Gum recession is a common type of periodontal disease in which the gums literally start to pull back from the surface of the teeth and the tissue that has receded away does not grow back or return in any way.
This condition is typically the result of bad dental hygiene and the faster you have this problem diagnosed by your dentist, the quicker you can begin treatments to prevent further gum loss from occurring.
Like any serious health matter, early detection counts. This is particularly true with gum recession because allowing the problem to escalate can result in significantly bigger problems such as gum infections and even tooth loss.
But you can address these issues and avoid putting more of your teeth at risk by learning the causes and symptoms of receding gums and, more important, knowing how to address the problem to help stop it.
Causes of Gum Recession
Since we’re dealing with a periodontal disease, gingivitis is typically the main cause of receding gums. But not all forms of gingivitis result in gum recession. Most forms of the disease can start out as mild and become much worse if left unchecked. That’s when your gums can start to recede from the tooth.
But while gingivitis is the leading cause of this condition, it’s not the only one and just because someone has receding gums does not necessarily mean they have gingivitis. Some other main causes also include brushing and flossing with too much gusto.
It’s important to brush and floss but doing so with too much vigor can actually be harmful.
If you smoke or if you have a family history of gum disease, these too can also increase your risk for developing this condition. Patients who are dealing with dry mouth are also at an elevated risk of receding gums. That’s because a lack of saliva production in the mouth makes the tissue around the teeth more easily injured and at greater risk of infections.
Symptoms of Gum Recession
In an effort to make it easier to determine if you are experiencing receding gums, your local Cary NC cosmetic dentists have listed these common signs to look out for the next time you examine your smile in the mirror.
That’s because it can be rather difficult to ascertain whether or not you are experiencing receding gums. This is not a condition you may be able to visually identify at first and you could be suffering the effects for months, even years, before realizing anything is wrong. So that’s why you need to be aware of the symptoms of gum recession and act quickly to prevent your gums from experiencing tissue loss.
For most people, the earliest warning signs come with a visual indicator that the teeth appear long than usual. If your teeth just look bigger at first glance, you may then want to run your finger over your teeth. Do you feel a divot or a bump next to your gum line? If so, this could be your first warning of gum recession.
There are other symptoms, such as tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, bloody gums from brushing or flossing, and some extreme cases will bring about a feeling that one or two of your teeth are loose.
Treating Gum Recession
The first thing to understand about treating the problem is that you cannot regain the gum tissue that has receded from the tooth. That is all lost for good and will not grow back. But you can take steps to prevent further recession from taking place.
Since this condition is a dental hygiene problem, you may need to take steps that address the problem head on based on the type of issue you’re experiencing. For instance those of you who are brushing or flossing too hard will need to develop a way to ease up on your mouth. That may require re-learning how to do both and using specific cleaners and tools for those hard-to-reach areas inside the mouth.
More comprehensive solutions may include procedures such as scaling and root planning which means that your dentist gives your teeth a deep cleaning that takes out tartar and plaque not just from the surface areas of your teeth but also the roots.
Even deeper, more invasive measures may be required in the form of gum grafting. This procedure takes gum tissue from elsewhere in the mouth and grafts it back to the teeth where the gums have receded. It’s a preventive treatment that can save any exposed teeth from being lost for good.