What Are Receding Gums and What Can You Do About Them?

There are not many things that can make you feel embarrassed about smiling, other than receding gums and decaying teeth. It can happen when you are younger, but can occur as you get older, especially in the case of the condition. If you have noticed that they appear to be reducing compared to the teeth, or the teeth seem to be getting longer, you most likely have receding gums.

The causes of this occurrence are varied, but the most serious reason is periodontal disease, which affects the gums . The bad news is there is no cure for periodontal disease, but you can manage it – the health of your gums and mouth depends on it.

When your gums are healthy, the gum line around the teeth is consistent, while the gums are pink. When recession starts, the gums look inflamed and the gum line starts becoming lower on some teeth compared to others, leaving the teeth exposed. This process is slow, so it is important to check on your teeth every day and make an appointment with your dentist if you notice long-lasting changes in your mouth.

How do gums work?

The gums work similar to a protective gasket in a motor car, which protects the inner parts of the engine from the outside. However, as time passes by, the gasket breaks down, which allows for the reduction in compression, and the engine of the car generally loses its power.

For the case of the mouth, the gums behave like a sealing component, which helps in preventing food from settling between the teeth. Otherwise, bacteria will do extensive damage to this area between your teeth, and even break down the spaces between your jawbones and gums. The spaces between your teeth open up as your gums recede, allowing for food to become trapped, the bacteria breaks it down, and this causes tooth decay.

What causes gum recession?

The condition may be caused by several issues, which include old age, certain medical conditions like diabetes, and poor oral hygiene.

Another cause you may not be aware of is brushing the teeth too hard. This leads to the importance of choosing the correct brush and being gentle with your teeth, while also brushing twice a day for at least two minutes each time.

In addition, the condition may be due to trauma to the mouth such as sports injuries and piercings, smoking, partial dentures that fit poorly, the teeth not being in correct alignment (something that orthodontics such as Phoenix orthodontics can correct), and the grinding of teeth while you sleep.

What are the signs of receding gums?

Aside from the lessening amount of gum tissue within the mouth, the problem can often result in loosening of teeth, bad breath, a persistent bad taste in your mouth, and red gums that are constantly swollen.

You will also notice the changing bite of your teeth, or begin to feel sensitivity and pain in your gums when doing activities like chewing food. In fact, this may be due to the problem of receding gums becoming more vulnerable to growth of bacteria; and this makes it very important to attend regular oral checkups and take daily care of your teeth.

Diagnosis of receding gums

Any dentist or dental hygienist can spot receding gums immediately, and you can also spot it when the gum starts to pull away from the root of your teeth or one tooth.

The condition is not instant; it happens slowly over a long period of time. The bad news is that you may only notice it when the condition has progressed significantly, unless you check your gums daily or go for regular dental checkups.

Treating gum recession

The problem of gum recession cannot be reversed once it begins, unfortunately. Even if your mouth is healthy, age begins to catch up with it and it shows – through receding gums and loosening teeth. However, you can manage it as much as possible to prevent further deterioration of the gums and teeth.

The treatment methods will usually depend on the source of the problems within the gums. For instance, if the cause of recession is poor dental hygiene or hard brushing techniques, the dentist can give you advice on changing your flossing and brushing behavior.

For extra cleanliness in the teeth, you can make use of a daily mouthwash that rinses the mouth thoroughly and can get in between teeth to fight any residue plaque. Interdental cleaners such as dental picks can also assist you to keep the mouth clean, especially in areas that are hard to reach.

Mild gum recession will increase the risk of bacteria increasing in select pockets of the mouth, especially near and at the affected area. The disease spreads very quickly, especially if there is more gum disease within the mouth. However, the mild recessing of gums does not necessarily guarantee the increasing risk of gum disease.

Genetics can play a role in the development and progression of gum disease, though research has not confirmed how it does. The most major factors in the recession of gums is gum disease and grinding, which are both preventable.

Sometimes, you will also need some deep cleaning treatment for your teeth and gums. These are root planning and scaling, and they help in fighting gum recession. This is thanks to the dentist cleaning out plaque and tartar from the roots of your teeth as well as their surface.

If the recession is very extensive, then you may need to go through a minor operation called gum grafting, which restores lost gum tissue. The operation involves removing part of the gum tissue from elsewhere within your mouth and attaching (grafting) to the part that has receding gums. After the area heals completely, it protects the tooth root that was exposed and gives a more natural appearance to the teeth.

Final thoughts

Gun disease and recession is a problem you should avoid for as long as possible, as it leads to pain within the teeth – something you do not need to go through. To slow down the rates of recession, it is important to take care of your dental health and go for regular dental checkups if possible.

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