Healthy gums are vital for excellent oral health, just as good teeth are. Therefore, it is crucial to take great care of your gums and maintain their health.
Periodontal disease is a progressive form of gingivitis. Gingivitis is a result of tartar which stems from plaque build-up on the teeth. While they are forming, and if left unaddressed, plaque and tartar damage the gums, causing them to recede. As the gums ‘pull back’, they leave pockets behind that form the ideal place for bacterial build-ups to form. As a result, most adults suffer from some form of periodontal disease.
Symptoms of Receding Gums
Some of the primary symptoms of a receding gum line include:
- Bleeding following brushing and flossing
- Red and swollen gums
- Oral odour
- Shrinking gums
- Exposed tooth roots
- Loose teeth
Numerous reasons may underline the onset of receding gums, and it is best to remain aware of them in order to avoid their effects. Some of the main causes of a receding gum line include:
- Aggressive brushing over the long term
- Poor oral hygiene
- Build-ups of tartar and plaque
- Hormonal changes in females
- Hereditary gum disease
In addition to the above causes, some cases of receding gums may have their origins in a condition called ‘dry mouth’. Dry mouth is a side effect of various illnesses and medications and interrupts the body’s saliva production. Therefore, with less saliva comes the mouth’s decreased ability to self-clean, thus allowing the accumulation of plaque and tartar, which erode the teeth and cause receding gums.
Treating Receding Gums
If you notice receding gums, it is crucial to seek treatment for the problem as soon as possible. Consulting your dentist will avail you of appropriate treatment options to help you address and reverse the ailment.
In addition to in-office treatment, there are some medications available to aid in treating receding gums, including:
- Topical antibiotic gel
- Enzyme suppressants
- Antimicrobial mouthwash
- Antiseptic chips
Without timely intervention, receding gums may require surgery to correct. The two most common surgery types employed in this instance are grafting and flap surgery. Flap surgery involves eliminating bacteria and plaque by deep cleaning the gums. This procedure may cause the teeth to appear longer for a while afterwards, although the phenomenon will correct itself once the gums adjust and fit more snugly around the teeth.
Grafting entails placing a bone or tissue particle in the gums to encourage gum and tissue regrowth around the teeth. However, the success of a grafting procedure relies on a patient’s strict adherence to proper oral hygiene afterwards.
If your dentist discovers there is insufficient gum tissue left to cover your teeth adequately, they may choose to take more drastic measures to correct the issue.
If you notice that your gums are receding, it is best to seek a dentist’s advice as soon as you can. If left untreated, receding gum lines can lead to further complications, including tooth loss in adults. Therefore, it is essential to seek any available treatment options in a timely manner.
Finally, remember that prevention is better than cure. So, you have to create and maintain good oral hygiene routines to keep your teeth healthy and eliminate gum-eroding bacteria. You can also make regular dentist appointments for deep cleaning and to detect and correct any early symptoms.