If you are reading this blog, you aren’t new to the words “receding gums.” Or you landed on this post out of curiosity and wish to know more about receding gums. Whether you are familiar with the words or not, you have arrived at the right place. In this article, we are going to share every detail about this oral issue called receding gums.
What are Receding Gums?
Receding gums, also known as gingival recession, is the exposure in the roots of the teeth caused by a loss of gum tissue or when gums pull away from the dental surface and are away from the line where they should be. That’s a worry because the gum’s job is to protect the roots of your teeth, and if you’re losing your gumline, your teeth may be in jeopardy. Receding gums are one of the most dramatic signs of gum disease. The first stage of periodontal or gum disease – gingivitis – is nothing but gums receding from the teeth.
When Do Receding Gums Start?
Gum recession might occur very slowly, sometimes over years. But people may fail to identify this issue early. Most commonly, receding gums are noticed in teens or by mid-20s.
What are the Symptoms of Receding Gums?
Many people with receding gums may have no concerns about them early on. But when someone gets experiences receding gums, the most obvious signs of receding gums are:
- Changed appearance of teeth and gums (too big teeth and less gums)
- Exposed teeth roots
- Loose teeth
- Red, swollen gums
- Pain at the gum line
- High sensitivity to hot, cold, and sweet foods and beverages
- Occasional bleeding
- Bad breath
What Causes Receding Gums?
- Poor oral hygiene
- Vigorous brushing
- Periodontal disease
- Inflammation of gums
- Bacteria below the gumline
- Plaque build-up
- Tobacco consumption
- Teeth grinding and clenching
- Dry mouth
- Medications that cause dry mouth
- Teeth crookedness of misalignment
- Injury to the teeth or gums
- Damage from a dental treatment
- Lip or tongue piercing
What are the Risk Factors?
Our dentists believe that some factors increase the likelihood of receding gums. These factors include:
- Smoking and tobacco consumption in other forms
- Alcohol addiction
- Diseases like Diabetes and HIV
- Hormonal changes in women such as in puberty, pregnancy, and menopause
What Happens if You Leave Gum Recession As Is?
When you have receding gums, “pockets” or gaps form between the gum line and teeth, making it easy for bacteria to grow and multiply. Bacterial growth in your gum pockets can destroy the bone structure and supporting tissue in your teeth, resulting in tooth loss. In other words, when left untreated, receding gums or gingivitis can advance into periodontitis, an advanced stage of gum disease. Issues associated with periodontitis include loss of bone, loss of supportive tissue, excruciating pain, bleeding, sensitivity, tooth loss, inability to eat properly, loss of taste, and much more.
How to Treat Receding Gums?
According to Healthline.com, some of the most common household treatments for painful recessed gums include:
- Saltwater rinse: Swish with one cup warm water with 1 teaspoon of salt in it.
- Compress: Use a compress, either hot or cold, placed on the face near the painful area.
- Oral anaesthetic gels: Orajel, Anbesol, and other gels can numb the area.
- Over-the-counter pain medicines: Ibuprofen or acetaminophen are good choices.
- Following proper oral hygiene routine.
- Avoiding tobacco and alcohol.
But it is advised to visit your dentist in Red Deer and get the right treatment for this issue. A lot of other treatment options are available such as composite restoration, pink porcelain, removable gum veneers, and surgery.
Mild gum recession may be able to be treated by your dentist by deep cleaning the affected area. During the deep cleaning, also called tooth scaling and root planing, plaque and tartar that has built up on the teeth and root surfaces below the gum line is carefully removed, and the exposed root area is smoothed to make it more difficult for bacteria to attach itself. If your gum recession cannot be treated with deep cleaning because of excess loss of bone and pockets that are too deep, gum surgery may be required to repair the damage caused by gum recession. The surgery can be open flap scaling, root generation, or soft tissue grafting.
Gum recession is not something you want to ignore. The best way to prevent receding gums is to take good care of your mouth. If you think your gums are receding, make an appointment with your dentist. And even if your gums are perfectly healthy, visit your dentist every six months. Visiting the dentist regularly will help them to identify signs of any possible oral problem and provide the right solution for it in time.