What You Need to Know About Receding Gums

If you notice that portions of your gums closest to your teeth start pulling away, hurting, and exposing the tooth’s root, you might be experiencing symptoms of receding gums. Gums naturally recede as we age, but proper oral hygiene and professional treatments can help your gums stay healthy and protect your teeth. Find out all you need to know about receding gums and how to treat them here.  

What Are Receding Gums?

Receding gums are a form of periodontal disease or better known as a disease of the gums. Receding gums could worsen with age but can also result from poor oral health and can lead to tooth loss if left unattended. 

Gum recession begins when plaque and buildup of bacteria form at the base of the tooth and within the gums. Over time, the plaque and bacterial buildup cause damage to the gums forcing them to pull back from the tooth and expose the root. In especially serious cases, the gums can form a pocket around the tooth’s base, causing bleeding, and loss of tissue and bone. 

Several treatments are available for receding gums, depending on the severity of the recession. However, the treatments work best if they are performed after an early diagnosis, so it’s essential to come in for regular annual check-ups.

What Causes Gum Recession?

Several factors and lifestyle choices can increase your chances of developing receding gums. These factors include:

  • Smoking
  • Plaque buildup
  • Aggressive brushing
  • Hormonal changes in women
  • Hereditary gum disease
  • Diabetes
  • HIV

Additionally, some medications can cause you to develop a dry mouth. Lack of saliva can contribute to bacterial overgrowth and plaque buildup, promoting gum recession. 

What Are the Symptoms of Receding Gums?

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, we recommend asking your dentist about periodontal disease and the possibility of receding gums:

  • red, swollen gums
  • bleeding after brushing or flossing
  • bad breath
  • shrinking gums
  • exposed tooth roots
  • loose teeth
  • pain at the gum line

How Can I Treat Receding Gums?

Successful treatment depends on early detection, which can mean less treatment, less pain, and lower costs. Treatments for receding gums usually include medications like topical gels, antimicrobial mouthwash, and enzyme suppressants. 

In more severe cases, your dentist may recommend surgery to repair and restore your gums. Surgical options include flap surgery (or deep tissue cleaning) and gum grafting (taking gum tissue from a different part of your mouth and grafting it onto the recessive areas). 

The best way to treat gum recession is by avoiding it in the first place. Regular brushing and flossing and consistent professional dental cleanings can keep your gums healthy and recession-free!

Shelby Dental Center in Calera, Alabama Keeps Your Gums Happy and Healthy

Gum recession can create pain, inflammation, and even tooth loss if left untreated. Maintaining proper oral hygiene and receiving regular dental cleanings can help prevent gum recession and keep your gums healthy and happy. If you have any questions about gum recession or want to schedule an appointment, please contact us today!