teeth should never be brushed horizontally, nor towards the gum, but always vertically from the gum downwards.
Never use brushes with too hard bristles; get advice from your trusted dentist on the type of bristles best suited to your specific case. It is also important to avoid plaque and tartar build-up by contacting your dental practice at least once a year. Not everyone needs professional dental hygiene with the same frequency, so get advice from your trusted dentist.
Gums withdrawn: Natural remedies to stop or slow down the process
The first natural remedy for gingival recession is correct dental hygiene. Toothpaste and mouthwashes also play an important role. For example, toothpastes or mouthwashes that contain aloe vera, turmeric, green tea, lemon essential oil, cloves, myrrh can help reduce inflammation.
In addition to specific toothpastes and mouthwashes, the following natural remedies are often mentioned …
- Chewing cloves at the end of the meal helps to solve the problem of halitosis and to fight bacteria;
- The aloe vera gel massaged on the gums acts against inflammation;
- Rinses with water and one or two drops of tea tree oil have an antibacterial action and help to maintain healthier gums, thus also preventing gingival recession;
- Rinses with oil pulling (an oil based on sesame, coconut or sunflower oil) help prevent gingivitis and caries and fight bad breath (as well as making teeth whiter).
- Since one of the causes of gingival recession is the deficiency of vitamin C, another natural remedy that is often mentioned is precisely the integration of this vitamin.
Obviously, however, these are remedies that can be fine if the gingival recession is small, or for preventive purposes.
Gingival recession, when and how to operate surgically
When the phenomenon of withdrawn gums is important, the dentist will recommend surgery to ensure new coverage of the dental root and protect the teeth, which have become sensitive. Traditional surgery or new minimally invasive techniques can be used …
✓ Pinhole technique
It is an innovative technique that allows, in a single session, to treat a single tooth or even an entire dental arch. It uses specially modeled collagen membranes and does not require the use of sutures. Small holes are made in the mucosa, through which the gum moves, until the recessions are covered. The advantages are, in fact, the absence of the stitches and the withdrawal of the connective tissue; the less invasive and shorter duration of the intervention compared to traditional techniques; less hassle in post-surgery. The main disadvantage of this technique is that there are no long-term studies; consequently, it is not possible to make a precise prediction on the duration of the results over time, especially as regards coverage in the case of dental implants.
✓ Tunnel technique
This too is a recent technique; it involves a slight detachment of the tissues (preserving the papillae) and the insertion, inside the gingiva to be covered, of a piece of tissue taken from the palate or biomaterial. It is a less invasive technique than the more traditional ones, especially if using biomaterial and non-woven fabrics taken from the palate; however, it is also true that when using this system, there is less certainty about the duration of the results over time. Furthermore, with this technique there is some difficulty in covering large recessions.
✓ Traditional techniques
They involve the removal and grafting of connective tissue of the palate. Therefore, these are more invasive interventions, but also more studied over time and with more predictable results. If performed well, the aesthetic results are excellent. The times of the intervention, however, are longer than the minimally invasive techniques and there may be some scarring. Typically, the results last over five years. Picking up the palate can be painful, but there are currently remedies that allow you to greatly reduce post-operative pain.
The success of these interventions depends on the type and severity of the gingival recession. Those provided are only general indications and do not go down too much in the specifics of the various techniques. Only the dentist will be able to provide all the specific clarifications, after establishing whether to intervene and what type of technique to adopt.
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