FAQ #4: Can Cosmetic Dentistry Fix Receding Gums?
No, Cosmetic Dentistry can’t fix receding gums.
What Are Receding Gums?
This term refers to a situation where the gums have moved towards the root, exposing the neck of the tooth. This is a part of the tooth that is not covered by enamel, and is therefore simply dentine. Dentine is a hard substance that forms most of the tooth: it contains tiny nerve endings, which makes it sensitive to cold, sweet, hot and touch. It is also more yellow than the enamel that covers the top portion of the tooth (the crown).
When gums recede, several things can happen:
- The tooth can become more sensitive to temperature changes and touch
- The yellow dentine becomes visible above the gum, and, depending which teeth are involved, can become apparent when the person smiles.
- Since the dentine is softer than enamel, it is more prone to damage from acid attack, decay and heavy toothbrushing. So exposed dentine is at greater risk of further damage. This can lead to greater sensitivity and deeper, more visible receded areas at the neck of the tooth.
- The gums may recede far enough so that natural gaps that are usually filled by gum show between the teeth: these look like black spaces near the gumline
- In some cases, receding gums are an early sign of destructive periodontal (gum) disease, which, if not treated, may result in the tooth becoming loose and gradually fall out.
Gum Recession And Cosmetic Dentistry
It is sometimes possible to mask minor gum recession with a cosmetic dental procedure. However, if gum recession exists, it’s important to have the problem properly diagnosed and treated. Gum recession is often a sign that there is periodontal disease (gum disease) around it, which puts the tooth at risk of being lost. Sometimes it occurs as a result of heavy tooth grinding, which also often needs treatment.
Often Periodontists (specialists in the care of gums and the bone that support the teeth) are able to perform surgical procedures that can cover the roots of the teeth that have been exposed by receding gums.