new westminster receding gums

Receding Gums: Causes, Treatment, Surgery, and Prevention

Gum recession is the process in which the margin of the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth wears away, or pulls back, exposing more of the tooth, or the tooth’s root. When gum recession occurs, “pockets,” or gaps, form between the teeth and gum line, making it easy for disease-causing bacteria to build up. If left untreated, the supporting tissue and bone structures of the teeth can be severely damaged, and may ultimately result in tooth loss.

Gum recession is a common dental problem. Most people don’t know they have gum recession because it occurs gradually. The first sign of gum recession is usually tooth sensitivity, or you may notice a tooth looks longer than normal. Typically, a notch can be felt near the gum line.

Gum recession is not something you want to ignore. If you think your gums are receding, make an appointment with your dentist. There are treatments that can repair the gum and prevent further damage.

Why Do Gums Recede?

There are a number of factors that can cause your gums to recede, including:

Periodontal diseases. These are bacterial gum infections that destroy gum tissue and supporting bone that hold your teeth in place. Gum disease is the main cause of gum recession.

Your genes. Some people may be more susceptible to gum disease. In fact, studies show that 30% of the population may be predisposed to gum disease, regardless of how well they care for their teeth.

Aggressive tooth brushing. If you brush your teeth too hard or the wrong way, it can cause the enamel on your teeth to wear away and your gums to recede.

Insufficient dental care. Inadequate brushing, flossing, and rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash makes it easy for plaque to turn into calculus (tartar) — a hard substance that builds on and between your teeth and can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning. It can lead to gum recession.

Hormonal changes. Fluctuations in female hormone levels during a woman’s lifetime, such as in puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, can make gums more sensitive and more vulnerable to gum recession.

Tobacco products. Tobacco users are more likely to have sticky plaque on their teeth that is difficult to remove and can cause gum recession.

Grinding and clenching your teeth. Clenching or grinding your teeth can put too much force on the teeth, causing gums to recede.

Crooked teeth or a misaligned bite. When teeth do not come together evenly, too much force can be placed on the gums and bone, allowing gums to recede.

Body piercing of the lip or tongue. Jewelry can rub the gums and irritate them to the point that gum tissue is worn away.

Do these apply to you? Sapperton Dental Clinic has several options to prevent receeding gums!

How Is Gum Recession Treated?

Mild gum recession may be able to be treated by your dentist by deep cleaning the affected area. During the deep cleaning — also called tooth scaling and root planing — plaque and tartar that has built up on the teeth and root surfaces below the gum line is carefully removed and the exposed root area is smoothed to make it more difficult for bacteria to attach itself. Antibiotics also may be given to get rid of any remaining harmful bacteria.

If your gum recession cannot be treated with deep cleaning because of excess loss of bone and pockets that are too deep, gum surgery may be required to repair the damage caused by gum recession.

What Type of Surgery Is Used to Treat Gum Recession?

The following surgical procedures are used to treat gum recession:

Open flap scaling and root planing: During this procedure, the dentist or periodontist (gum doctor) folds back the affected gum tissue, removes the harmful bacteria from the pockets, and then snugly secures the gum tissue in place over the tooth root, thus eliminating the pockets or reducing their size.

Regeneration: If the bone supporting your teeth has been destroyed as a result of gum recession, a procedure to regenerate lost bone and tissue may be recommended. As in pocket depth reduction, your dentist will fold back the gum tissue and remove the bacteria. A regenerative material, such as a membrane, graft tissue, or tissue-stimulating protein, will then be applied to encourage your body to naturally regenerate bone and tissue in that area. After the regenerative material is put in place, the gum tissue is secured over the root of the tooth or teeth.

