Ouch! My Teeth Hurt!

Toothaches have many causes, from cavities and fractures to internal infections. Tooth sensitivity is a bit different from a toothache. Sensitive teeth cause pain when they are exposed to temperature fluctuations or pressure. In some cases, thin tooth enamel creates sensitivity. Sometimes harsh bleaching or significant enamel reduction (as in preparation for a veneer) result in sensitivity. Another common cause is gum recession.

Why is gum recession a problem?
Bone, ligament and gum tissue is supposed to cover the entire root of a tooth. Unlike the crown of a tooth, the root is not covered with protective enamel. Therefore, exposed teeth roots have lost bone, ligament and gum tissue and can become prone to sensitivity.

Why do gums recede?
Gum recession, or a receding gum line, may result from years of brushing teeth too hard, from smoking tobacco, from gum disease, or simply from age.  Some people have inherited “thin tissue” and are more prone to recession.

How is gum recession corrected?
Once gums recede, the only way to build the tissue back up is with a gum graft. Gum tissue is usually taken from the roof of the patient’s mouth, but it may also come from a donor bank if necessary. Dr. Kania secures the new tissue over receding gums, and as healing progresses, the new tissue is accepted as part of the body.

Will my gums recede again?
There is certainly no guarantee that your gums will not recede again, though you can implement steps to reduce the potential for recurrence. If smoking or brushing too hard caused your gum recession, you can change these behaviors. If gum disease was the cause, Dr. Kania will develop a treatment and maintenance plan with you.

To learn about your options for gum treatments, call 760-642-0711. Dr. Kania’s Encinitas periodontist office serves patients from San Diego’s North County area, including those from Carlsbad, San Marcos, La Costa, Rancho Santa Fe, Leucadia, Solana Beach, Del Mar and Carmel Valley.