Receding gums or gingival recession occurs when there is loss of gum tissue and when both – the gums and bone have moved away from the tooth. Receeding gums may start occurring from the teens but is often seen in adults over the age of 40 years.
Gum Recession Common Causes
- Accumulation of plaque and tartar near the gum line and poor oral hygiene leads to bacteria buildup between the teeth. This bacteria release enzymes and toxic substances which causes destruction of the gum tissue and the bone to be eaten and drifted away from the teeth. This erosion of the teeth is very harmful and often a common cause for receding gum line.
- An occlusion or an imbalance in the way teeth come together can put excess force on teeth and cause trauma to bone and gums. This is common when the teeth are crooked and the fillings or crowns are not placed properly.
- Toothbrush abrasion or overaggressive brushing especially with a hard bristle brush can worn away the enamel at the gum line and cause a receding gum.
- Periodontal disease is also a common cause for receding gums as many people ignore their swollen, bleeding gums and continue without any treatment for years.
- Tongue piercing and inadequate placing of lips can also cause receding gums.
Gum recession results in exposure of the roots which can cause the teeth to become extra sensitive to hot or cold foods, and sweet or salty substances. The supporting structures and teeth have remarkable ability to adapt so as a person may not realize gum recession until any sensitivity or changes are noticed in the teeth.
Receding Gums Treatment
The problem which causes receding gums should be addressed as a treatment for receding gums. Depending on the cause treatment shall follow –
- If tartar and plaque is the cause then adequate brushing and flossing is essential. If the tartar is stubborn then a specialist’s help may be needed to clean the teeth (prophylaxis).
- Avoid overaggressive brushing, prefer using a soft bristle toothbrush and clean your teeth each time you have food. Flossing your teeth twice daily also helps to maintain appropriate oral hygiene.
- Avoid clenching or grinding the teeth and if fillings and crowns are not met properly then they should be corrected.
- Root planing and scaling procedures may be necessary to heal inflammation in the gums and clean the teeth.
- As the teeth may become sensitive, your specialist may prescribe an agent to desensitize the teeth which is generally in liquid form and is to be applied in the sensitive areas of the teeth.
- Nutritional supplements that include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin C and B-complex vitamins may also be prescribed by your specialist to prevent tooth decay and repair gum tissue.
- Gum grafting may also be performed in some cases.