Soft tissue graft: There are several types of gum tissue graft procedures, but the most commonly used one is called a connective tissue graft. In this procedure, a flap of skin is cut at the roof of your mouth (palate) and tissue from under the flap, called subepithelial connective tissue, is removed and then stitched to the gum tissue surrounding the exposed root. After the connective tissue — the graft — has been removed from under the flap, the flap is stitched back down. During another type of graft, called free gingival graft, tissue is taken directly from the roof of the mouth instead of under the skin. Sometimes, if you have enough gum tissue surrounding the affected teeth, the dentist is able to graft gum from near the tooth and not remove tissue from the palate. This is called a pedicle graft.

Your dentist can determine the best type of procedure to use on you based on your individual needs.

How Can I Prevent Gum Recession?

The best way to prevent gum recession is to take good care of your mouth. Brush and floss your teeth every day and see your dentist or periodontist at least twice a year, or as recommended. If you have gum recession, your dentist may want to see you more often. Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush and ask your dentist to show you the proper way to brush your teeth. If a misaligned bite or teeth grinding is the cause of gum recession, talk to your dentist about how to correct the problem. Other ways to prevent gum recession include:

  • Quit smoking if you smoke.
  • Eat a well balanced and healthy diet.
  • Monitor changes that may occur in your mouth.
  • By taking good care of your teeth, you can have a healthy smile forever.

Need a talk to a dentist? Simply pick up the phone and give us a call at: (604) 544 0894 and one of our dentists will be happy to guide you.

new westminster dentist

Looking for Some Amazing People to Join Our Team

Thanks to our wonderful patients, we are able to grow our Sapperton dental family. With all the success we’ve had in 2016, we are looking for a few amazing people to help us maintain our exceptional care for our patients!

Dental Hygienist:

We are a growing dental practice in New Westminster and are seeking a part time dental hygienist to start immediately one day a week (Mondays) potential to add more days.

We are looking for someone who is friendly, hard-working, able to work independently, takes initiative and knows how to administer local anesthetic and take digital x-rays. Also who

Is passionate about patient care, well organized and efficient.

1-2 years experience preferred experience with Maxident but willing to train the right person.

Please send your resume with experience and wage expectation

Dental Assistant:

We are a growing dental practice in New Westminster and are seeking a CDA to start immediately 3-4 days/week (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, alternate Tuesdays)

We are looking for someone who is friendly, hard-working, able to work independently, takes initiative and knows how to take digital x-rays, great customer/patient care, well organized and efficient. 2yrs experience preferred but willing to train the right person. Maxident knowledge is an asset. Please send your resume with experience and wage expectation.

children dentistry new westminster

B.C. Kids and Dental Decay – A Growing Problem

With a long list of programs and public health initiatives, the last place you would expect is suffering from a rather large problem with dental health. Kids in British Columbia, aged four to six, are experiencing at least some form of tooth decay. This problem is transcending social class, with kids in more affluent neighbourhoods suffering from the same problem.

How do we know this? Since 2006, the B.C. provincial government has been compiling visual data on dental health from close to 450 neighbourhoods and 35,000 kindergarten-aged children per compilation. What was discovered was shocking. Brenda Poon, a faculty member at the University of British Columbia found that almost 50% of children in neighbourhoods with lower than average incomes had some form of tooth decay. The more interesting part is that the case looks similar in richer neighbourhoods as well, with close to 30% of children showing evidence of tooth decay. The evidence of tooth decay manifests itself in stripped enamel, broken or fractured teeth or fillings, and general evidence of decay that eventually leads to cavity formation.

From 2006 to 2007, only 2.2% fewer kids were identified with signs of tooth decay across the B.C. area. This data was collected in the same time period as the preliminary study. In regions like Fraser Health, swaths like Burnaby had decay rates increase to between 10% and 35%!

Although not in the same ballpark, it is with much sadness to say that New Westminster ranks among the other concerning areas in terms of rates of child tooth decay. Luckily enough, there are some great platforms for the government to push new education initiatives forward for children and parents. These include using public schools, educating children on the dangers of sugary foods and beverages, giving kids more access to healthier foods options, and educating parents so that they know exactly how to take care of their newborn’s dental health. This includes regular dental checkups.

