Traumatic gingival recession or receding gums is the visible, non-inflammatory retraction of the gum margins on the facial and lingual aspect of a tooth.
Depending on the severity and cause of the recession, different treatments can be considered. First and foremost, one must always try to eliminate the cause, for example by being properly trained in optimal and gentle dental care and through splint therapy for grinding teeth.
If the recession is already well advanced, microsurgical coverage of the exposed area should be considered.
The main cause is the so-called dehiscence (thinning) of the alveolar bone that does not completely cover the outer surface of the tooth root. Various other factors can make the situation worse:
– excessive pressure and faulty toothbrushing techniques;
– gnashing of teeth;
– tooth mobility because of low alveolar bone density (even after orthodontic treatment);
– sprained periodontal ligaments.
The causes aforementioned oftentimes lead to mixed forms. Because the recession that has already formed is sometimes more difficult to clean, inflammation may also be present.
Generally, no risk arise in the case of conservative treatments. Surgical therapy presupposes various risks that arise in general surgery. In the worst case, it may be necessary to repeat the surgical procedure. However, the success rate is over 50 to 95%, depending on the anatomical requirements.
Ideally, one can expect that no further recession will occur, and that the recession defect will be covered.
Two possible options would be either adding a thicker layer of dental filling or placing pink ceramic crowns in between the teeth that imitate the appearance of gums. However, these measures should only be accompanying previous treatment. Functional conditions should always be treated in order to preserve the tooth. Aesthetic procedures that allow the creation of a harmonious gum/tooth boundary are now based on a solid ground, due to the success of microsurgery. In some cases, orthodontic treatment can also significantly improve the result.