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Jean E. Barthman, DDS
801 Brewster Ave<br/> Ste 255
Redwood City, CA 94063
Ph: (650) 367-4967

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Meet Dr. Barthman

Dr. BarthmanBeauty, Health and Comfort. These words best describe the office of Dr. Barthman. Because of her years of experience and education, she possesses the latest knowledge and techniques in restorative and cosmetic dentistry to help you achieve optimal results.

Dr. Barthman is a Member of

  • American Dental Association
  • Las Vegas Institute for
  • Advanced Dental Studies

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Did You Know?

Above all else, Dr. Barthman wants for you to have a beautiful, new smile. Prevention is the key to staying healthy and so we recommend the following tips to get you on your way:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
  • Chew sugarless gum instead of sugary varieties.
  • Floss daily and if possible, after every meal.
  • Prevent plaque and cavities by reducing your daily intake of sweet snacks.
  • Schedule a cleaning and oral examination with Dr. Barthman once a year.

 

The Best Treatments for Gum Recession

August 04, 2014 @ 09:00 AM -- by Dr. Jean Barthman

A woman with a full, balanced smileAs important as healthy teeth are, a strong smile also depends on healthy, beautiful gums. And because gingival tissue is much softer than enamel or underlying tooth tissues, patients must be especially wary of any damage or disease to their gums. Unfortunately, gum recession is a common problem that tends to sneak up on patients, gradually wearing away at a gum line until a smile has been noticeably affected. If you have noticed your gums beginning to recede, or suspect you may be at risk of gum recession in the future, take note of what you can do to minimize harm. Keep the following preventative measures and restorative dentistry options in mind, courtesy of our Redwood City dental office.

Preventing Gum Recession from Disease

Once the gum line has receded away from teeth, it will not naturally restore itself to its former fullness. Therefore, patients are advised to prevent as much recession as possible in the first place. This involves identifying the primary cause of recession and then treating it accordingly.

In most cases, gum recession is the result of gum disease. Like tooth decay, this disease is caused by the proliferation of harmful bacteria in the mouth. Although some people are more predisposed to gum disease than others, everyone should be able to combat it on some level. In the earlier stages of gingivitis, patients can usually control disease through basic hygiene and dietary habits: brushing twice a day, flossing daily, using an effective mouthwash, drinking water with meals, and avoiding tobacco products. For more progressive forms of gingivitis and periodontitis, patients may need to consider in-office treatment, such as:

  • Deep cleaning: If pockets of infection have developed beneath the gum line, they can be cleaned out by your dentist. A scaling tool will be used to remove infected tissue, and nearby tooth roots will be made smooth to discourage the future formation of bacteria. Topical antibiotics are often used as well.
  • Flap surgery: For particularly deep pockets of infection that may otherwise be unreachable, small incisions will be made in the gums to temporarily pull them back for treatment. After cleaning the area, the gums will be sutured back in place to heal and reattach to teeth.  

Preventing Gum Recession from Physical Erosion

If disease is not the main culprit, it is possible that gum recession is caused by one or more additional factors. In some cases, gums can recede due to physical erosion, either from an external object or force in the mouth. See if any of the following risks may be responsible for your recession, and deal with them accordingly:

  • Toothbrush abrasion: Brushing too aggressively or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can wear away at tender gingival tissue. Be sure to brush carefully and gently, using a toothbrush with soft bristles.
  • Bruxism: Also known as teeth grinding, bruxism can put continued excessive force on teeth. This force can weaken nearby gum tissue, eventually causing it to recede. If you suffer from bruxism, talk with your dentist about the use of a night guard while you sleep.
  • Crowded teeth: If your teeth are pushing against each other, they can cause stress along the roots and surrounding gum tissue, resulting in recession. This can be solved through the use of orthodontics such as Invisalign®.
  • Mouth or tongue piercings: Metal piercings within the mouth can rub against the gums, irritating them and causing them to slowly erode. Removing, moving, or replacing the piercing with a softer one may help stop receding gums.

Additional Restorative Treatments

If your gums have already receded significantly and you wish to return them to their previous appearance, treatment options are limited. Since the gingival tissue will not regenerate in this way, patients are usually left to consider a grafting option. In a soft tissue graft, gingival tissue is normally taken from the roof of the mouth before being attached to the gums. Over time, the graft will heal in place, giving patients an improved natural gum line. Another technique does not involve a true graft, but instead stretches existing tissue over the portion of tooth that has been exposed.

Although tissue grafts can be an effective way to restore gums, not all patients are suitable candidates, and not every dentist is comfortable performing such a procedure. Speak with your dentist about the specific restorative treatment options available to you.

Contact Us

Gum recession can be a harmful and frustrating condition when ignored, so get your periodontal health examined regularly. Contact our office to schedule your next cleaning and exam, or to ask a question regarding any of our dental services.