Furthermore, the province has a few subsidy options for lower income families to take advantage of. One of these is the BC Healthy Kids Program, which covers up to $1400 for children’s basic dental services every two years (for those eligible for the program). Knowing what is out there and how families can take advantage, coupled with these new initiatives, is exactly what will allow New Westminster children to enjoy better dental health and lower their rates of decay.

If you are at all concerned that your young child might have some form of tooth decay, please make an appointment with Dr. Sachdeva in New Westminster as soon as possible. The sooner any problem can be assessed, the better.

Not sure Sapperton Dental Clinic is right for you? Read our reviews on Google here

Signs for a root canal

Guide to Root Canals

Why undergo a root canal? Simply to address an abscess, a cavity that has reached tooth pulp, severing of tooth nerve due to trauma, a tooth fracture, or inflammation of tooth nerve from repeated dental procedures.

For more information on root canals, see the info-graph below provided by your New Westminster Dentist.

guild to root canals


gingivitis new westminster

Gingivitis – What it is and how you can avoid it

Gingivitis is simply the inflammation of the gums (known as gingiva). It occurs most commonly when a sticky film of bacteria known as plaque surrounds the teeth, as it does constantly. If the plaque is not removed with proper daily brushing and flossing, the gums can become irritated, inflamed, and may even bleed. The irritated or inflamed gum tissue can separate from the teeth and form spaces. Left untreated, the process can continue until any tooth-supporting materials such as tissue or bone are destroyed. Gingivitis is the first step the much more serious periodontitis, which can lead to loss of teeth and can also affect one’s overall health. However, it is also an early step and is therefore usually completely reversible.

Gingivitis is most commonly caused by plaque build-up but can also be caused by certain genetic factors or even malnutrition. In any case, patients suffering from gingivitis will usually have red, puffy gums that are sometimes painful to the touch and that may bleed when brushed. In milder cases there may be no experiences of discomfort whatsoever, but this does not mean that there should be less concern.

Where plaque is concerned, not only can it cause halitosis of the mouth (bad breath) but it is also responsible for the development of tartar, an unappealing yellowish film that forms at the base of the teeth and irritates the gums further. Tartar is so difficult to deal with that it can only be removed by a dental professional.

As previously mentioned, if caught early by checking for its specific symptoms, gingivitis can be easily and successfully reversed. Treatment involves care from a dental professional but it is then up to the patient to carry out the necessary follow-up procedures at home. These procedures include brushing twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and rinse using antiseptic mouthwash regularly.

Avoid possible tooth loss and various bacterial infections by regularly scheduling appointments with New Westminster Dentist in New Westminster. Our services at new westminster dental clinic are catered to locating any possible symptoms of gingivitis early on so that your smile can keep on blossoming.

How Safe are Dental X-rays?

Speculation has been raised in regards to the safety of x-rays administered by a dentist. The American Dental Association acknowledges these concerns and has shown that a full set of dental x-rays has three times less radiation than that from ambient environmental exposure on a daily basis.

For more information follow the link below:

Benefits of Fluoride

The Canadian Dental Association has long-argued that fluoride, which is a mineral present in soil, water and a variety of foods, has been shown to have a positive dental benefit by making teeth more resistant to decay. Fluoride has also illustrated a preventative and restorative effect on decay that has already started.

Children’s Oral Hygiene

Although a child’s primary teeth are not permanent they still require the same care and attention as adult teeth. The British Columbia Dental Association recommends that children have their teeth brushed twice daily by their caregiver.

For more information follow the link below:

Smoking and Dental Health

According to the American Dental Association smoking has been linked with cancer, gum disease, dental staining and bad breath. Smokeless tobacco has also been linked with oral cancers.

For more information follow the link below:

Periodontal Disease and stroke and Heart Disease

The American Academy of Periodontology has found that people with gum disease are nearly two times as likely to suffer from coronary heart disease. Furthermore researchers have found that in one scientific study patients with ischemic strokes were more likely to have an oral infection.