Gum recession is a problem for many of our patients. When the edge of the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth wears away or “recedes”, more tooth is exposed causing sensitivity and leading to tooth decay and gum disease. As the gums recede further, the tooth root will appear and gaps will form allowing pockets for bacteria to build up. When this is not properly treated, the gums, teeth, and the bone can become seriously damaged.
Since receding gums happens slowly over time, it can be difficult for patients to realize it’s happening, until well after the damage has occurred. It’s important to be able to recognize the warning signs, and the process of receding gums.
If you’re concerned you have gum recession, watch for these warning signs and symptoms:
Long Teeth. The appearance of lengthening of the teeth is a sign of receding gums. In fact, the teeth do not get longer, but they do appear so as less of the gums are covering them.
Exposed Roots. Exposed roots can be extremely sensitive and uncomfortable. Brushing overly aggressively with a toothbrush with hard bristles can cause exposed roots and is a sign of periodontal disease.
Loose Teeth. Receding gums will cause loose teeth. As receding gums become more of an issue, the gum pockets deepen and the teeth with lose their hold.
Keeping up with a consistent schedule for cleanings is very important for those suffering from receding gums. Mild gum recession can be treated by a single professional deep cleaning. During the cleaning, plaque and tartar will be removed from the pockets around the tooth and the exposed root. This makes the tooth’s surface smooth and more difficult for bacteria to attach itself. You may also be prescribed antibiotics to kill any remaining bacteria. If a deep cleaning is not adequate to treat the recession due to the quantity of bone loss and deep pockets, a receding gums surgery may be recommended.
Receding gums is common, but not inevitable. Care and attentiveness are key to healthy gums and teeth. If receding occurs, we offer treatment plans to get you smiling again.