Many people do not give their gums much thought. As the soft, pink tissue that surrounds your teeth, your gums tend to go mostly unnoticed on a day to day basis. However, just because you do not spend much time thinking about them does not mean that they do not play a major role in your oral health. Your gums help provide support and structure to your teeth, helping to hold them in place in your mouth.
They can also help protect your tooth roots from infection and decay. When your gums start to recede, your teeth can suddenly become in danger of becoming loose or even lost. We here at Excellent Dental Specialists strongly believe that by protecting your gums, you can also help preserve and protect your teeth in the long run, too.
What are the Symptoms of Receding Gums?
For many people, receding gums can slowly sneak up on them over time. The signs that your gums are receding can be subtle at first, making it hard to detect. Regular dental appointments with us can help us catch this condition early, helping to improve your outlook and your oral health.
Some indicators that you may have receding gums can include the appearance of “long” teeth. Your tooth roots may also become exposed, making them vulnerable to decay or infection. If gum recession becomes severe enough, your teeth may become loose. Some people do start to lose their teeth, as well.
Causes of Receding Gums
There are several reasons that your gums may start to recede. Gum disease is a common cause for gum recession. When you do not take good care of your teeth, your gums can become infected or inflamed, a condition known as periodontitis and gingivitis. This can cause your gums to start to recede. On the other hand, you do not want to brush excessively, either. Brushing too hard can also lead to your gums receding, as can overly-aggressive flossing.
Other things that can lead to receding gums may include injury or trauma to the tooth, bad bite alignment, and bruxism (grinding and clenching your teeth, especially at night). Tobacco products can cause your gums to recede, as well. Genetics and hormones can also be to blame, and many people do notice gum recession during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.
Treatment for Receding Gums
If your gums are receding, do not panic! There are several treatment options that are available to you to help address it. First and foremost, lifestyle changes may be necessary. If you are not taking good care of your teeth, introduce a good oral hygiene regimen. A nighttime mouthguard to help treat the bruxism can also be helpful.
We may also advise a scaling and a root planing, which is also known as a deep cleaning. This can remove any hardened buildup from your teeth and on your tooth roots, which can encourage your gums to reattach to your teeth. Antibiotics can be helpful, too. In very severe cases, gum graft surgery may be necessary to restore your receding gums.
Whether you suspect that your gums are receding and are concerned, you are curious about learning more about receding gums and the cause of it, or you are ready to set up an appointment with us here at Excellent Dental Specialists, please give us a call at (210) 598-8933 today!