What You Need to Know About Receding Gums

Posted on: August 16, 2018

A person has receding gums when the gum tissue that protects a tooth's root becomes pushed back and exposed. It can be the result of a tooth being in an abnormal position. It is a dental issue that dentists deal with often, and it is typically hard to detect during its early stages.

People who are older than 65 are the most likely to have receding gums. Since this oral issue leaves the original roots of teeth exposed to irritants in the patient's mouth, the roots are susceptible to infection and decay. Either issue can eventually lead to the tooth falling out.

When the recession of the gums is severe, people often experience pain, sensitivity and infections. These are usually cleaned via deep cleanings, tissue grafts and antibiotics.

What makes gum recession a complicated dental issue

The gums serve a critical function, protecting the roots of a person's teeth from all the harmful things that can be found in the mouth, like acids, plaque and bacteria.

The gums protect the tooth roots from bacteria, plaque and other forms of decay. The root is the most fragile part of a tooth, and exposure of this sensitive part of the tooth is what leads to all the complications that are linked to receding gums.

What causes receding gums?

There are a variety of things that can lead to gum recession. These include:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Gum disease
  • The gums wearing out
  • Immune system issues that lead to inflammation of the gums
  • Genetic factors
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Brushing too hard
  • Brushing too often
  • Poorly done dental work
  • Lip piercings

Gum disease is one of the leading causes of gum recession. It is caused by plaque and tartar build-up on a person's teeth. Food particles that are left over in the mouth after meals are converted into plaque and acids. This plaque eventually turns into tartar and makes its way beneath the gum line.

Tartar is a haven for bacteria, and the body's immune system response kicks in once it is detected. This occurrence leads to inflammation of the gums. Over time, the gums become pushed back so far that teeth roots are exposed. The advanced stage of gum disease, known as periodontal disease, can also dissolve the bone tissue that holds teeth roots in place.

Effects of gum recession

Most people do not notice any symptoms during the early stages of gum disease, but the symptoms will eventually become apparent. These include:

  • Changes in facial structure
  • Tooth loss
  • Toothaches
  • Tooth and gum sensitivity
  • Gum inflammation
  • Loss of bone tissue
  • Tooth appears longer than normal

Having gum disease does not have to lead to the loss of a tooth. The condition can be treated by a dental professional, especially when detected early on. It can also be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene and getting regular deep cleanings.

We are always here to help! 

When was the last time you had your teeth cleaned? Schedule an appointment with one of our dentists today! We can help guide you in making the best decisions for your oral health and any receding gum issues you or a loved one may be having. 

Call (732) 842-5005 today to reach Lincroft Village Dental Care.

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