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Posts Tagged ‘gum recession’

Can Gum Recession Happen In An Otherwise Healthy Mouth?

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

The short answer is that yes, gum recession can happen in a mouth that is otherwise ”healthy.”

Gum recession is the process during which the margin of gum tissue surrounding the teeth wears away or pulls back. This process causes exposure of more of the tooth’s surface, or even the tooth’s root.

Gaps can form between the teeth and gum line, creating an easy place for bacteria to build up. If left untreated, the teeth can become severely damaged, cause extreme discomfort, and even lead to tooth loss.

How Does it Happen?

Gum recession usually happens gradually. Signs include tooth sensitivity or noticing a tooth that seems to have “gotten longer”. There can also be a noticeable notch where the tooth meets the gum. It’s important NOT to ignore these signs. Prevention (when possible) and early treatment are the keys to repairing the gum and tooth and prevent further damage.


What Causes Gum Recession?

Part of the reason that gum recession can happen, even if you have good oral health habits, comes down to how it happens. Here are a few scenarios that can lead to recession:

Insufficient Dental Care: Skipping or slacking on your regular dental hygiene habits makes it much easier for plague to turn into tartar. This hard substance builds on and between your teeth, and can only be removed at a professional dental cleaning. Tartar increases the likelihood of gum recession. So keep up your daily habits like regular brushing, flossing and rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash to keep tartar buildup to a minimum.

Periodontal Disease: Bacterial infections can destroy gum tissue and the supporting boney tissue that hold the teeth in place. Regular checkups, healthy dietary choices, and proper oral hygiene routines are paramount to preventing gum infection.


Remember this: even if you have an otherwise healthy mouth, and stay regular with your oral hygiene, there are many other factors that can cause your gums to start receding:

Genetics: Some people are more susceptible to gum disease. Some people have thinner or weaker gum tissue to start with. Others have larger, more prominent roots. Some studies show that approximately 30% of the population are predisposed to gum recession, regardless of how well they care for their teeth (1,2).

Brushing Too Hard: Aggressive tooth brushing creates a high risk for gum recession. This includes several components: Trauma to the gum tissue associated with brushing too hard, using too hard a toothbrush, or cross friction as you brush sideways across the gums. These factors can cause the enamel on the teeth to wear away, and irritate the gums, causing them to recede. The safest way to brush is gently, with a soft-bristled brush, in an up and down motion (1,2). Remember how we’ve talked about the benefits of flossing and using an electric toothbrush? It’s all making sense now since we don’t typically brush as hard when using an electric toothbrush.

Hormonal Changes: Women are more susceptible to gum recession related to hormone fluctuations. Across the course of a woman’s life, changes that accompany puberty, pregnancy and menopause can make gums more sensitive and vulnerable to gum recession.

Tobacco Products: Tobacco users develop sticky plaques on their teeth, which also can lead to gum recession.

Grinding and Clenching: The added forces and pressure placed on the teeth that are associated with clenching and grinding of the jaw serve to irritate the gums at their attachment site on the bone, causing the gum tissue to recede from the base of the tooth. A custom-made mouth guard can be helpful for night bruxism. (Ask us for more information specific to you.)

Crooked Teeth and Misaligned Bite: If teeth don’t come together evenly, increased and imbalanced forces are placed upon the gums and bones, increasing the probability that the gums will recede (1, 2). Invisalign is a great alternative to braces to help straighten issues with crooked teeth or bite.

Lip or Tongue Piercings: Jewelry in or around the oral cavity can cause repetitive irritation or rubbing of the gums, leading to wearing away of the affected gum tissue.

Trauma to the Gum Tissue: Traumatic injury to the teeth or gums from events such as accidents, fights, sports injuries or falls can lead to gum recession.

Call Hagen Dental Practice Today for all Your Oral Health Needs

Do you have questions about the prevention or treatment of gum recession? We’d love to answer any of the questions you have regarding your gums or your dental health! Schedule your next visit with Hagen Dental by calling us at (513) 251-5500.



Experience More Durable, Natural-Looking & Convenient Dental Crowns: Why We’re Thankful for CEREC

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

hagen dds cerec
Thanksgiving is a time of year when we’re able to appreciate all the things we’re thankful for.

A technology our practice and patients are grateful for is CEREC crowns because the technology is so high quality and precise—not to mention you can get your CEREC restoration in one visit. In fact, the precise, durable and reliable crowns are actually made right from porcelain in our office.

