5 Things You Need To Know Before Getting Dental Bonding For Receding Gums
Your gums hold your teeth in place by covering the roots where they attach to the jaw bone, but age, disease, and bad oral hygiene cause the tissue to shrink over time. Receding gums expose the roots of the affected teeth. If you're noticing yellow edges where the gum tissue is disappearing or sensitivity along those edges to heat or cold, inexpensive and quick dental bonding might be the best way to reverse the problem.
How Does Bonding Work?
Before trying to decide if bonding is the right way to handle your receding gums, you need to understand exactly how this dental process works. When trying to cover a small sliver of newly exposed tooth next to the gum, the dentist will
- Thoroughly clean the tooth to remove tartar
- Etch the surface and apply a conditioning coating to encourage strong bonding
- Apply the color-matched resin in layers to create a thick coating
- Trim, sand, and polish the resin until it blends in completely with the natural tooth.
Bonding is a quick procedure, with each tooth taking less than an hour from start to finish. There's no downtime for healing and you can start eating normally again during the same day.
Do Receding Gums Always Require Attention?
Most people first consider bonding because they're unhappy with the color of the exposed tooth root or struggling with pain. However, don't skip a visit to the dentist over your receding gums just because neither of those problems are bothering you. Receding gum lines are linked to serious gum disease, sudden hormonal changes, and infections under the gum line due to a lack of flossing. Get your gums checked when they recede even if you don't plan to get bonding for a brighter smile.
Why is Bonding Better Than a Graft?
When using bonding to protect an overexposed section of tooth, you're simply giving the newly visible section an attractive covering. This treatment won't bring the gum line back to where it used to reach. Grafting is used to restore the line of gum tissue to its former location, but this treatment is far more complicated and expensive than bonding.
First, bonding has practically no recovery time, while graft patients need liquid diets and careful tooth brushing habits for a few weeks after the surgery. More anesthesia is necessary for grafting too, and the gum tissue can always reject the transplant and leave you back at your starting point. Very few people experience any pain during or after a bonding procedure either.
Is Bonding Enough to Stop the Receding?
Don't confuse bonding with other treatments used to keep your gums healthy. While you can disguise the look of missing tissue with bonding, it does nothing to kill the bacteria involved in gum disease. Failing to get the help you need to stop the recession will just leave you with more and more exposed tooth surface to cover. Eventually the roots become exposed enough to allow serious decay, threatening your overall health and destroying your teeth. Cleaning the root pockets, balancing hormonal issues, and getting a round of antibiotics all help solve the underlying causes of gum recession.
Does the Bonded Material Need Special Care?
Since the bonded patches are located along the gum line where little pressure is put on them by chewing or biting, these additions last a long time with relatively little care. It's still possible for the resin to stain, so watch what you drink and avoid smoking. Skip any mouthwash products containing alcohol to preserve the resin material and the adhesives bonding it to the tooth. Finally, see a dentist immediately if you notice a visible edge or cracks where the bonded patch meets the rest of the tooth.