What Is the Interdental Papilla?

The Area of Your Mouth Most Susceptible to Gingivitis

The interdental papilla is the gum tissue found in the space between the teeth. It is located between the teeth. Due to its location, it is susceptible to recession and deterioration from neglect or improper brushing and flossing, as well as dental issues such as gingivitis.

As with all gingival tissue, the interdental papilla is not able to regenerate itself, or grow back, if lost from recession due to improper brushing.

Thus, if it deteriorates it will not be able to grow back and thus be gone permanently. 

Interdental Papilla Recession

When the interdental papilla has been reduced or is missing, it leaves behind the appearance of a triangular gap. Alternatively, during orthodontic treatmentgingival overgrowth due to the use of medication, or from periodontal disease, the interdental papilla may become pronounced appear bulbous and puffy. A periodontist, or a gum specialist, is able to perform surgery that can predictably regenerate gingiva, although the papilla is difficult to obtain. In situations where the interdental papilla is pronounced, the periodontist is able to perform a gingivectomy to remove the extra tissue and re-sculpt the area. Though these procedures can be difficult and expensive. 

The interdental papilla is susceptible to gingivitis, which is a serious dental concern. One of the main ways to prevent gingivitis is to take good care of your teeth.

What is Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a reversible form of gum disease affecting only the attached and free gingival tissue that surrounds your teeth.

Potential causes of gingivitis include:

  • Teeth that are crooked or on top of each other
  • Certain medications that cause xerostomia or gingival enlargement
  • Tobacco use such as smoking or chewing
  • Conditions such as diabetes may cause gingivitis
  • Pregnancy and oral contraceptives

Treatments for Gingivitis

It is worth noting that gingivitis is a reversible dental condition that can be properly treated with professional cleanings to remove plaque and calculus build up in the teeth, along with regular home maintenance. The home maintenance may include a prescribed antibacterial mouth rinse known as chlorhexidine gluconate. A dentist is able to confirm the extent of your gum disease and thus plan proper treatment accordingly. However, if left untreated or improperly treated, gingivitis can develop and continue to progress into periodontitis, which is even more serious. Periodontitis unlike gingivitis, is irreversible and often leads to tooth loss.

Obtaining regular dental check visits can help to keep gum disease under control or eliminated completely.

If you are concerned about gingivitis or other dental issues, be sure to speak with your dentist or dental hygienist about the issue at your next dental appointment. 

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