What are receding gums?
Receding gums are also know as shrinking gums or loss of gum.
The two main causes of receding gums are aggressive brushing of the teeth and gum disease.
The biggest problems with receding gums, is that as the gums shrink they exposure the root of the teeth and this in turn leads to sensitive teeth. Once there is more root exposed and you no longer have a nice firm seal between the tooth and gum, food and other matter gets stuck deep next to the root; which means tooth decay can happen more easily. So using dental floss becomes an important part of your oral hygiene routine when you have receding gums.
One receding gums treatment option for people who have healthy gums and normal support for their teeth, is to have a gum graft. For this treatment your Dentist surgically covers the exposed root surfaces with new tissue.
The gum graft comes from either your own tissue from somewhere else in your mouth or your Dentist will use a commercially supplied tissue material. The gum graft is stitched in place where the gum has receded to reveal the root.
With the use of modern dental techniques, discomfort after treatment tends to be minimal and the resulting healing generally provides a neat match so that the gum is again tightly sealed against the tooth.
If the cause of your receding gums is gum disease, then using gum grafts will produce less predictable results.
Gum disease begins as an inflammation of the line of the gum and progresses through three stages.
What are the three stages of gum disease?
- periodontitis; and then if left untreated
- advanced periodontitis (this is the stage where irreparable bone damage can occur)
Gum disease can be a painless condition in the early stage (gingivitis) so it’s important to watch out for symptoms including –
- gums that bleed when brushing or using dental floss on your teeth,
- swollen or tender gums,
- persistent bad breath,
- loose teeth,
- a change in the way your teeth sit in your mouth,
- visible pus, or
- pain when chewing.
What can I do about my receding gums?
When it comes to receding gums, prevention is better than cure.
So here are a few thoughts on what will help you avoid problems arising from receding gums.
- Talk to your Dentist if you have any of the symptoms listed above.
- Be persistent with your oral hygiene routine.
- Brushing your teeth harder doesn’t mean that you’re cleaning them better.
- A soft brush and the right brushing technique is a better for your gums.
- Remember that you can have gingivitis without realising because it often isn’t painful in the early stages.