Receding gums: Cosmetic and restorative dentistry at Burnaby dental studio in Burnaby, BC

Receding gums, more formally known as gingival recession, occurs when the gum tissue retracts from the tooth, exposing the root of the tooth. This condition is not only unsightly, but it can lead to tooth sensitivity, decay and even tooth loss if not properly treated. While receding gums are problematic, there are treatments available to restore the lost gum tissue and prevent further recession.


Gum disease is a common cause of receding gums. Poor oral hygiene contributes to this conditions, as do genetics and lifestyle factors such as smoking and an unhealthy diet. Overly aggressive brushing and flossing or brushing with a toothbrush that is too coarse can also cause the gums to be damaged and recede. Bruxism, or tooth grinding, can also contribute to this condition. The causes of receding gums are often multifactorial.


When the roots of the teeth are exposed, they are no longer protected by the gums and are more susceptible to decay. You may find that your teeth are more sensitive to hot and cold as well. You will notice that your teeth begin to look longer. Your gums may also be inflamed and sore.


The first course of action for treating receding gums is usually a treatment called scaling and root planing. Scaling and root planing is basically a deep cleaning that will clean the teeth and below the gum line down to the tooth root. Local anaesthetic or freezing will be used to keep you comfortable during this treatment.

If the gum recession was caught early, scaling and root planing may be the only necessary treatment to halt the gum disease and subsequent gingival recession. If a lot of the gum tissue has been lost, a gum graft may be necessary to restore the lost tissue. During this procedure, healthy tissue will be extracted from another area of the mouth and grafted onto the remaining gum. Antibiotics will likely be necessary after this surgical procedure. During the healing time, the tissue will fuse onto the gums and will effectively cover the roots of the teeth. Your dentist will give you instructions on how to care for the area after your oral surgery. Your dentist may also provide instructions on how to prevent gum disease and gingival recession from occurring again.

If you are experiencing receding gums in the Burnaby, BC area, don’t wait until it progresses further to seek treatment. At Burnaby Dental Studio, our dentist, Dr. Lisa Tran, is experienced at diagnosing and treating receding gums and will be able to formulate an effective treatment plan for you.