Receding gums is the process in which the margin of the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth wears away, exposing more of the tooth’s root. When gum recession occurs, gaps form between the teeth and gum line, making it easy for disease-causing bacteria to build up. If left untreated, the supporting tissue and bone structures of the teeth can be damaged and may result in tooth loss.
What Causes Receding Gums?
Periodontal disease is one of the causes of receding gums. Periodontal disease, or gum disease, refers to the infection and inflammation of the gums and other structures in the mouth.
Factors that may cause or contribute to periodontal disease include:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Damaged or faulty fillings
- Hormonal changes due to pregnancy or oral contraceptives
- Medications that cause dry mouth
- Certain immune disorders
There are two stages of periodontal disease:
Gingivitis – Gingivitis causes gum redness, swelling, and sometimes bleeding. Without treatment, gingivitis may lead to periodontitis.
Periodontitis – Periodontitis is the later stage of periodontal disease and can cause the gums to recede.
If the gums recede too much, it may lead to bone loss, which can cause teeth to loosen or fall out.
How hygiene effects receding gums:
There are many different sorts of hygienic techniques that can assist with the treatment of receding gums. Here are some examples:
Forceful or Incorrect Brushing
Incorrect brushing of the teeth may activate the gum recession. Regular brushing is essential for maintaining good oral hygiene.
Some people grind their top and bottom teeth together while sleeping. Grinding puts intense pressure on the gums, which can cause them to recede over time. Teeth grinding can also cause teeth to become loose in their sockets. Grinding creates deep pockets between the tooth and the gum, where bacteria can collect. These bacteria activate gum inflammation, which can make gum recession worse.
The treatment for receding gums depends on the underlying cause. The following treatments can help reattach or restore gum tissue around the teeth:
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing are some of the first treatments for receding gums that a dentist may recommend. In this procedure, a dentist will insert a special tool into the hole to separate the gum from the tooth, then they will stretch and reposition the gum back over the exposed tooth root.
Tips below can help slow or stop the progression of receding gums:
- Practice good oral hygiene
- Flossing between the teeth at least once per day
- Using fluoride toothpaste.
- Brushing the teeth twice per day using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Using an antiseptic mouthwash to reduce bacteria and flush out debris.
- Replacing toothbrushes at least every 2–3 months
- Attending regular dental appointments.
- Adopting the correct brushing technique can help prevent the gums from receding.
- Wearing a mouthguard at night can help prevent gum recession due to teeth grinding.
- Attending regular dental checkups is vital for detecting the early stages of gum recession.
- Checkups also enable the dentist to identify and replace any faulty fillings or ill-fitting partial dentures, which can contribute to receding gums.
A dentist will always advise about the best treatment for gum recession. Once the gums have receded, they cannot grow back. However, some treatments can reattach and restore gum tissue around the teeth. Maintaining good oral hygiene and attending regular dental checkups can help prevent, slow, or stop gum recession. Always talk to your dentist for advice on preventing and treating receding gums.