Having good oral hygiene and keeping your yearly dental checkups can prevent most dental conditions, including periodontal disease, the leading cause for tooth loss in the U.S. according to medical studies. In fact, periodontal disease affects nearly half of all people aged 30 and above according to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Receding gums are a symptom of periodontitis, or inflamed periodontal tissues, that can cause other more serious problems.
Do I Have Receding Gums?
One of the signs of receding gums is that the top part of the tooth, that’s by the gum line, is exposed and you can experience tooth sensitivity to hot or cold food or even air temperature. That can be an early sign of the condition.
Some other common symptoms of gum recession include:
Your Teeth Start To Look Longer As You Get Older.
This is sometimes referred to as being “long in the tooth.” Your teeth are not actually getting longer, though. Instead, your gums are covering less of the visible part of the tooth.
Your Smile May Be Affected By An Uneven Gumline.
When you look at pictures of yourself from the past few years, do you notice that your gum line seems to be taking on a different shape? This can be an indicator of progressive gum recession.
Your Gums Start To Bleed When You Floss Or Brush.
Receding gums can become irritated by normal brushing and flossing. Even if you use a super-soft bristled toothbrush, you may find that your gums feel swollen and tender afterward.
Of course, one of the best ways to identify possible gum disease and gum recession early is by watching for any changes in your gum health. If you visit our office regularly, we will keep an eye on your gums, especially if you have bleeding gums or increased plaque production.
What Causes Receding Gums?
Aside from poor oral hygiene, there are other reasons that can cause receding gums.
- Genetics – Some people are more susceptible than others to both gum disease (about one-third of the population) and gum recession. If you are among the unlucky ones who have excess tartar due to your mouth’s natural composition, you may be more at risk of having receding gums at some point.
- Brushing Too Hard – Believe it or not, using too much pressure when you brush or using a hard bristle brush can also contribute to receding gums.
- Hormones – Women can be more susceptible than men to having receding gums because of hormonal changes due to pregnancy, puberty, or menopause.
- Smoking – Smokers are more likely to have plaque on their teeth that is hard to remove.
- Bruxism – Grinding or clenching your teeth can also contribute to receding gums.
Gum Recession Treatment Options
You think you might be experiencing a case of gum recession. Or, you have just found out from a dentist that your gums are receding. What can you do? As it turns out, you have a few gum recession treatment options.
The first choice is to undergo gum recession treatment surgery. Traditional surgery uses cutting instruments and sutures to reposition your gums. This type of treatment has been used for decades. It will take a while for your gums to heal after this kind of surgery.
The second choice, and one that you might prefer, is the minimally invasive Pinhole® Surgery Technique. During pinhole surgery, the dentist punctures the gums. He then uses special tools to maneuver your existing gum tissues into a healthier position. Because there is little trauma to the gums, you should see immediate results and not need much down time after the procedure.
Of course, you could also choose to do nothing and all about your gum recession. Unfortunately, this rarely produces any positive outcomes. Like many mouth concerns, gum recession will not reverse itself on its own. Typically, the problem will continue to get worse until you end up with correlating issues such as loose teeth or gum disease.
Our Final Thoughts on Addressing Gum Recession
The biggest problem with leaving receding gums without the proper treatment is that the supporting tissue and bone that hold your teeth in place can be seriously damaged and can result in tooth loss. However, there are treatments available is the condition is diagnosed early.
Interested in learning more about the options available to you? Call us today to find out more about how you can tackle your gum recession in San Antonio, TX with our doctor, Andrew J. Weber. If you are a new Excellent Dental Specialists patient, schedule an appointment online today!