Gum Recession While Wearing Braces: How Is It Treated?

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Gum recession is a fairly common dental problem, although it has the potential to become a significant issue. Your gum tissues are receding from the bases of your teeth, exposing sections of your teeth that need that coverage. This means your teeth are more vulnerable to erosion and cavities. There are numerous treatment options available to halt gum recession and restore those lost tissues. But what about if your gum recession becomes problematic while you're in the middle of your orthodontic treatment?

Traditional Braces

Orthodontics offers many methods to realign a patient's teeth. Traditional braces may pose a hurdle if the patient experiences gum recession during their treatment, but this doesn't mean that their recession cannot be addressed. Braces don't cause gum recession by themselves, but the pressure being exerted on your teeth means that braces may aggravate existing gum recession.

Why Gums Recede

Should gum recession be noted prior to your braces being fitted, it's likely that you'll be advised to have the matter treated before your orthodontic work begins. However, minor instances of gum recession can advance after your braces have been put in place. The problem has multiple possible causes, and it can be a case of poor oral hygiene, or even excessive oral hygiene — brushing so hard that you're literally buffing away your gums. Your braces can complicate matters, as they can make it difficult to comprehensively clean your teeth.

Treatment Shouldn't Be Delayed

Your gum recession needs to be treated, and it's not possible to delay this until your orthodontic work has finished. Should your teeth, periodontal ligaments and jaw become compromised due to your receding gums, your orthodontic work may be ineffective. As periodontal disease advances, your teeth can even loosen, meaning orthodontic repositioning is impossible. The successful repositioning of your teeth depends on healthy, well-anchored teeth. 

Professional Cleaning

Minor instances of gum recession can often be halted with professional cleaning. This doesn't require the removal of your braces, and a dentist can clean around the braces using special tools. The roots of your teeth may also require attention (root planing). The overall process removes calcified plaque from your teeth and their roots, removing a source of irritation for your gums. This allows them to heal and can prevent further recession.

Gingival Restoration

More serious instances of gum recession may call for the temporary removal of your braces. Lost gum tissue must be replaced. This often involves grafting gum tissues over the deficient areas. In your case, pinhole gum rejuvenation may be recommended. This is less invasive than traditional gum grafting, with minimal healing time. This allows your braces to promptly be reinstalled, meaning there was only a brief interruption to your orthodontic treatment. 

Gum recession while wearing braces needs immediate treatment, so be sure to contact your orthodontic clinic if you suspect that your gingival tissues have begun to recede.