Traditionally, getting fitted for a crown meant you would have to come back to the dentist, sometimes days or weeks later. With CEREC, you get a permanent solution in the same visit, and before you leave, we ensure it has the ultimate fit. Also, unlike other materials, ceramic is not only incredibly durable, but it also has tooth-like physical and aesthetic qualities, which our patients are grateful for.

Restoring Your Tooth with CEREC

CEREC is used to restore a tooth that has decay, is weakened, or is even broken. It is also used to remove defective amalgam fillings, or place cosmetic veneers. After an evaluation, we would let you know if CEREC is right for you!

Just think: as many as 1.2 billion metal fillings will have to be replaced in the next decade…CEREC will replace many of these fillings so that people can have a tooth that is free of decay, and so that the tooth is strong and beautiful once again.

CEREC: The Process

As mentioned, CEREC uses ceramic materials to restore any tooth that is decayed or broken, a procedure that can be done in just one-visit.

But how is the CEREC process so quick and so precise?

When it’s decided that you are a candidate for a CEREC one-visit restoration, we will examine a number of factors including the tooth itself and the tissue around the area. After the tooth is prepared, it’s time for an optical impression of the tooth. A reflective powder is applied to the tooth, and with a special camera, a picture is taken and viewed on our computer screen.

Within minutes, we then use our CEREC machine to create the restoration. We first take the digital image and convert it to a 3-dimensional, virtual model of the tooth. Then Dr. Hagen is able to design the custom-fit restoration using the 3D software. Next, using 3D printing, we’re able to send that design to the milling machine and a ceramic block is created. Thanks to diamond-coated burs, we’re able to carve out the indicated shape of the restoration.

The last step is to bond the crown to the remaining tooth structure. This ceramic, tooth-colored restoration is not only cut out and shaped perfectly but we make sure, once in your mouth, you have a proper fit and comfortable bite. This entire procedure from start to finish takes about an hour.

You can imagine why both dentists and patients are grateful for CEREC: it’s strong, it preserves your tooth structure, and it looks beautiful in your mouth.  

When it comes to restoring inlays, onlays, crowns and veneers, CEREC is the natural-looking, long-lasting, ideal way to restore your teeth.

What could be easier or faster than having a crown made with CEREC?

It’s been called revolutionary, and we’ve been doing it for decades! There’s no charge to learn more about CEREC one-visit crowns. Call us today at (513) 251-5500 to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Gum Recession: What You Need to Know

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Ever heard of gingival recession?

This is a term for receding gums.

Your first worry if you hear your dentist talk about gum recession in your mouth could be the aesthetics! You might ask yourself, “I didn’t notice my gums were receding!”

The reality is that it can be progressive over time, so many people are unaware of the slow changes of gum recession that impact our mouth. You might have noticed, however, that your teeth were more sensitive to heat and cold—that happens as your teeth become more exposed over time!

Without any recession, our soft tissues are what anchor our teeth to the bone. Healthy gums are coral in color and our gum line is “snug” along each tooth. What many of us don’t realize is that gum recession does not have to happen as we age—meaning it is not inevitable! With intentional care, we can make sure our gum tissue does not “shrink” away from our teeth slowly over the years. A potentially more difficult, but still possible aspect, is to maintain bone density as we age.

Then how can gum recession happen, and why is it more likely to happen as we age?

The most common cause is gum disease. We can think of that as bacterial overgrowth. Even though we do have health bacteria, the bacteria in our mouth can be harmless (gram positive aerobic bacteria) or the harmful kind (gram negative anaerobic bacteria). When our mouths are exposed to a bacterial balance that is more gram negative in nature, over time that inflammation takes its toll on teeth and gum. Take away that harmful bacteria, and take away the source of the problem.

Imagine a mouth that does have this chronic inflammation of the gums—so while there would be no pain for you, over time, gradual recession begins to occur. Another difference we might not notice in our mouth is increased tooth mobility due to periodontal disease. Those are just two signs of gum recession.

And what else can lead to our gums receding? Here is a list of the major reasons why gum recession can take place:

  • Gum disease
  • Grinding of the teeth
  • Overly aggressive brushing
  • Excessive acid reflux
  • Bruxism which can loosen the teeth’s position

You may wonder: can we ever blame mom and dad for our teeth and gum or gum recession? First, it is true that some patients are born with thin gum tissue, making them more at risk of recession.

But that just means they are at greater risk—it doesn’t mean they will inevitably have issues related to receding gums.

