Receding Gums – Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Receding gums, also known as gingival recession, may be a sign of gum disease in which the roots of the teeth get exposed because of loss of gum tissues. It may also be caused because of retraction of the gingival margin from the crown of the teeth. Though it may be common problem in adults above 40 years of age, it can also occur in teenage. Receding gum line creates gaps between gum and the teeth, enabling build up of bacteria that cause diseases. If not properly treated, the bone structure and supporting tissue of the teeth may be damaged and tooth loss may occur. The initial signs of receding gums are tooth sensitivity, a tooth looking longer than usual and a notch below the gum line.
Many factors can contribute to gingival recession. Some of them are as follows:
- periodontal disease: this bacterial infection destroys the gum tissues and the supporting bone holding the teeth
- genetics: some individuals are more prone to gum disease. Studies indicate that irrespective of amount of care taken, 30% of the people may be predisposed to gum disease
- brushing the teeth aggressively or using the toothbrush with firm bristles can lead to wearing of enamel and receding of gums
- inadequate brushing leads to tartar formation and can cause gum recession
- hormonal changes in women
- chewing of tobacco products
- grinding and clenching of teeth
- crooked teeth
Receding Gums Symptoms
Gum recession does not happen overnight. It happens progressively. Some of the symptoms of gingival recession are:
- teeth may become sensitive to cold, hot, sour, sweet or spicy foods
- teeth may seem to be longer
- tooth roots may become visible
- a change in the color of the teeth may occur
- gaps may develop between the teeth
- cavities may appear below the gum line
If the cause of gum recession is gingivitis, the symptoms may also include swollen gums, bleeding gums and bad breath or halitosis.
The treatment for gingivitis sometimes reveals the gum recession issue. The swelling caused by gingivitis could mask gum recession and the individual may presume he or she is having healthy gums.
Receding Gums Treatment
The dentist may treat mild gum recession by the deep cleaning the affected part of the gum. This involves removing tartar and plaque and smoothing of the open root area to prevent bacterial infection. The dentist may prescribe antibiotics in certain cases. Gum surgery may be resorted to, if deep cleaning treatment is deemed inadequate due to the extent of damage caused.
The surgical procedures that are used for gum recession treatment are:
Pocket depth reduction wherein the dentist folds back the gum tissue to remove the bacteria and then put it back over the root of the tooth. Regeneration is the process in which material such as a graft tissue, tissue-stimulating protein or a membrane is applied after removing the bacteria. This helps the body to naturally regenerate the bone and the tissues. Soft tissue graft: there are a number of tissue graft procedures. However, the most common procedure is the connective tissue graft.
Receding gums can be prevented by taking good care of the mouth through brushing and flossing on a daily basis, visiting the dentist twice a year and using a toothbrush with soft bristles. If misaligned bite or teeth grinding is the reason for gum recession, it may be corrected by visiting the dentist. Other ways of receding gums prevention include quitting smoking, having a healthy diet and monitoring changes that occur in the condition of the teeth.
How to Stop Receding Gums
Practitioners of alternative medicine offer natural remedies as receding gums cure, receding gums homeopathic cure and other methods to reverse receding gums. However, the effectiveness of such treatments must be confirmed before opting for them.