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Old 11-23-2010, 02:00 PM   #3
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Re: Opinions about My dentist appointment (gum recession)

Sorry you didn't get an answer sooner. It's very hard to give you a definitive one without actually seeing the tooth and gum in question, so I can only be general. Hope it helps, though.

Most gum recession comes from plaque gathering between the tooth surface and the gumline. It pushes down in between and forms a dental pocket. That is the start of gingivitis. If you have had your teeth cleaned, you brush twice a day (at least two minutes) and floss daily that shouldn't be a problem, as your dentist indicated. Brushing your teeth too hard can also cause gum recession as it literally tears the gum from the tooth surface and then the gum shrinks.

You cannot "regrow" gum tissue where it has been lost. You can have it replaced surgically, though. It requires you to have a small section of the membrane on the roof of your mouth (feels like a bad pizza burn!) transplanted to where the gum has recessed. This can work quite well if done by someone experienced, usually an oral surgeon, but it is surgery.

At this point, it sounds as though your dentist didn't feel that your pockets needed to be measured because you may not have any pockets forming. If you had a thorough cleaning he would be able to tell if they are forming without measurements taken. If you got a clean bill of health, you may be "pocket free".

You can help keep the gum recession you have from getting worse by brushing twice daily with a SOFT toothbrush and flossing once a day. Gentle movements in circles with your brush is best to get into small groves and crevices. A sonic toothbrush is good and so is a water pik.

Age does play a part in gum recession, too. Not much you can do about that.

Surgery is the only "fix".

As for the cavities. There may be soft spots on your enamel that look like the beginning of decay. Many times they don't need treatment but need to be watched so they don't become cavities. You really don't want treatment to an area if a cavity never forms, esp. on a tooth with a previous filling.

Your dentist sounds as though he is conservative in his treatments and goes by an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach.

A second opinion is always a good idea if you are unhappy with the first. If for no other reason but to be assured that you already got the correct information.

Hope this helps some.
Best to you,

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BrandedPrincess (11-24-2010)