Said another way, genetics does play a part in how thick or thin our gum tissue may be, but we ultimately can have a larger impact on the health of our gum in the majority of cases.

hagen dental cincinnati best dentist

When Shakespeare said “Long in the tooth” or “Long of tooth” he was talking about people who were generally older who had receding gums, and thus “longer” teeth.

If you do experience teeth mobility and a situation where your gingival health is a major problem, a soft-tissue graft surgery may be used. In this scenario, tissue is taken from one spot in your mouth and applied to the thinner places to cover the exposed roots. What kind of procedure you may have will take place after a conversation with us!

You’ll notice with our list of reasons for gum recession, we can do something about most of them. Having a consistent oral hygiene, restorations that rightfully fit our mouths, making sure we do something about bruxism or grinding if we suffer from it—these are a few of the steps we can take to make sure we don’t get “long teeth!”

If you feel like your roots are exposed, your teeth are looking longer than normal, you have teeth sensitivity, unexplained bad breath, swollen/bleeding gums, or if you’ve ever been diagnosed with periodontal disease, let us know!

A Dentist’s Perspective: 6 Frequently Asked Questions

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

questions for hagen1. Why are we supposed to go to the dentist every six months?

By visiting the dentist twice a year, we’re ideally able to catch issues before anything potentially serious changes with our oral health.

Over time, most of us have grown accustomed to hearing how twice a year, or every six months, we need to visit the dentist! The reality is, no two patients are alike, and we all have a different health background, so this isn’t always what’s recommended…

In certain cases, we will actually recommend people to come in and see us more often, but the typical duration between visits is 6 months. (For those who need to visit more than twice a year, keep this in mind: your health and wellness should not be determined solely by what your dental plan covers!)

We do this so we are able to combat the tartar buildup during that timeframe, and use our diagnostic tools to make sure nothing is abnormal.

2. Hagen Dental offers the latest technology, including Zoom! Teeth Whitening. What’s the difference between this form of whitening and the store-purchased, at-home kit?

As you may or may not know, store-purchased, at-home kits have varying levels of success for people in terms of how much they whiten. Your whitening toothpastes help keep your teeth white on the surface, for the most part! Store-bought bleaching kits do have a stronger amount of bleach in them than whitening toothpastes.

However, when we use the Zoom! Whitening, we apply hydrogen-peroxide formula to teeth, covering up the surrounding gum to avoid any sensitivity you may have. (That’s a key difference right there!) Next, we shine ultraviolet light onto the teeth. It’s an ideal choice for those of you who are busy, but still want the latest and greatest to fight discoloration.

We are happy to offer this procedure, since in just over an hour, you can have a safe and effective tooth whitening procedure that gets rid of the DEEP stains on your teeth, unlike certain, store-bought, at-home kits. Ask us if you still have questions about the safety or efficacy of an at-home whitening kit bought from a store.

3. Hagen also offers CEREC. What is CEREC and what can it do for me?

CEREC is the term that stands for the ceramic reconstruction of your teeth. CEREC is the only method that offers single-visit chair-side restoration—meaning you can just come in once and be done with your procedure. That’s pretty big news for a lot of us!

Because only one procedure is needed, it’s ideal because it is fast, safe, and provides a natural-looking restoration that will stand the test of time. How so? Well, as you may have guessed, it is made of ceramic materials. If you have a decayed or broken tooth, this offers a metal-free solution, and no need to wait 2-4 weeks to get it!

Last, many people are excited about CEREC since it will match the color of your teeth. So your teeth will look great and they will last longer with this technology!

4. What should I know about my child’s oral health? 

One of the great things about starting dental care early is that your children will be accustomed to the process sooner! Typically it is recommended to have your first dental visit around age 3. At Hagen, we make sure your child is as comfortable as possible—we know they might be anxious when they first come in.

We like to say that if your child has not been to the dentist yet, but is old enough to know how to tie their shoe, you should know your child also has the ability, and should know how to brush their teeth as well.

5. Why do we need X-rays at the dentist?

Recall that X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation. For dentists, we see them as another diagnostic tool to watch the ongoing status of your oral health. (For those worried about radiation specifically, as a comparison, you can get more radiation from your every day background radiation that you would get from an average X-ray today in our office. That’s because we use digital X-rays which have less radiation than traditional X-rays.)

