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Not Enough Gum For Dentures

By September 2, 2022 September 4th, 2022 No Comments
dentures next to the dentist's tools

One of the biggest contributing factors to needing dentures, implants, or other options for false teeth is gum disease. When it comes to gum disease, there are a number of problems that it can lead to, including tooth loss and gum recession. The good news is, that most people haven’t lost enough of their gums to inhibit their ability to get a smile that they really love.

If you’re concerned that you don’t have enough gums for dentures, your best bet would be to visit your dentist and discuss what options you have. Some individuals still have enough gums remaining so that they can get dental implants or a partial, while others may need to look into different denture options. Your best bet if you want to ensure you have enough gums to get dentures is to take care of your teeth and prevent gum disease.

Dentures and Receding Gums

The good news for most individuals that want to improve their smile is that dentures are an option if your gums have begun to recede. If you barely have any gums, you may need to go with complete dentures, which replace the entire set of teeth. Generally, your dentist will attempt to save any of your natural teeth that are in good shape, but complete dentures are a great option if you need a full mouth makeover and you don’t have enough gums left for dental implants.

the dentist with his patient

Symptoms of Receding Gums

Gum recession can lead to serious oral health problems if left untreated. The most obvious sign that you may be dealing with gum recession is exposure to the tooth’s root. Other symptoms include:

  • Sensitivity to sweets, heat, or cold
  • Sensitivity during dental cleanings
  • Sensitivity when flossing or brushing your teeth
  • Pain or discomfort near the gum line

When gum recession is left untreated or ignored for too long, you may begin seeing other problems arise. Signs that your issues have progressed beyond the beginning stages of gum recession include bone loss, wiggly teeth, and tooth loss. Any of these symptoms should be reported to your dentist as soon as possible so you can work on preventing further damage.

Causes of Gum Recession

There are several reasons one may experience gum recession. The most common causes include:

  • Abnormally positioned teeth, or misalignment
  • Brushing too aggressively
  • Dental plaque or tartar buildup
  • Injury or trauma to gum tissue
  • Lip and tongue piercings
  • Periodontal disease

Poor oral hygiene can certainly factor into whether or not your gums recede over time, but this isn’t actually the cause for everyone. The biggest cause of gum recession is gum disease, which can lead to bone damage. Other folks end up with gum recession because they are genetically predisposed to thin gum tissue, which ends up receding over time.

closeup of person's teeth

Can My Gums Grow Back?

Unfortunately, in most cases, gum tissue that you’ve lost to gum recession will not grow back on its own. Once it’s gone, consider it lost for good. This doesn’t mean that you’re facing oral anguish forever, though, there are some things you can do to stop the damage and rewind the clock a bit on your receding gums.

The first thing you’ll need to do is to stop the gums from receding any further. This means getting immediate periodontal treatment. If your gums are receding due to gum disease, you may be able to get specialized treatment from your dentist or periodontist. Scaling and deep cleaning can be used to get rid of the harmful bacteria that cause the debilitating gum condition.

If your gum recession has been significant or even severe in the amount of tissue loss, there may be other dental treatments that can help your smile look and feel normal again. There are surgical treatments, such as a grafting of gum tissue, that can give your appearance and health a boost.

How Does A Gum Graft Work?

Just like a bone graft, a gum graft is a complicated procedure. It involves using donor tissue from one part of the body, often another part of the mouth, to augment or replace the lost gum tissue. Some donor tissue can come from the patient’s body, and some may come from tissue donors. The most common source is the palate tissue of the patient.

Using specialized techniques and tools created for the exact purpose, the tissue is removed from the healthy part of the mouth. Then it is sized, shaped, and put in place by the surgeon. Once the new tissue is in place, it is anchored, and once it is fully healed, it will be nearly indistinguishable from other gum tissue.

Preventing Gum Recession

Unfortunately, gum recession isn’t something that is completely preventable. Many individuals have a genetic predisposition to thinner gum tissue, thus resulting in gums that recede more easily, no matter what preventative measures they take.                                                                   

For most folks, there are plenty of ways to prevent gum recession. With proper gum and teeth care, your gums should be in good shape. This includes:

  • Thoroughly brush your teeth twice each day
  • Floss one time per day
  • Rinse your mouth with antimicrobial mouthwash two times per day
  • Get your teeth cleaned by a professional regularly – for most, appointments should be every six months, some may need more frequent cleanings
  • Use a toothbrush with soft bristles
  • Avoid smoking and using chewing tobacco

If you begin experiencing any of the signs of gum regression, it’s important to inform your dentist right away so you can try to prevent it from worsening. While it is not curable, gum recession can be managed when caught in time.

products for oral hygiene

How To Stop Gum Recession

While you can’t get back any gums that have been lost, you can try to stop your gum recession from progressing further. Two of the most important things you can do is schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible and begin taking proper care of your teeth. Brushing twice daily, using mouthwash, and daily flossing will help slow down or stop the recession. Aside from that, improving your diet and cutting tobacco products out are great steps as well.

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