Gum recession can have a negative effect on your oral health and on your appearance. The most common cause of gum recession is gum disease. So, to cure the problem, you'll need a gum expert.

If your gums have receded and have made you self-conscious about your smile, cosmetic dentistry can offer two effective approaches.

Gingival veneers can cover receded gums

You may have heard of veneers that cover the surfaces of teeth. Those veneers are usually composed of porcelain or composite. Gingival veneers are similar in that they cover receding gums, and dentists can use porcelain or composite resin to create gingival veneers. And, like dentures, some gingival veneers are composed of acrylic.

Gingival veneers serve a cosmetic function as well as a protective function. A gingival veneer can blend in with your natural gum tissue. A cosmetic dentist can ensure this by tinting a gingival veneer so that it matches the colour of your gums. Further, gingival veneers can help to provide some protection for the exposed roots of your teeth where the gum tissue has receded.

Gingival veneers can be removable or permanent. If you opt for a removable option, then you'll need to make sure that you clean them when you take them out, much as you would do for dentures. Conversely, if you opt for a permanent gingival veneer, then you can brush it during your oral hygiene sessions in order to remove plaque and food debris.

Gum contouring

Gum contouring is more invasive than gingival veneers because it involves some minor surgery to correct gum recession. However, gum contouring is a more permanent option than gingival veneers.

During this procedure, a cosmetic dentist first removes a small portion of tissue from the roof of a patient's mouth. They then graft that piece of tissue onto the exposed portions of the teeth where the gum recession has occurred. This covers up the exposed tooth roots, which are vulnerable to cavities if they are without a protective layer of gum tissue.

Once the graft is in place, a cosmetic dentist pulls the gum tissue down over the graft. To complete the procedure, the cosmetic dentist usually shapes the gum tissue around the gum graft so that it looks natural and blends in.

If you are suffering from gum recession and you worry about your appearance, speak to a cosmetic dentist about your options. It's important to remember to treat the cause of the gum recession before you commit to cosmetic procedures. Contact a cosmetic dentist to learn more.