X-rays are an extremely effective way to show decay and infections beneath the surface. We’re better able to see any issues with bone loss, your jaw, and anything unusual happening with the soft tissues with X-rays. If you have a cavity or tooth decay, for example, we are able to see this when we read your X-ray. Again, how often you need them will vary by patient, especially if you have any issues going on with your oral health/jaw, or if you tell us you are having any specific problems.

6. I’m an athlete. Why do you recommend I wear a mouth guard?

It’s not just a coincidence that NBA players and other professional athletes wear mouth guards—they do this because a mouth guard can save your teeth!

While losing a tooth might be the worst outcome you can imagine, actually other dental injuries from sports include broken teeth, nerve damage, concussions, and you can even break your jaw. Wearing a mouth guard today is becoming more and more of the norm because of these potential consequences.

Now, on to the part that is a little less scary…mouth guards—which we can make right here in the office—greatly absorb the shock that your teeth or jaw can encounter in sports. Having the right kind of mouth guard, and making sure it fits are really the crucial things you need to know.

Part of what sets Hagen apart is our comfortable, but positive, environment where people feel safe to ask any questions they have. When you come here you can feel it!

And what about questions you should ask YOURSELF before visiting the dentist? Just make sure you ask yourself if you are willing to do your part to make sure your mouth stays—or gets back to—being healthy! So what do we mean by this statement? This translates to being proactive and telling us when something is wrong, justly preparing for any procedures, or just being honest about your health when we ask. We have a feeling this isn’t a problem for our readers. For more on our services, visit our Services tab here.

Gum Disease 101

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Seventy five percent of adult Americans suffer from it…but when someone says “periodontal disease,” do you know what it means and whether or not it’s preventable?

What Does “Periodontal Disease” Mean?

For starters, periodontal disease is simply a fancy term for gum disease. Gingivitis and periondontitis are two types of gum disease that fall under this heading.

If a person experiences gum disease in its milder form, it’s called gingivitis. Thankfully, this stage of periodontal disease is reversible, if treated. Signs you may have gingivitis include red and swollen gums that may bleed easily at this stage.

A usually more serious and destructive gum disease is called periodontitis. At this stage, the inflammation has spread to deeper tissue, your gum has receded, and small spaces exist between your teeth and gums. When it comes to the stage of gum disease known as periodontitis, “pockets” have formed where debris can collect and can cause infection, which is why this form of gum disease is more serious.

Not surprisingly, when the health of your gum suffers, there can be several unwanted side effects. These include tooth infections, teeth decay, loose teeth, and actual loss of teeth. In extreme cases, infections from the mouth can spread to other parts of your face or body.

How Do I Prevent Gum Disease?

The good news about periodontal disease is that it’s preventable, which means this is one oral health issue you can’t blame on your parents (at least, in most cases)!

The short and simple answer for how dental disease is caused: bacteria infecting your mouth. Daily maintenance is key to combat the more than 20 different types of bacteria that can live there — a place they thrive in because it’s wet, dark, and warm!

Since whenever we eat, we bring the very food bacteria lives on into our mouths, we want to take on good habits that can kill these bacteria. A few of these good habits that can help remove plaque and prevent bacteria from multiplying in the mouth:

  • Gently brushing your teeth and tongue after meals
  • Flossing your teeth
  • Utilizing mouthwash
  • Visiting your dentist for a cleaning

To read more about gingivitis and periondontitis, visit these sources:

If you’d like to setup an appointment with Hagen Dental, give us a call at 513.251.5500. And if you’d like to learn more about us, simply visit the About Us page on our website or stop in our office. Or, visit us on Twitter or Facebook!

Top Ten Signs It’s Time to Visit the Dentist

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Here are ten indicators it's time to make your next dentist appointment!

10. Pain when eating food that is hot or cold.

9. Discharge around any of your teeth.

8. Gums are noticeably red and bleed easily (for example, during brushing).

7. Teeth look longer than they were before, due to gum recession.

6. Persistent bad breath without explanation.

5. Your teeth no longer align the same way when you “bite.”

4. “Pockets” have developed between any of your teeth.

3. Mouth sores that won’t go away.

2. For young children, indication of increased discomfort in their mouth.

1. Six months have passed since your last visit!

Of course, catching problems before any of these signs develop by going to the dentist on a regular basis can help mitigate any necessary treatments you may need!

If you’d like to setup an appointment with Hagen Dental, give us a call at 513.251.5500. And if you’d like to learn more about us, simply visit the About Us page on our website or stop in our office.