Receding gums can change the way your smile looks. When the gums recede, the roots of the teeth become exposed, so the teeth look longer. Just as porcelain veneers can help improve the look of your teeth, a gum veneer can help improve the look of receding gums.
Learn more about the causes of gum recession and how gum veneers, also known as gingival veneers, can give you a solution to smile about.
Why Do Gums Recede?
In a healthy mouth, the teeth are nestled comfortably and securely into the gums. The gum tissue provides a layer of support for the roots of the teeth, protecting against decay and other issues.
The gums may recede, or pull away from the teeth, due to a variety of reasons. Gum disease is a common culprit. Brushing the teeth too vigorously, grinding the teeth and having teeth that are misaligned may also lead to gum recession.
Once the gums have receded from the teeth, they will not grow back. Your options are to either replace the lost gum tissue with a graft procedure or cover up the missing tissue with a veneer.
Types of Gingival Veneers
Think of gingival veneers as a set of dentures for your gums rather than your teeth. Some gum veneers are made from acrylic and are meant to be removed from the mouth while a person sleeps and for cleaning. In a report published in the Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research, the patient who received a gingival veneer was instructed to remove it each night and soak it in water to keep the veneer from changing shape.
Some gingival veneers are made from ceramic and are meant to be fixed permanently in the mouth. As a study published in Contemporary Clinical Dentistry notes, fixed veneers are usually less common, as they make it more difficult to clean the affected area and might not achieve the same appearance as a removal acrylic option.
The process of getting gingival veneers is similar to the process of getting a crown or replacement tooth. Usually, a dentist will take an impression of the area the veneer will cover. They will create an initial veneer and apply it to the patient's mouth to make sure it fits. The final version of the veneer is tinted to match the color of a person's gums and made to perfectly fit their mouth.
Caring for a Gum Veneer
If you and your dentist decide that a gum veneer is
You'll likely be instructed to clean the veneer after eating or at least once a day. If the veneer is removable, your dentist will give you directions for removing and storing the veneer properly when it isn't in your mouth. You'll also be shown how to place the veneer in the mouth so that it looks good and fits comfortably.
Seeing your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings after you get a gingival veneer is important to reduce your the risk of developing cavities or gum disease.
Other Options for Treating Gum Recession
Veneers aren't the only way to treat receding gums, but they are the only nonsurgical option available. Another treatment option is a gum graft, which replaces the missing gum tissue with material taken from another area, such as the palate or upper mouth.
If you are concerned about receding gums, consult a periodontist or your general dentist to better understand your treatment options. They will help you determine what you can do to correct the issue and restore your confidence in your smile.