The receding of gums can be described as a process where the margin of gum tissue surrounding your teeth gets pulled back or wears away. This causes the root of your tooth to get exposed. Apart from being an unsightly cosmetic problem, receding gums could be an indication of a deeper underlying gum disease, which requires prompt medical attention. Therefore, it is important for you to know as much as possible, about the causes, symptoms and treatment of receding gums.
The recession of gums is a very common dental problem, affecting people of all ages.
Contrary to what many people believe, receding gums are not just a normal part of the ageing process; it is important to get this problem checked and treated by a doctor as soon as possible, failing which you may end up losing your tooth permanently.
What Causes Receding Of Gums?
There are several different factors that could cause your gums to get pulled back or just wear away. Given below are some of the common causes of receding gums –
- Bacterial infections in the gum tissue
- Periodontal diseases or gum diseases
- Genetic factors
- Incorrect or aggressive brushing of the teeth
- Lack of adequate dental care or oral hygiene
- Drastic hormonal changes, that take place during puberty, pregnancy or menopause
- Excessive use of products that contain tobacco, like cigarettes
- Applying a lot of force on the teeth, by grinding or clenching them often
- Crooked, misaligned or uneven teeth that place too much force on the bone and gum
- Body piercing on the tongue or lip, which rubs against the gums and causes irritation
- Trauma around the mouth or the gum area
- Regular self-induced vomiting (bulimia)
Some of the causes of dental problem are quite serious and require medical attention.
Signs And Symptoms Of Receding Gums
Since the recession of gums does not take place overnight many of us do not notice the symptoms when they do occur. Given below are some of the common signs and symptoms of this dental problem –
- Tooth sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet, spicy or sour food
- Notch near the gum line
- Increase in the length of the tooth, as their roots get exposed
- Changes in the color of the tooth
- Additional space between the teeth
- Cavities below the gum line
In case the recession of the gums has occurred because of a periodontal disease like gingivitis, you may notice additional symptoms like –
- Bleeding of the gums when you floss or brush your teeth
- Swelling, redness and puffiness of the gums
- Halitosis (bad breath)
It is advisable to consult a dentist as soon as you notice any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above.
How To Treat Receding Gums?
Your dentist may be able to treat receding gums through a simple procedure, like tooth scaling, where the tartar and plaque built up on your teeth are removed and the exposed area becomes smooth. This makes it difficult for bacteria to attach themselves to your tooth. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to eliminate remaining, harmful bacteria.
In case the damage is too severe and cannot be treated with medication or deep cleaning, your doctor may recommend surgical procedures, like –
- Soft tissue graft
- Pocket depth reduction
You can also prevent your gums from receding by following proper dental hygiene. Make sure that you use a proper toothbrush and if possible, ask your dentist to show you the right brushing technique.