Receding Gums and the Loss of Tooth Support

Your gums are supposed to enfold and protect your jawbone, which in turn supports your teeth. Damage to the gums allows bacteria to penetrate and attack your bones as well as the periodontal ligaments that support your teeth. In response, your body attempts to destroy the infection, but this can also lead to bone loss.

As your gums recede, your tooth is losing the support of bone and ligaments. When too much of this support is lost, your teeth grow loose and can fall out when you bite into food or spontaneously.

Receding Gums and Root Decay

Your gums and bones work together to protect your tooth roots. The tooth root is not made up of enamel. It’s made of cementum, which is more similar to bone. Enamel is mostly mineral and it’s very strong and resistant to damage. Cementum, on the other hand, is less mineral and is more vulnerable. This is partly why you experience more sensitivity when you have receding gums.

Most importantly, though, cementum is more vulnerable to acidic attack by bacteria. This allows decay to progress faster through your tooth root, which can lead to infection of the interior of the tooth. Normally, this is treated with a root canal, but if the tooth root is compromised by decay, the tooth might not be restorable and might have to be removed.

How a Gum Graft Can Prevent Tooth Loss

A gum graft will automatically prevent tooth loss. Covering exposed tooth roots protects them from decay. Without exposed roots, your teeth will have less decay risk, and when decay does occur it will be easier to repair.

A gum graft won’t automatically restore the bone and ligaments that support your teeth. But it will provide additional protection and give them time to grow back. Over time, your teeth will stabilize and become secure in your jawbone again. Advanced techniques like guided tissue regeneration (GTR) can be used to encourage the regrowth of bone and other support structures.

If you would like to learn whether gum grafting in Beverly Hills can preserve your teeth, please contact Nicolas A. Ravon DDS MSD today for an appointment.