RECEDING GUMS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Receding Gums refers to when your gums are pulled back from your teeth and exposing the roots of teeth beneath. One of the first signs tend to be increased tooth sensitivity. You might also notice a tooth which looks longer than normal or feel an indentation or incision on an edge or surface between the gum and the tooth (the area known as the gum line).

Although Receding Gums are one of the most common dental problem, this type of condition should not be neglected as it can be a sign of serious gum disease.

WHAT CAUSES RECEDING GUMS?

Receding gums can be caused by a number of factors as following.

  1. aging
  2. genetics
  3. misaligned teeth
  4. brushing too hard
  5. poor oral health.

Poor oral health habits can result to gingivitis. When the gums are inflamed because of the existence of plaque and bacteria. If the gums left untreated, it will eventually begin to recede as the the supporting bone resorbs. Your gums may start to recede away from your tooth which will create ‘pockets’ around from where even more plaque can build up. Over time, these pockets deepen, gums continue to recede and teeth can become loose.

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF RECEDING GUMS

Sensitive teeth

Tooth sensitivity occurs as a result of exposed roots. Once your teeth roots are exposed, they tend to become extremely sensitive and uncomfortable. Sensitivity to cold is the most common symptoms of receding gums and root exposure.

Longer looking teeth

When your gums recede, your teeth may appear much longer than normal.

Loose teeth

When receding gums worsen due to periodontal disease, they result in deeper gum pockets due to the loss of the attachment structure loosening the teeth.

Color change

The enamel, which is the surrounding layer of the tooth, is the white vs. the cementum, the root is yellow. Therefore, the tooth appears to look yellow and discolored..

Inflamed gums

Redness and swelling of your gums, especially along the margins, may be a sign of receding gums. This is most often due to the periodontal disease.

RISK FACTORS THAT INCREASE THE PROBABILITY OF RECEDING GUMS

Smoking

This is among the most prominent risk factors associated with receding gum. Smoking reduces the healthy salivary and blood flow and subsequently causes tooth decay. The lack of saliva and presence of food create the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive. This leads to gum disease, gum recession and in some cases, cancer. Additionally, smoking lowers your chances of successful dental treatment.

Diabetes

People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing infections such as gum disease. For instance, periodontal disease is a common complication of diabetes. Hence, it is crucial for people with diabetes to practice good oral hygiene to reduce the risk of receding gums among other dental conditions. Even prediabetic conditions can lead to susceptibility to gum disease and poor wound healing in the mouth, according to Dr. Oh.

Hormonal changes in women

Women’s hormone levels tend to fluctuate during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. These changes can make the gums more sensitive and susceptible to dental health issues like receding gums.

Genetic susceptibility

Just like other parts of your body, the genes passed down from your parents can affect your dental health. This means that if your family has a history of gum disease you could also be at risk of getting it. Additionally some patients are prone to have recession due to their thin phenotype (thin mucosa), which is hereditary.

HIV/AIDS and Immunocompromised Conditions

Due to a weakened immune system, individuals with HIV/AIDS are at a significantly higher risk of receding gums.

Misaligned or crooked teeth

Misaligned or crooked teeth can trap plaque more easily and can also be more difficult to clean efficiently during brushing. This can lead to tartar formation followed by gum recession.

Aggressive tooth brushing

Brushing teeth too hard can cause your tooth structure to wear away. Also the soft tissue trauma from aggressive brushing could cause irreversible gum recession.

Lip or tongue piercing

The jewelry you put on your tongue or lip can rub your gums and irritate them, causing your gum tissue to wear away and your teeth can chip and break.

Medication

Some medication can cause chronic dry mouth. If the medicines are taken over an extended period, they can cause bad breath, and lower your saliva levels. The lack of saliva, which protects teeth, dental implants, dentures, and gums, allows bacteria to destroy your gum tissues.

WHAT ARE THE DENTAL TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR RECEDING GUMS?

Receding gum treatment varies greatly, depending on the severity of your gum disease and other causes. The first step in treating receding gums is to determine what factors are contributing to the recession so that they can be minimized and if possible, eliminated.

For instance, if crooked teeth are causing your receding gums, we can have them straightened by Invisalign or orthodontic treatment. If they are as a result of smoking, the use of tobacco must be eliminated and seek for dental care. If the causes are from the gum disease, here are some of the most effective forms of treatment:

Deep Cleaning (Scaling and Root Planing)

Most often, receding gums are as a result of a significant amount of bacteria in the mouth known as plaque, tartar or calculus. Deep cleaning removes the plaques and tartar that your gums are receding away from.

Oral antibiotics

Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics to fight off the infection. Medications may be placed directly into the flap rather than systemic antibiotic.

Flap Surgery

Flap surgery may be necessary if the infection and deep pockets persist even after deep cleaning and medication. Our dentist in Madison Avenue Dentists, PC may perform this type of surgical procedure for removing tartar and plaque deposits in the deep pockets or to reduce the pocket depth to easily keep the area clean.

Bone and Tissue Regeneration

If your gum recession has advanced to the extent of affecting the bone supporting your teeth or dental implants, a regeneration procedure may be done. During this process, your dentist will fold back the gum tissue to remove the built-up bacteria and tartar, then they will apply a graft tissue to help restore bone and tissue growth. The gum tissue will then be restored back to its original position over the root.

Soft tissue graft( Root Coverage Procedure)

If the receding gums result in a large exposed roots, your dentist may need to perform a soft tissue graft. This procedure involves harvesting a thick, healthy tissue from the roof of your mouth to place it beneath the recipient site. The harvested tissue will then be stitched to the gums surrounding the exposed root, allowing it to grow back. The donor area will be sutured back and it will be healed most often with no complications.

HAVE YOU TRIED OUR SERVICES?

Madison Avenue Dentists are friendly, state-of-the-art practices in New York City dedicated to comprehensive dental care. Our dental practices are one of the most innovative in Manhattan and we prides ourselves on the high-quality customer service, attention to detail and the advanced dental technology at our disposal. Book an appointment with Dr. Stella Oh or Dr. Ash Estafan.

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