Gum recession typically goes unnoticed. It is a common dental problem that happens gradually. When pockets form between the teeth and the gums, bacteria increases, eventually causing the gum line to wear away and expose more of the tooth. Gum recession can lead to tooth decay, bone, teeth and tissue loss.
Symptoms of Gum Recession
While gum recession can go unnoticed, there are a few signs to watch for such as:
- Chronic bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Longer teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Swollen, red gums
- Visible gaps between the teeth and gums
Causes of Gum Recession
There are a number of factors that can cause gum recession such as:
- Brushing your teeth too hard: Brushing your teeth too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can cause the enamel on your teeth to wear away causing your gums to recede.
- Diabetes: High diabetic levels can cause bacteria to increase in the mouth which can lead to receding gums.
- Genes: If your family has a history of receding gums, you may be predisposed to gum disease.
- Gum disease: Gum disease is the main cause of gum recession. Increased bacteria in the mouth causes inflammation and infections that destroy gum tissue and bone that hold teeth in place.
- Hormones: Fluctuating hormone levels such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause can cause the gums to be more sensitive making you susceptible to gum recession.
- Poor dental hygiene: Not following good dental hygiene practices will cause the bacteria in your mouth to increase. When this happens, the plaque turns into tartar. To avoid this, brush and floss your teeth twice a day and use an antibacterial mouthwash.
- Tobacco: Cigarettes and chewing tobacco can damage your gums and cause them to recede.
What is the treatment?
Catching gum recession in the early stages can slow it down and prevent gum loss before too much damage occurs. Dr. Amy Marckese-Braun can treat gum recession through deep cleaning and antibiotics. If there is significant tissue loss you will need gum surgery. If teeth are lost or become misaligned because of gum recession, Dr. Marckese-Braun can offer several dental cosmetic options to replace lost or misaligned teeth.