Receding Gums and Why it is Important to Watch Out

Receding gums, also called gingival recession by dentists, is the progressive loss of gum tissue that covers the jaw and supports the base of teeth. While this may not seem like too big a deal, it can quickly grow into a major problem and lead to tooth root exposure, and even tooth decay and loss if left untreated. With more of the tooth exposed they are prone to infection and decay caused by the bacteria that live in the human mouth. Gum recession is very common in people over the age of 40 but can happen to people at any time if they are not taking care of their teeth and gums properly!

Receding Gums- Signs to Look Out For

The following symptoms generally proceed the advancement of gum recession:

  • Visible roots – the root of the tooth is meant to stay under the gums so it looks different than rest of the tooth. Seeing it is an early warning sing that something’s wrong.
  • Longer-looking teeth – as the recession progresses the gums keep pulling away making teeth look longer and pointier which is when most people realize there is an issue.
  • Sensitive teeth – the gums pull away from the base of the teeth exposing them and making them more sensitive to hot and cold as well as things like sweet or sour foods.
  • Tender and bleeding gums – gum disease in the advanced stages can lead to sore and tender gums that can easily bleed and become irritated when eating or brushing.

Causes of Gum Recession

The most common causesfor receding gums include the following:

Poor oral hygiene – Brushing and flossing are important because they keep plaque from building up on your teeth and from along the gums and prevent bacteria from weakening your teeth and causing further damage down the road!

Overaggressive brushing – Gums are tender and while you do want to keep them clean, if you brush too hard and aggressively or too often you can actually damage your gums and make them more prone to bleeding and receding as they get infected.

Excessive alcohol consumption– Alcohol in excess is not good for your body and when drunk in excess it can do a world of damage to your teeth and gums, causing problems and speeding up the worsening of existing conditions you may already have.

Chewing tobacco –tobacco products of any type used in any amount will affect your health in negative ways as smoking and chewing tobacco products puts nicotine and other chemicals in direct contact with your teeth, gums, cheek, and throat.

Periodontal disease – periodontal disease is the name given to the advanced stages of gum disease and receding gums where infection has set in and the teeth themselves and the bone of the jaw are being destroyed by bacteria and infection.

Of all the issues that people know to look out for when it comes to their overall oral care and hygiene, the gums are often the most overlooked. Most people do not even realize that there is an issue until the later stages and by then it is much harder, more painful, and a lot more expensive to treat. This is why we always encourage our patients to take care of their teeth day in and day out.

Treatment of Gum Recession

Every set of teeth is different and so is each case of gum recession, which in turn means every treatment plan will be custom tailored to meet the needs of the individual. While many treatments are available, you need to be sure you are working with dental care experts who can develop a treatment plan that is right for you!  The nature underlying issue that is causing the recession has to be taken care of first and foremost to prevent further damage. Once that cause has been dealt with then the focus can move onto correcting the damage that was done, with surgery occasionally being necessary to correct any cosmetic concerns that the gum disease caused. Surgery can help repair exposed roots and reshape teeth and gums for a healthier and more confident smile.  There will also be a need for longer term treatments to strengthen teeth, replace damaged or lost teeth or even to replace lost bone mass in the jaw. It can be a long and involved process which is why daily dental care and good yearly dental checks are so important to maintaining your overall oral health and to prevent receding gums and other dental concerns.

Contact Your Dental Team Today

To get answers to your questions about treating receding gums and how you can take better care of your teeth and gums, contact your dental team today. These are the experts that are there to help with any dental concerns you may have from regular dental checkups to advanced care for periodontal disease. So, make an appointment with your dentist today and be sure you are doing all that you can to protect your teeth from the dangers of receding gums and gums disease!