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Really receding gums? What to do?
Old 11-04-2010, 12:45 PM   #1
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Really receding gums? What to do?

Just had a checkup yesterday, and again the dental hygenist goes on about how clean my teeth are and how I have no tartar; however, my gums behind my bottom lower teeth in the front have receded to "dangerous" levels. She said this is from brushing too hard (maybe in the past I did) and, also, from clenching my teeth in my sleep! Good grief!!!! Clenching in my sleep...who knew? Well, makes sense since I've lived under alot of stress in my life.

Does anyone have any knowledge on how common this receding gums behind the front bottom teeth is? And causes? Or cures to it? Anything?

The hygenist did suggest I go to Walmart and get a mouth guard to wear at night. That should be attractive...not.

Since I take really good care of my teeth, this is really disappointing news.
Am I alone here with this one?
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:52 PM   #2
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Maybe depend less on brushing that area behind your lower front teeth and more on mouthwash or steel picks to scrape. (My wife's hygienist endorses the mouthwash idea, so long as it's alcohol-free.)
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:50 PM   #3
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Back in the 60's, the common wisdom was to "brush hard enough to make your gums bleed". I remember being told that it would "toughen up" my gums. Like you I now have significant recession. I actually needed graphs (very painful) a few years ago. My dentist now instructs me to brush gently with a soft brush and to brush up from the gums up/down so as NOT to push the tissue any lower. "Let the tooth paste do the work". No, you are not alone!
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:03 PM   #4
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I had similar issues. Instead of gum surgery, the dentist applied a synthetic enamel the the tooth to meet the gum line - looks natural and works great.
For nightly teeth grinding to to Target and look in their dental section for teeth guard - boil and bite for about $17. The dentist would charge your a few hundred $ for the same thing. It takes a little getting used to but once you do - no problems.
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:20 PM   #5
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I had periodontal surgery in 1989, including bone grafts on one quadrant, as my gums had deep pockets and were receding (not the front teeth). I was expecting to need more done, but 3 monthly visits to the peridontist and use of a water pic at home saved them and after 3 years the periodontist discharged me.

I don't know if the water pic will help in your particular case but it has been excellent for me. After re-locating this year we registered with a new dentist and the first visit was the usual reaction - "You have all your teeth, including all your wisdom teeth, and there is plenty of room". (polite way of saying that I have a big mouth )

Good luck.
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:29 PM   #6
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I have gum recession also, mostly with my top incisors. I've had some tell me it's due to aggressive brushing but my dentist scoffs at this idea. I do grind my teeth at night so this may be part of it.

I had a skin graft last 2 years using cadaver tissue. Sounds gross but it's a lot less painful than having skin taken from one's top pallet for use in the graft. The donor tissue acts as a lattice for your own tissue to grow over it so all you're left with is your own tissue in the end.

It wasn't too painful, just some stitches to watch after until they are removed a couple weeks later. Today I've got happy healthy gum coverage where it was done so I'm very pleased.

You might ask around about it..
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:50 PM   #7
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My gums were getting bad and dentist gave warnings of 'pockets'. Then I retired. Problems went away (also stopped grinding/clenching teeth).
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan View Post
After re-locating this year we registered with a new dentist and the first visit was the usual reaction - "You have all your teeth, including all your wisdom teeth, and there is plenty of room". (polite way of saying that I have a big mouth )
My DH also has all his wisdom teeth. A hygenist once told him he has a primitive mouth. Don't know if that's more flattering than a big mouth

Back to the op - I'm a big believer in electric toothbrushes and regular flossing. These brushes clean well without having to use too much pressure. Flossing gets the stuff the brush misses. Also floride can help. You can get floride treatments and supplement between visits with floride mouthwash.
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:24 PM   #9
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I'll vouch for electric toothbrushes, too.

I just had my usual teeth cleaning appointment this morning. The hygienist was commenting on how well-maintained my teeth are. She asked what type of brush I use. When I said a Sonicare, she replied saying that's the 'Cadillac' of electric toothbrushes. (BTW, I also floss religiously. A hygienist once told me that I only needed to floss the teeth I wanted to keep...and that comment has always stuck in my head.)

A Sonicare brush may seem pricey (~$100-125), plus the replacement heads run about $12-15 each (and need to be replaced every 4 months. When I bought the Sonicare, I figured the lifetime costs for the brush were a lot cheaper than ongoing major dental work.

Costco often has good deals on the Sonicare. Kohl's carries them, too...and seems to offer their 15% off coupons just about every month. I think Bed, Bath & Beyond carries them and offers 20% off coupons (which NEVER expire, BTW...so just disregard the expiration date).

