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FAQ:  Receding Gums



Normal Recession
Self Diagnosis Symptom List
Anatomy of gum recession
Tissue Grafting
Treating Periodontal Disease

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Tunnel Grafts - Growing New Gum Tissue
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Gum Recession - An Anatomy
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Receding Gums Ask The Dentist Corinne Scalzitti Question:
Gum recession: I am young and have slight gum recession on only one tooth, but it has eroded far enough to cause sensitivity.

This has only happened on one tooth and my thoughts are to begin brushing with a toothpaste for sensitive teeth. I was wondering if there is anything that I should be doing? I believe that it occured from brushing to vigorously.

What will happen to this tooth? Will the gum return back to it's normal position? ... Visitor from Winnipeg Canada

Answer:
While your gum recession problems could have been caused by brushing hard, it is probably more likely that you have something called an abfraction, which are small, or sometimes large, pieces of tooth that break off of the teeth where they attach to the gums.

This is usually from stress of grinding or clenching your teeth, usually while you are asleep. You could be totally unaware that you are doing this, and not everybody makes noise when grinding.

I would suggest that you have this evaluated by a dentist. If grinding or clenching is the cause, the progress can be slowed or possibly stopped with a dentist-constructed night guard.

Yes, there is a way to "replace" the lost tissue with stronger gum tissue grafted from your palate. If this is only slight, grafting may not be necessary. This is usually performed by a periodontist (gum specialist) and is called grafting.

One method of grafting that can be done is called the tunnel technique. This is more predictable than simply putting tissue on the areas of recession and hoping that the graft grows in the area.

With the tunnel technique, the tissue in the area of loss is split, the existing tissue is pushed up on the tooth, and the graft is inserted into the hole where the tissue was split. In this technique, the new tissue is put into an area where it is surrounded by living tissue.

Corinne Scalzitti, DMD, MAGD

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