I am proud to say that I have all my own teeth at the age of 65. While that may not sound unusual to some people, everyone in my family who is my age or older wears dentures. I always tell people that that flossing is the key to good dental health. I have arthritis in my hands, but I don't let it keep me from flossing every day. My trick is to use those little "flossers" you can buy at the drug store. They have plastic handles floss stretched out on top of the handle. These make flossing easier on days when my arthritis is acting up. I started this blog to let other people know that they can keep their teeth healthy into old age when they take care of them. If you have hand pain, find ways to make flossing easier, like I did.
Receding gums due to gum disease can be painful, and it can leave you with teeth that look bigger than they should. If you've already beaten gum disease with the help of a general dentist but your teeth still look larger than you'd like, your teeth could make you look older than you are. However, that doesn't mean that you're powerless to change it or that you have to alter your teeth to look better. Read on to learn more about receded gums and what you can do about it.
The reality is, people associate healthy-looking teeth and gums with youth and health. When you're young and in good shape, your teeth tend to be white, relatively even with no chipped edges, and your gums are pink and snug around your teeth. However, as people age, dental health tends to diminish either due to neglect, medications, or other health problems. One of the issues this can lead to is gum disease.
Although it originally referred to horses, some people use the phrase 'long in the tooth' to indicate that people are getting old for the same reasons. Bigger-looking teeth are often due to receding gums, which tend to strike people later in life. As a result, your receded gums and any other dental problems you have could make people think you're older than you are.
Reversing Gum Disease Doesn't Restore Lost Gum Tissue
If you've already worked with a dentist to beat gum disease, you deserve praise. However, the body doesn't replace lost gum tissue when gum disease is beaten.
When your gums recede with severe gum disease, some of the gum tissue is actually lost. In some cases, general dentists have to actually cut away diseased tissue in order to encourage the healing process. The body can't replace the lost gum tissue, so although you've stopped the receding from getting worse, it won't look normal again without help.
Thankfully, cosmetic dentists specialize in repairing the look of receding gums. Rather than trying to shave or cut down your teeth to make them look smaller, your dentist will instead work to repair your gums with new tissue.
Repairing receding gums is a fairly easy task for cosmetic dentists. They perform a procedure called a gum graft, which stitches new tissue onto your gums. This tissue is taken from the roof of the mouth, where the cut away skin isn't seen. Your dentist will then place it at the end of your gumline, extending it, and stitch the two together. Your gums will provide blood flow to the new tissue, and gradually assimilate it as part of the gumline. Your teeth will look shorter and healthier as a result, and the part of the tooth that should be covered by your gums will be better protected from damage, too.
Unfortunately, gum disease is a problem that can leave behind permanent damage. While your body can't fix it all on its own, with a little help from cosmetic dental procedures, you'll be looking good again in no time.