Why are my gums receding?

Gum recession happens when the gum tissue has receded and lowers its position on the tooth, exposing the roots of the teeth.

You may be at more risk of recession depending on the position of your teeth in the jaw as well as the thickness of your gum and bone. The recession itself may be caused by plaque, overly aggressive brushing or trauma from e.g. lip/tongue piercings.

Gum recession needs attention and the first step is to consult your dentist or a gum expert on whether further measures need to be taken to stop or correct the recession.

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What can I do about receding gums?

If you are only mildly affected by receding gums, that’s great! Catching it early means that it may just be a case of monitoring it. However, either way, it’s important that the cause of the recession is established and corrected. This may involve modification of your brushing technique or gum disease treatment.

If further treatment is required, the one recommended will depend on the aims of the treatment. The most common treatment is the free gingival graft, which involves taking a small piece of tissue from the roof of your mouth (palate) and using this as a graft to an area that is deficient. This thickens the gums, helps facilitate oral hygiene, and helps prevent further recession. This is often used for lower front teeth.

If aesthetics are of concern then the gum is often moved to cover the recession. This may or may not be combined with a gum graft depending on the thickness of the existing gum. Advances in the application of microsurgical techniques have led to improved success, less post-operative discomfort, and reduced healing times.

What can I do about my gummy smile?

A gummy smile describes excessive gum display when smiling. The teeth can also look smaller than their expected size. It is not uncommon and shouldn’t be ignored especially if it affects your self-confidence and happiness.

There are many reasons for a gummy smile but it is largely due to the way your teeth, gums, and jaw have developed.

A gummy smile can be treated using a ‘gum lift’ or crown lengthening procedure. This lengthens your teeth and reduces the amount of gum on show, thereby improving your smile.

This procedure is also suitable for teeth that are extensively broken down and require a more sound tooth structure above the gum line to allow for a restoration/crown to be placed.

When is crown lengthening necessary?

Occasionally there is not enough tooth surface above the gum line to support a crown; this is when crown lengthening is necessary.

Crown lengthening removes gum and bone tissues, exposing more of the tooth to allow room for the new crown. Crown lengthening is sometimes also a cosmetic procedure option for patients with a “gummy smile,” which means you have too much gum tissue around your teeth.

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Check out our other articles if you want to learn more about your dental care. Or contact us if you have any questions or feedback, or would like to book an appointment.

 

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What is a periodontist?

A periodontist is a dentist who specialises in treating gum conditions. Periodontists work by identifying the type of bacterial infection responsible for the problem, prescribing a treatment plan, and providing information on good dental hygiene.

Since gum conditions can range from mild to severe, periodontists create treatment plans that not only manage existing gum conditions but also prevent them from occurring in the future.

Periodontists can carry out non-surgical and surgical treatments. Some of these include scaling, grafting, and gum grafts.

On some occasions, periodontal disease can be treated by a regular dentist or hygienist. However, if your condition has not responded well to past treatment or if it is severe or extensive, you may benefit from a referral to someone who can provide more advanced care.

Here at RW Perio, our wealth of experience allows us to treat even the most advanced cases of gum diseases. To find out more about how we can help you, click here!

What Is A Periodontist

Why have I been referred to a periodontist

Your dentist may have referred you to a periodontist if you they are unable to adequately heal your infection. This could be due to a bacterial infection, or any underlying infections that you may have which would make collaboration with a periodontist the most optimal healthcare treatment for you.

These could include any of the following:

What Does A Periodontist Do?

Can you cure gum/periodontal disease?

You can never really ‘cure’ gum/periodontal disease, but you can treat and stabilize it. Once treated and the gums are healthy, you need to ensure life-long regular maintenance at home and with your hygienist to ensure you minimize any chances of relapse.

Here at RW Perio, we work with you to provide a long-term hygiene and treatment plan that allows you manage your gum disease. To find out more about how to maintain healthy gums, check out our 10-step guide to healthy gums here!

Periodontist London

What if I leave my gum disease untreated?

If your gum/periodontal condition is left untreated, this can result in your teeth loosening up and eventual tooth loss. Other associated symptoms may also start to develop including bleeding gums, gum boils, bad breath, bad taste and painful gums/teeth. You may get very little symptoms until it is advanced, so it is important to catch it early, as it’s a preventable and treatable condition.

To check whether you need to see a dentist, check out our recent article here!

Get in touch and start your journey to optimal gum health today!

Dr Reena

Should You See a Periodontist?

Not all dentists are born equal. All dentists have a dentistry degree, but if you want to be specialised, another degree in the area you want to be specialised in is required. For example, a periodontist has a degree specialising in periodontology, which involves examining the structures around the teeth, such as the gums and the bone.

A periodontist treats gum diseases non-surgically and surgically. Surgery can also be performed to treat gum recessions, which is when the gums are receding.

The opposite of that is treating gummy smiles by performing what we call a ‘gum lift’ to look nicer, for personal aesthetic reasons. Sometimes, someone’s smile can reveal a lot of gum so that their lip appears quite high. For people that feel they have extra gum that is interfering with their image, we can perform a gum-lift (which you can see before and after images of on our Instagram).

Here are a few things you should know before deciding whether you should visit a periodontist.

What causes bad breath?

How do you know if you have gum disease?

Can gum disease indicate other health problems?

How should you maintain dental healthcare?

When should you see a periodontist?

Do you need to see a specialist clinic?

What causes bad breath?

Bad breath, which is also known as halitosis, is a result of the bad odours produced by bacteria trapped by the surface of your tongue or within your gum pockets. Bad breath can be embarrassing or even cause anxiety.

