Do You Have Receding Gums?
What it means and how to treat it.
Receding gums is a common periodontal problem where the gum tissue shrinks or retracts, leaving teeth exposed and vulnerable. Gum recession has several possible causes and is more likely to occur as we age. When it comes to dentistry, our primary goal regarding gum recession is to protect teeth roots and restore gum tissue to a healthy level. Receding gums can also contribute to an older looking smile, so addressing it can provide a more youthful appearance.
When you visit our office for a checkup, we always provide a thorough examination of gums, as well as other soft tissues. If we notice any problem, we’ll be sure to discuss the next best steps. To schedule an appointment, please call our office at (415) 433-9032.
Causes of receding gums.
Our gums are susceptible to both trauma and disease that can cause them to recede. Periodontal disease (infections of the gum tissue) and other oral hygiene issues are common, including environmental and behavioral aspects. Smoking tobacco products, as well as using chewing tobacco, is a contributing factor. Additionally, gum recession can even be caused by brushing teeth improperly or too aggressively, irritating the gums.
Visual symptoms of gum recession are sometimes very easy to spot. On the front teeth, particularly, you can simply look in the mirror to examine your gum line, where one or more teeth may appear longer than usual. In other cases, it may be difficult to identify any problem visually. Receding gums may also cause teeth to experience sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures. That’s because the roots of teeth lack the protective layer of enamel, which insulates the more sensitive material (called dentin) underneath.
Gum recession is very treatable and is often necessary to address before more handling teeth restorations. Simple grafting can return gums to a healthy state; however, it is also essential to identify and correct the underlying cause of gum recession to keep it from recurring.