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Old 11-04-2010, 03:49 PM   #10
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My DH also has all his wisdom teeth. A hygenist once told him he has a primitive mouth. Don't know if that's more flattering than a big mouth

Back to the op - I'm a big believer in electric toothbrushes and regular flossing. These brushes clean well without having to use too much pressure. Flossing gets the stuff the brush misses. Also floride can help. You can get floride treatments and supplement between visits with floride mouthwash.
I've also used electric toothbrushes ever since my oral surgery.

A primitive mouth sounds very Neanderthal - how does his forehead look?

Back in the UK I once went for a pair of glasses and couldn't find frames that fit from the displays so the optician got a large pair of calipers to get an accurate measurement. After clamping them on my temples, he lifted them off, took a look at the reading and said "Sir does have a wide head". DW almost choked holding back the laughter!!
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Old 11-04-2010, 04:42 PM   #11
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I've also been through the periodontist route with excellent results.

I had a few molars that had a lot more movement than my other teeth and he old me that was from clenching. I cured myself of doing this in the waking hours just by realizing it was a stupid habit and making myself stop. He recommended a bite guard for sleeping. The custom made one was expensive. I went ahead with it because insurance paid 50% and I had enough left in a Flex Spending account to cover the balance.

It took me about 1 night to get used to the thing and I ended up loving my bite guard! It's just for the lower teeth and I have myself trained that when I put in the bite guard I get to go to sleep and it's become a nice step rather than a hassle.

The result has been that my teeth that were loose from the clenching tightened right back up and are good and solid now. My Dr was very pleased with the results.

I also had the deep scaling done and he encouraged me to get a Sonicare. I found it for sale on eBay, new in box for about $40, I think, and it came with a set of 3 extra brushes so it was a very good deal. I even had a $15 rebate from the Dr.

The Sonicare has a very good warranty and when mine broke I called and had a free replacement within a week.

One of my hesitations about an electric toothbrush was dealing with the charger. I have no space in the bathroom near an outlet. The Sonicare holds a charge for about 2 weeks worth of brushing, it does not need to sit in the charger all the time so I have the charger in another room and the Sonicare just stands next to the other toothbrush holder on the counter.

My Dr recommended the tissue graft procedure and I declined. I didn't like the idea of him slicing flesh off of my pallet. My father had this procedure done and lost his graft after enduing the pain and hassle. I may have to reconsider in the future but for now I'm fine.

Also, I'm proud to say that I am now and always will be a FLOSSER! Simple, easy and very cost effective way to save your teeth.
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Old 11-04-2010, 05:07 PM   #12
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Ditto on the Sonicare and the flossing and the night guard. A few years ago, I cracked a molar and had to have an implant. My dentist made impressions of my mouth for an acrylic night guard which I now wear every night. He felt I was bruxing (clenching) in my sleep. I don't think I could fall asleep without it now. I am on my second one (he keeps my impressions "on file").
I think I would make haste to a periodontist. I have to admit, I am something of a nut about my teeth. I was devastated after cracking my tooth and having to have an extraction. The implant is super! I cannot tell it from any other tooth in my mouth.
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:15 AM   #13
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Does anyone have any knowledge on how common this receding gums behind the front bottom teeth is? And causes? Or cures to it? Anything?
The Dental Hygienists at my Dentist's office used to complain about the bad shape my gums were in. They recommended that I use Johnson & Johnson Stim-U-Dents, which are sort of glorified toothpicks. To use them, you stick them between your teeth and push, which has the effect of pressing down on the gums, which apparently "exercises" them somehow, which has a good effect on the gums.

In any event, after using them every day religiously for several months, the condition of my gums seems to have improved, because the dental hygienists no longer complain about my gums. If they do complain, it's that my gums are in 99% tiptop shape rather than 100%.

There are apparently to be other products besides Stim-U-Dents that have a similar effect.
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:17 PM   #14
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The hygenist told me to:
1. Use the electric toothbrush lightly (emphasis on the lightly)
2. Use the Waterpik with the attachment for bridges, and she seemed to really like that I put Listerine in the water when I do it
3. Use one of the enamel building toothpastes. I use Colgate's brand cause I think it makes my teeth even whiter, and I have no staining whatsoever with that brand.
4. Wear a night guard for your teeth.

Glad to read that some of the dentists have done some emergency type work on the recessions...gives me hope. I sure don't want to lose my teeth.
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:41 PM   #15
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There are apparently to be other products besides Stim-U-Dents that have a similar effect.
Oh, this just reminded me of something else. A few years ago, my dentist gave me a gum stimulator, which looks like this G-U-M*Gum Stimulator - Step 3 | Walgreens It's good for reducing plaque AND keeping gums healthy.

Here's an eHow article explaining how to use it How to Use a Gum Stimulator | eHow.com

I used to have a boring 30-45 minute commute, so I kept one of these in the car and massaged my gums on the way home from work. Made me feel like I was doing something useful with my time.

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