Gum recession - will my tooth fall out? (photo)

I am 31 years old and have had gym recession issues since my teens. I have always been told that the gun will never recover and there is nothing that I can do except to practice good hygiene going forward and that my teeth with be fine. Lately I am particularly worried about one tooth, my front bottom. It has always had the most extreme recession of all. Recently it has been very sensitive and even painful. I'm worried that it may fall out. Is this possible? What can I do to fix this?

Doctor Answers 3

Receding gums

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Gum recession results in tooth exposure, but not something as drastic as teeth falling out.  You don't have to worry about that, but they can be indicative of periodontal disease.  If this is the case, there are many treatment options such as simple cleanings or scaling and root planing. So far from the pictures, It doesn't sound like anything too serious from the pictures, but let us know if something occurs later on. 

Encino Dentist

Gum recession of front teeth

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I think it is wonderful that you are being proactive in protecting your teeth before anything progresses. The good news is your tooth probably will not fall out anytime soon from the recession, but it is somewhat compromised to leave it as it is now. The health of the tooth can be protected by treating it now instead of later. In looking at your photo, you will notice you have a very strong frenum which is a piece of tissue from the lips to the gums in between the front teeth. Your frenum appears to be pulling and placing pressure on the gums which is one of the main causes of your gum recession.

I would suggest to have a frenectomy to prevent the recession from worsening. At the same time, a small connective tissue graft can be placed over the root of your tooth to attempt to restore the gums to their original level.

Ideally, you may also consider invisalign. It helps to align the teeth and place the gums at the best height/width in relation to the teeth. The improved alignment further helps to keep the gums healthy.

Hope this helps. Best wishes!

Charles Sutera, DMD
Boston Dentist

Gum Recession Does Not Necessarily Mean Your Teeth May Fall Out.

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In certain instances, hyperactive muscle attachments (frenum pull) may cause gum recession.  If the muscle attachment pull is relieved (frenectomy) a soft tissue graft may be placed over the recession if there is adequate bone surrounding the tooth.  The occlusion or bite relationship must also be corrected so that there is no mechanical stress on the teeth.  If these conditions occur, you may gain back the soft tissue lost with your gum recession and not lose any teeth.  Though x-rays are not present, your photos appear as if there is adequate bone support.  It is advisable that you get this procedure done as soon as possible before you start losing bone support.  Good luck and please keep us informed.

Nick M. Mobilia, DDS
New York Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.