There are two causes of bad breath. One cause is tongue coating, which is why tongue cleaning is so important. The other cause of bad breath is gum disease. Even more so, in light of the pandemic, since everyone has their masks on.

How do you know if you have gum disease?

Gum disease is not always visually apparent. Red gums can be a sign of gum disease, but some people’s gums can look completely normal whilst suffering from severe gum disease.

Other telltale signs of gum disease include:

Loose teeth are a really important indicator of gum disease. On top of that, swelling of gums and poor bone support may cause the position of teeth to drift and change, and gaps may start opening up between the teeth. Patients don’t always feel pain, but that can also be a sign.

Most people start noticing they might have something wrong when their smile begins to look different.

Can gum disease indicate other health problems?

A recent hot topic is looking into the link between gum disease and general health. Your gums can affect your risk of getting heart disease or otherwise be an indication of diabetes. Your body is intricate and interconnected, so it is not surprising that these links exist as your mouth is connected to your body.

How should you maintain dental care?

More and more young children, as well as young adults in their early twenties, are succumbing to gum disease. This is quite worrying.

As soon as your first teeth come through good dental care is extremely important. Some might think that dummies may be a concern. Dummies for children can affect the growth of teeth but only once the teeth start developing. It does not have a significant effect on the gums.

Instead, there should be more education on how to brush your teeth as people are not completely aware of how they should really be doing it. It is not as easy as some might think. Though, there are some quite simple things you should know, such as using a toothpaste that contains fluoride and ensuring you are brushing well and thoroughly.

Once the baby teeth fall out, flossing is a habit that is important to maintain as soon as your adult teeth start to come in. It is important to floss as soon as possible. The best tool for flossing for adults is interdental brushes. These are brushes that are designed to be used in between your teeth. It is more effective than flossing so it is the method that we promote to our patients, especially those with gum disease.

Whilst some might believe that adding toothpaste to your interdental brush would prove more effective it is not necessary. You can use it plain, then wash it each time you use it. However, it is important to replace the brushes every few days.

If you have healthy gums, then you should have your teeth for life. The common stereotype is that you lose your teeth when you age. However, we have a lot of patients who are in their 80s who still have healthy teeth, and the current generation also have expectations to keep their teeth for life.

Getting into good habits from an early age is critical for reaping the long-term benefits. Gum disease is preventable, therefore it makes sense that maintaining good habits serves as a preventative measure to actually getting gum disease.

When should you see a periodontist?

Whether you should see a periodontist depends on the level of risk. Gum disease patients normally need to see a good hygienist every three months. Whilst gum disease is preventable, it is not something that can really be cured but instead stabilised.

Regardless of whether you need care every three months or six months, it is advisable that everyone refers to professionals for their hygiene and cleaning from the very beginning and consistently if they want to maintain their dental care.

Do you need to see a specialist clinic?

If a patient does not think they have gum disease but wants to refer to a good hygienist under a specialist clinic, they can book a hygienist directly. The treatment that follows is called Polish and Perfect.

This treatment has three tiers.

Classic

The investment for this treatment is £250. The patient receives an assessment and tailored oral hygiene instructions. They also receive a full mouth cleanse using airflow, which removes any stains that a normal hygienist scale and polish wouldn’t do.

Polish and Perfect Maintenance

The investment for this is £200, which is more cost-effective after the patient has already been to our practice once for their initial assessment. They can continue with the maintenance of their dental care.

Polish and Perfect Whitening

This is a tier we have recently introduced. This is for people who now have healthy teeth and gums but can moreover invest in the appearance of their smile. The whitening package is £595.

Make sure to read our other blogs for more information.

We often get asked a lot of questions when it comes to what we do, how we operate and more, so we wanted to create this short article with answers to some of our most common questions.

What is RW Perio?

RW Perio is a specialist periodontal clinic founded by Dr Reena Wadia. We provide specialist treatment for periodontitis, gum recession and crown lengthening.

How can you refer?

The easiest way to refer is via the website. Just need to go here.

The process is fast, simple and effective. You can also email us on [email protected] or call 020 7112 9036.

Periodontist London

What is the average waiting time for appointments?

This can vary, but it’s usually two weeks. However, if your patient does require an urgent appointment, we can aim to make special provision.

How will you keep me updated?

We work around you. Usually for most referrers, this is via email however we can work how you prefer. We’ll keep you up to date at every point – when we receive the referral, when the patient books in and all the clinical stages thereafter.

How long do patients usually remain with you?

Once a treatment is complete, depending on the situation, we usually keep them on here for a year for maintenance. But after that, we’ll discharge them back to your care for long term maintenance, or if you prefer, we can also look after them here.

RW Perio

What should my patient expect during the First appointment?

The first appointment is the specialist consultation and usually takes up to 60 minutes and we discuss the patient’s main concerns. We complete a detailed assessment, take radiographs, and then also go through the proposed treatment plan. Appointments are booked in on the day and the patient will receive a clinical report by the end of the day.

Can I attend with my patient?

Yes, you can attend with your patient. Just let us know and we can make special provision.

Will Dr. Reena see my patients personally?

Yes, Dr. Reena will be involved throughout the treatment plan and her team work directly under her specialist prescription. Our team of specialists and hygienists all work together to provide the best care for your patient.

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Do you offer finance plans?

Yes, subject to approval from our third-party finance provider we offer finance plans to all patients and payments can be split over 3, 6 or 10 months. The finance plan is interest-free. To give you an example for a severe generalised periodontitis case, you’re looking at around £200 a month, over 10 months.

If you have more questions or would like to refer, please get in touch with the team who will be happy to help.