Gum recession is responsible for about 70 percent of adult tooth loss. It is a most common geriatric dental condition exposing the pink tissue covering root of teeth, leading to gap between the gum and tooth, causing bacterial build up. Also known as receding gums, its main cause is poor oral health, resulting in tooth loss. World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 15 and 20 percent of adults are suffering from severe gum disease. Early recognition of symptoms and associated risk factors leading to gum problems can prevent severe dental conditions.
Causes of Gum Recession:
Periodontal or gum disease, poor oral hygiene, aggressive brushing over the long term, hardened plaque buildup, smoking or chewing tobacco, family history of gum disease, diabetes, hormonal changes in women, crooked teeth, unfit bridges or partial dentures, medications causing dry mouth and immune disorders are major causes of gum recession. Age is the primary risk factors leading to gum recession. Women are tend to develop receding gums more than men.
Symptoms of Gum Recession:
In majority of cases, at early stage, patient is asymptomatic. Later on patients may develop symptoms like; bleeding after brushing or flossing, bad breath, exposed tooth roots, loose teeth, pain at the gum line, red and swollen gums, shrinking of gums, tooth appears longer and the space between teeth increases and sensitivity to cold and heat. Gum recession may be an early symptom of an underlying dental condition like gum disease which result into risk of tooth decay and tooth loss.
Diagnosis of Gum Recession:
Physical examination and measuring of gum pockets by probe, are performed to diagnose gum recession. Normal pocket sizes range is 1 to 3 millimeters and larger than it is considered as gum disease.
Treatment of Gum Recession:
Mild gum recession usually do not require any treatment. Treatment depends upon causes and aimed to restore gum tissue around the teeth. Treatment suggested by dentists are scaling and root planning, composite restoration and using desensitizing agents, varnishes, and dentin bonding agents. If gums are infected, antibiotics may be prescribed. Topical antibiotic gel, enzyme suppressants, antiseptic chips and antimicrobial mouthwash are used to treat gum infections. If the initial treatment not responding, surgical treatment like flap surgery and grafting is suggested. Gum graft surgery (GGS) is suggested in patients having severe gum recession. Recently pinhole surgical technique (PST) is developed, which is minimally-invasive treatment for mild to moderate receding gums.
ICD-10 diagnosis codes for gum recession:
K06.0 Gingival recession
K06.01 Gingival recession, localized
K06.010 Localized gingival recession, unspecified
K06.011 Localized gingival recession, minimal
K06.012 Localized gingival recession, moderate
K06.013 Localized gingival recession, severe
K06.02 Gingival recession, generalized
K06.020 Generalized gingival recession, unspecified
K06.021 Generalized gingival recession, minimal
K06.022 Generalized gingival recession, moderate
K06.023 Generalized gingival recession, severe