How can I grow my gums back?
It’s not an optical illusion – your teeth have grown longer. No, you weren’t bitten by a lycanthrope… your gums are receding, which is exposing more of your teeth. This can happen for a few reasons ranging from over-aggressive tooth brushing to grinding one’s teeth. It can even be genetic. The danger of too much gum recession is that your root also gets exposed, which can make for some quite painful times when it comes to eating or drinking or even just swallowing. Can you reverse this or is it something that you will be resigned to?
There is gum grafting, where your dentist can take tissue from a different area of your mouth, possibly the roof, and replace the missing gum area after also likely doing a deep cleaning to make sure there’s no bacteria that could hinder the healing process. There’s also a relatively new process called the pinhole surgical technique where a dentist can manipulate tissue that’s already there and pull it over the root. It seems to be getting good reviews from both patients and dentists alike.
Some people would prefer to try to do something at home rather than undergo surgery. Be careful though… if you search for this online, you may find a lot of different things for sale that promise to do the trick for you. They make take the form of solutions that are applied by eye droppers to a mouthwash. While some of them are sold by reputable dental companies like GUM, the vast majority of them are basically snake oil. It’s the modern-day swindle and the traveling salesman who goes from town to town now resides on the internet. The ancient Latin warning, “Caveat Emptor” or “Buyer Beware” applies here. Ultimately, your gums will likely require surgery if the regression is severe enough.
People may tout things like aloe vera, clove oil, lemon oil, coconut oil, and olive oil. They may tell you to work your way up to rinsing with some of these for up to half an hour a day. While it’s true that these things can help with quelling pain, there’s no truth to their claims that they can regenerate the lost gums, even if they do have a drawing that shows just that. Treat those with the doubt that they deserve.
Whether you have a mild case that doesn’t require surgery or want to keep it from happening again once you have had a graft or pinhole surgery, there are some things you can do for preventing it. If you have a hard-bristled toothbrush, you can get a soft-bristled one. Battery-operated ones are good, since the bristles spin and you don’t have to do anything yourself except move it from tooth to tooth. Make sure you do this at least twice a day. Crooked teeth can cause this, so be sure to get braces or Invisalign to correct it.
If you have any questions about this, you can always contact the knowledgeable and experienced Queens periodontist who will help you and make you smile again!