Are Your Gums Receding? Here’s What You Need To Know 

Gum recession and the painful symptoms associated with it were once-upon-a-time thought to be an unavoidable part of the aging process, but many will be pleased to know professional treatments and preventative steps can now address the issue. Whilst gum tissue does not grow back and gum recession is therefore considered irreversible, there are certain things you can do to keep the problem from worsening. Let’s dive in. 

Receding Gums In A Nutshell

Receding gums occur when your gums pull back from the teeth exposing more of the tooth, including the roots. When this takes place, small gaps form between the gums and the teeth. As a result, bacteria can gather in these gaps, causing periodontal disease which wears away at the teeth. In severe cases, the infection begins to break down the bone underneath, which can lead to tooth loss.

The good news is, gum recession is typically a gradual or slow process. Many people don’t realise they have receding gums until the process has begun. Which is why it’s important to educate yourself on what you should be keeping an eye out for! Signs of gum recession vary, but can include red or swollen gums, bad breath, mouth sores, and pain or bleeding when brushing or flossing.

Signs & Symptoms

Many people don’t understand or notice the very early signs of gum recession because they can be minor or difficult to identify. However, one obvious sign of receding gums to be conscious of is tooth sensitivity, especially with cold food or drinks.

As gum recession begins to further develop, your teeth will appear longer and you will begin to notice the tooth root. Other symptoms that you can also experience include:

  • Discomfort or bleeding when brushing your teeth
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Bad breath
  • The separation between teeth and
  • Noticeable pus forming between the teeth and gum line.

Professional Treatments For Receding Gums

Depending on the cause and severity of your gum recession, your Coolangatta Dental Group dentist may recommend one of the following procedures:

Deep Cleaning: 

A deep clean, sometimes referred to as root planing or tooth scaling, can help with respect to mild gum recession. During this process, the gums are peeled back to expose or open up the roots of the teeth. Your dentist will then clean out any bacteria that may be present or building up. 

As bacteria has a more difficult time attaching to smoother surfaces, this process helps to protect your teeth and gums from more severe infections. Sometimes an antibiotic gel is applied to the teeth during the cleaning to kill hard-to-reach germs; other times, oral antibiotics or a special antibiotic mouth rinse might be prescribed by your chosen dentist. 

Surgery: 

If your gums already contain pockets that are considered too deep or you’ve suffered too much bone loss, a deep clean won’t suffice in order to treat the gum recession. In these cases, surgery may be necessary. Bone regeneration and tissue or gum grafts are two procedures frequently advised by dentists with regards to treating receding gums.

Bone Regeneration: 

Regenerative surgery is what’s required when you’ve lost significant bone and gum tissue. The process is similar to a deep clean and root planing. However, in addition to folding back the gums and cleaning the affected area to remove bacteria, a material designed to encourage your gums to regenerate tissue and bone independently is applied before your gums are secured over the roots again.

Tissue Graft: 

If too much gum material has been lost, a gum tissue graft may be recommended so that your gums can be restored. If enough material is available, this tissue can be sourced elsewhere in your gums. Alternatively, it can be taken from the roof of your mouth.

Gum Recession Prevention

Regardless of the cause of your gum recession, preventative measures should still be taken in an attempt to stop your gum recession from advancing. The following tips reduce your risk of receding gums and increase your overall oral health:

Quit Smoking: 

Smoking can increase the harmful bacteria in your mouth. Quitting will prevent tooth decay, gum recession, and other harmful side effects of smoking.

Maintain Oral Hygiene

Ensuring you implement a high level of oral hygiene is essential to overall oral health. Brushing twice a day, flossing regularly, and using an antibacterial mouthwash can improve teeth and gum health and prevent additional gum recession.

Choose Healthy Foods:

Not only do a variety of fruits and vegetables help reduce plaque, but the vitamins and nutrients from healthy food can also help discourage the growth of bacteria in your mouth. Since bacteria thrive on sugars, avoiding sugary foods is a good way to prevent gum irritation.

Visit Your CDG Dentist: 

Regular dental visits (i.e., every six months at a minimum) are the best way to stay on top of your oral health. Professional cleanings remove plaque and tartar that can cause gum disease and allow your dentist to monitor gum health for any signs of gum disease.

Monitor Existing Conditions: 

Crooked teeth, a misaligned bite, or teeth grinding can increase your risk for gum disease and receding gums. Treating these conditions reduces the wear and tear on your gums and teeth and your risk of gum recession.

Book An Appointment

Now that you have all the information about gum recession, you know what to look out for. If you have noticed any signs or symptoms, now is the time to take action.  As the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Get in touch with us immediately so we can begin the process of treating and preventing further damage to your gums. Book an appointment here!