Receding Gums Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Receding gums occur when the gum tissue around your teeth pulls back or wears away. This causes more of the tooth to be exposed, eventually even exposing the tooth root. This makes it easy for bacteria to build up and can damage the bone structure of your teeth. In severe cases, receding gums lead to loose teeth and even tooth loss.

Gum recession is a common problem. The staff at the Bethesda Center for Family and Cosmetic Dentistry can help you reverse your receding gums. This isn’t a dental issue that you want to ignore. Without treatment your teeth and oral health are in danger. Unfortunately, it is difficult for many people to realize they’re suffering from receding gums because the problem occurs gradually. We want to help you recognize the signs that your gums are receding so you can set up an appointment right away.

Identifying a Problem with Receding Gums

The first symptom that indicates your gums may be receding is increased tooth sensitivity. You may also notice that your gum line seems withdrawn and your teeth look longer than they have previously. If you suspect that you may have receding gums then you will want to speak with your dentist right away. Your dentist will be able to evaluate the situation to determine the severity of your case. They’ll also be able to provide guidance to stop your gums from receding further. If your gums have significantly receded then they may suggest additional treatment.

What Causes Receding Gums?

The leading causes of receding gums are periodontal diseases. Gum disease occurs when bacterial gum infections damage the gum tissue and supporting bone. Without strong gums and bone, your teeth will loosen and are at risk for falling out. Some people are more likely to suffer from receding gums due to their genetic disposition. These people typically have a higher risk of developing gum disease regardless of oral hygiene. This is why it’s important to keep your regular dental appointments even if you take good care of your teeth and don’t experience any discomfort.

You may also be a factor behind your receding gums. Brushing too aggressively or using a toothbrush that isn’t soft can also contribute to the recession of your gums. This erodes the enamel of your teeth and can cause the gum tissue to withdraw. Not taking proper care of your teeth can also lead to receding gums. If you don’t brush, floss, and rinse adequately then plaque can easily become tartar. If tartar isn’t removed, it can also cause problems with your gums. Tarter can only be removed by dental professionals.

Other life experiences and choices can also lead to problems with your gum tissue. For example, puberty, pregnancy, menopause and any other hormonal changes can affect gums. When your hormones change your gums become more sensitive and are more vulnerable. People who use tobacco products are also more likely to develop receding gums. Clenching or grinding your teeth also is a contributing factor.

There are so many things that can lead to receding gums. This is why you should always see your dentist every six months. Regular visits can help detect problems early and lower the need for advanced treatment.

The Best Treatment Options for Receding Gums

There are a number of treatment options for receding gums depending on what is causing the problem. If your gum recession is mild, then a deep cleaning may be sufficient to treat the condition. Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics to help get rid of any harmful bacteria. For more advanced cases of gum recession your dentist may recommend a pinhole periodontal procedure.

The pinhole periodontal procedure is a relatively new technique that is now offered instead of surgery. Previously, patients who had severely receded gums would need to undergo a painful and extensive gum tissue graft. Now, the process is much easier and significantly less painful.

This new, state of the art method for repairing receding gums can now be done in 1 to 2 hours. Your dentist would simply make a small hole in your gum tissue with a needle. Then, using special tools, they would redistribute your gum tissue to ensure proper placement. This is a minimally invasive procedure that has instant results. It is the best possible option for treating advanced cases of gum recession. This procedure offers permanent results as long as you exercise proper oral hygiene and prevention.

Preventing Receding Gums

The best way to prevent receding gums is to take great care of your mouth. Brush, floss, and rinse your teeth every day. Use a soft bristled toothbrush and don’t brush too aggressively. Your dentist can also advise the proper way to brush your teeth to avoid any damage to gum tissue. See your dentist at least twice each year, or more depending on your dentist’s recommendation.

Eliminate as many risk factors as possible to prevent gum recession. Stop using tobacco products and speak with your dentist about correcting problems with misaligned teeth or tooth grinding. Alert your dentist to any changes in your mouth as you notice them. This allows them to correct small problems quickly before they grow into bigger issues. Do your best to care for your mouth and keep your dentist informed of changes. These are your best defenses against receding gums.

Call the Bethesda Center for Family and Cosmetic Dentistry at (301) 530-3600 for more information about receding gums.