San Francisco, CA, dentist explains costs and considerations of gum grafting surgery to address gum recession
If you’ve recently learned that your gums are receding, you may be feeling overwhelmed or confused. While not commonly discussed, gum recession happens to many adults. Dr. Leo Arellano has helped countless San Francisco patients avoid gum disease and provides treatment to those who do see the effects of damaged gums. Treatments range from at home oral health changes to gum grafting surgery. However, the first step is scheduling an appointment to discuss the costs and other considerations of treatment.
What causes gum recession?
Gum recession occurs when the gum tissue begins to pull away and cover less of the teeth’s surfaces, which exposes the roots. It can be caused by a number of factors:
- Aggressive brushing or flossing: Many patients believe that when it comes to brushing, the harder you brush the more effective it is. In fact, patients should take care not to brush too harshly, as it can damage the teeth’s surfaces. Most dentists recommend using a soft or extra-soft bristled toothbrush and using small circular motions, not back and forth or up and down.
- Genetics: Just like the rest of your body, the makeup of your gums is affected by your family history. If a parent had receding gums, you are at a higher risk.
- Misalignment: If your teeth are not in proper alignment, gum recession can occur both on the teeth that are out of proper position and in the pockets that are created by misalignment.
- Trauma or decay or gum disease: If the gum tissue has been impacted by a traumatic injury to the mouth or poor oral hygiene habits, it can begin to recede.
Receding gums is typically a gradual process and may be hard to detect. In some cases, patients will notice that their teeth appear longer or loose, or they may experience sensitivity near the gum line. In other cases, the gum recession may first be spotted by a dental professional during a regular check up.
Treatment for gum recession
Regardless of what is causing the gum recession, it’s important to know that it can be treated. The type and cost of treatment will vary, depending on the severity of the recession.
If you are experiencing mild gum disease, you may be able to reverse it with better oral hygiene habits at home. Your dentist may suggest a less abrasive toothbrush or a mouth guard if you’ve been grinding your teeth. Individuals who have a more advanced stage of gum disease may need to undergo treatment such as scaling and root planing, a deep cleaning of the teeth and gums that is performed in the dentist’s office. For the more advanced cases, patients may need to undergo a gum graft in which tissue from other areas of the mouth, or donated tissue, or collagen membrane is transplanted to thicken and bring the receding gums back into their proper position.
If you think you may be experiencing gum disease or gum recession, it’s important to note that it doesn’t get better without some help. Call the office of Dr. Leo Arellano at 415-881-4343 to schedule an appointment.