Not enough gum for dentures (Can dentures be fitted to receding gums?)

Receding gums present significant challenges when it comes to fitting dentures. The gum tissue, which provides support and stability for dentures, may diminish due to various factors, including periodontal or gum disease, aging, or improper oral hygiene.

As the gums recede, the available surface area for placement decreases, resulting in loose dentures with poor fit and stability.

There are many challenges associated with inadequate gum support for dentures:

  • Firstly, the dentures may not have a proper base to rest on, leading to discomfort and instability while speaking or chewing.
  • Ill-fitting dentures can cause sore spots and irritate the gums, making it difficult for wearers to adapt to wearing them.
  • Additionally, inadequate gum support can result in difficulty in properly biting and chewing food, affecting overall nutrition and digestion.

Considering the challenges of receding gums with dentures, your orthodontist may recommend various treatment options to support your preferred tooth replacement option.

Remedies for Receding Gums

1. Gum Grafting

Gum grafting is a surgical procedure used to address receding gums and restore the gumline. During the procedure, a small piece of tissue is extracted from your palate or another donor source, and then carefully placed over the exposed tooth roots and attached to the receded area.

This grafting process helps to cover the exposed root surfaces, increase the thickness of the gum tissue, and restore the gumline to a healthier position.

Gum grafting offers several benefits for individuals with receding gums:

  • It helps to protect the tooth roots, which can be sensitive and vulnerable to decay when exposed.
  • Additionally, gum grafting improves the appearance of your smile by restoring a more balanced and aesthetically pleasing gumline.

The procedure is typically performed by a periodontist, a dental specialist who specializes in gum health and gum-related treatments.

2. Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST)

The Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST) is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat receding gums. Unlike traditional gum grafting, PST does not require the use of incisions or sutures. Instead, a small hole is created in the gum tissue using a specialized instrument. Through this pinhole, the gum tissue is gently loosened and repositioned to cover the exposed tooth roots. Collagen strips may be inserted to stabilize the gums in their new position.

PST offers several advantages over traditional gum grafting:

  • It is a less invasive procedure, resulting in minimal discomfort and swelling.
  • The absence of incisions and sutures contributes to faster healing times.
  • PST allows for the treatment of multiple teeth in a single session, reducing the number of visits required.

The procedure is typically performed by a dentist or periodontist trained in the Pinhole Surgical Technique.

Dental Implants for Enhanced Denture Stability

Dental implants, including mini-implants, serve as anchor points for dentures and can significantly improve stability and support.

Implants are titanium posts surgically inserted into the jawbone, where they fuse with the bone over time through a process called osseointegration. Once the implants have integrated, they provide a solid foundation for attaching dentures, enhancing stability and reducing movement.

Implant-supported dentures offer several benefits:

  • They provide a more secure fit, eliminating the need for messy denture adhesives often required with traditional dentures.
  • The stability offered by implants allows for improved chewing efficiency and enhanced speech, restoring confidence in daily activities.
  • Implant-supported dentures stimulate the jawbone, preventing bone loss that can occur with traditional dentures. This will in turn help to maintain facial structure and appearance.

Partial Dentures as an Alternative

If you only have a few missing teeth, you can choose partial dentures that utilize a combination of the remaining natural teeth and underlying soft tissues and jawbone for support.

Partials can be successfully used to replace a few missing teeth despite receding gums. You may consider different types of partial dentures for the following reasons:

  • They rely on the remaining teeth for stability, reducing the dependence on gum support
  • By distributing the chewing forces across the remaining natural teeth, partial dentures provide a balanced bite and improve overall functionality
  • Partial dentures can be customized to blend seamlessly with the natural teeth, providing a natural-looking smile.

Oral Hygiene for Gum Strengthening

Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for supporting gum health, especially in cases of receding gums. Consistent oral hygiene practices can help prevent further gum recession and improve overall gum strength.

Here are some tips for maintaining healthy gums:

  • Proper Brushing Technique: Follow all the basic steps of brushing your teeth. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently in circular motions, ensuring coverage of all tooth surfaces and the gumline. Avoid aggressive brushing, as it can contribute to gum irritation and recession.
  • Regular Flossing: Floss daily to remove plaque and food particles from between teeth and along the gumline. This helps prevent gum disease and promotes gum health.
  • Mouthwash Use: Rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash to reduce bacteria in the mouth and maintain a healthy oral environment. Consult with your dentist to find the most suitable mouthwash for your specific needs.
  • Regular Dental Check-ups: Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and comprehensive oral exams. These visits allow early detection of any oral health issues, including gum recession, and enable timely intervention.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

a. Can major dental work cause gum recession?

While major dental work, such as tooth extractions or orthodontic treatment, can contribute to temporary gum recession, it is typically a result of underlying factors like gum disease or poor oral hygiene. Consult with your dentist to determine the cause and appropriate treatment for gum recession.

b. How long should gums heal before dentures?

The healing time for gums before denture placement can vary depending on the individual and the specific situation. In general, it is recommended to wait until the gums have healed completely after any necessary extractions or surgical procedures for you to enjoy better fitting dentures. This could take 6 to 8 weeks before you’re ready to get impressions for your dentures. Your dentist will provide specific guidance based on your case.

c. What is the difference between dental implants and dentures?

Dental implants are titanium posts surgically placed into the jawbone to replace missing tooth roots. They provide a stable foundation for attaching various types of dental restorations, including dentures. Dentures, on the other hand, are removable appliances that replace missing teeth and gum tissue. While dentures rest on the gums, implant-supported dentures utilize dental implants for enhanced stability.

d. Can gum pain around a dental bridge indicate a problem?

Gum pain around a dental bridge can be a sign of underlying issues, such as gum inflammation, infection, or improper fit of the bridge. It is important to consult with your dentist if you experience gum pain to identify the cause and ensure proper treatment.

e. How severe does gum recession have to be to cause tooth loss?

Significant gum recession can expose the vulnerable tooth roots, leading to increased sensitivity, decay, and tooth looseness, which may eventually lead to tooth loss. Timely intervention through gum grafting or other appropriate treatments for correcting periodontitis (advanced gum disease) is essential to prevent further gum recession and tooth loss. Consult with your dentist to evaluate the severity of gum recession and determine the most suitable treatment plan.


  • Editorial team

    A team comprising oral health care professionals, researchers, and professional Writers, striving to impart you with the knowledge to improve your oral health, and that of your loved ones. 

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