What are receding gums ?
Receding gums, also known as gingival recession, is a condition where the gums pull away from the teeth, exposing more of the tooth roots. This can lead to sensitivity, pain, and, in severe cases, tooth loss.
What causes Receding gums?
Gingival recession can be caused by several factors, including:
- Periodontal disease: This is a bacterial infection that affects the gum tissue and bone that supports the teeth. As the infection progresses, it can cause the gums to recede.
- Aggressive brushing: Brushing too hard or using a toothbrush with hard bristles can cause the gum tissue to wear away.
- Genetics: Some people may be more prone to gingival recession due to their genetic makeup.
- Poor oral hygiene: Not brushing and flossing regularly can lead to a buildup of plaque, which can cause the gums to recede.
- Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause, can make the gums more sensitive and prone to recession.
- Tobacco use: Smoking or using other tobacco products can cause the gum tissue to shrink away from the teeth
Solutions for Receding Gums
The treatment for receding gums will depend on the severity of the condition and the underlying cause. Here are some steps that you can take to fix receding gums:
- Practice good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and floss daily. This will help to remove plaque and prevent further gum recession.
- Use a desensitizing toothpaste: This type of toothpaste can help to block the sensation of pain in the exposed tooth roots.
- Address any underlying dental problems: Gum disease or tooth decay can contribute to receding gums. Work with your dentist to address these issues.
- Change your brushing technique: Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can cause the gum tissue to wear away. Brush gently in circular motions with a soft-bristled brush.
- Get a gum graft: In more severe cases of receding gums, a gum graft may be recommended. This involves taking tissue from another area of your mouth and attaching it to the area where the gums have receded.
- Consider pinhole surgical technique: This is a minimally invasive procedure where a small hole is made in the gum tissue and then the tissue is moved to cover the exposed tooth roots.
How can your dentist help?
If you have receding gums, it’s important to talk to your dentist. Treatment options may include scaling and root planing, gum graft surgery, or other procedures to restore the gum tissue and prevent further recession. In some cases, lifestyle changes such as improved oral hygiene or quitting tobacco use may be recommended.
It’s important to talk to your dentist about any gum recession you are experiencing, as they can help you determine the underlying cause and recommend the appropriate treatment. Additionally, practicing good oral hygiene and making lifestyle changes can help prevent gum recession from occurring in the first place.