Many people do not notice receding gums until it’s too late. There are several causes of receding gums. The most common of these is periodontal disease.
It is important to note that gum recession takes place over a long time after which the gums will appear inflamed. There will be some loss of gum tissue and you can see that your teeth look longer than normal.
Because of this fact, it is important that you monitor and check your teeth regularly. Normal healthy gums should be at a consistent level against your teeth. When some teeth are exposed along the gum lines then this is gum recession.
At this point, you will need to visit a periodontist for receding gum treatment.
How to tell if you have receding gums
The symptoms of receding gums include:
- Inflamed gum tissue
- Loosening of teeth
- Bad breath
- Unpleasant taste in your mouth
Once you begin to notice any of these symptoms, it is important that you book an appointment with your periodontist. Note that receding gums make it easier for bacteria to gain a footing which could make the situation worse.
What causes receding gums?
As we saw earlier there are several causes of gum disease. The most common cause is periodontal disease. That said, other causes include:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Advanced age
Note also that wrong use of a toothbrush could cause your gums to recede. To ensure that gum recession is not caused by brushing your teeth, here are a few tips:
- Do not brush your teeth with excessive force and let the toothbrush do the work
- Make sure that you brush your teeth with a toothbrush that contains soft bristles. Avoid brushes with hard bristles
- It is important that you brush your teeth twice a day in a case to fight gum disease caused by bacteria and disease
That said, other factors that could cause gum recession include:
- Smoking – tobacco whether chewed or smoked can cause gum recession.
- Partial dentures that fit poorly
- Trauma to the mouth – injury during sports or piercings in the lip may cause friction between the lip and gum resulting in gum recession.
- Misalignment of the teeth – misaligned teeth may have prominent and exposed teeth roots. Furthermore, the attachment muscles may result in shifting of the gum.
- Grinding of teeth- if you grind your teeth or you clench teeth hard during your sleep, this can exert pressure on your teeth resulting in gum recession.
How receding gums are diagnosed
It is not difficult to diagnose gum recession as this is often something that can be seen with the naked eye. All the dentist or oral specialist needs to do is to check for areas where the gum has receded.
Note that receding of gums is not something that occurs overnight. It can take several months. If you visited your dentist once every 6 months they will be able to see any progress in gum recession.
How gum recession is treated
First off, it is important to note that once the gum has receded, it will not grow back. This is why it is crucial to maintain proper oral hygiene to prevent gum disease.
That said, receding gum treatment will depend on the underlying cause. For instance, if the gum recession is caused by poor brushing, your periodontist will advise you on the proper way to maintain oral hygiene.
Secondly, by maintaining good oral hygiene practices, you can prevent the occurrence of gum disease which can enter and take hold in areas with minor gum recession.
If you have tartar or plaque, your dentist can clean this to prevent further gum recession. The process used to clean the plaque is known as scaling.
Lastly, for much more severe cases, the doctor can perform gum grafting. This is where they take pieces of gum from other regions of the mouth and attach it on the recessed area under the teeth. Once this heals the patient can achieve a much more natural look.
Before getting treatment for gum recession, it is important that you choose a doctor like Dr Marlene Teo with many years of experience. This is because they can help mitigate some potential risks.
Preventing gum recession
The best way to prevent gum disease is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This means avoiding smoking or tobacco as well as having a balanced and healthy diet.
Secondly, even if your teeth look healthy, is a good idea to get regular checkups by your dentist or periodontist. This allows them to spot any signs of gum disease and treat it before it gets worse.
Because receding gums takes a long time, it becomes much harder to notice the gum recession until it has become worse. There are several ways of treating gum recession such as gum grafting. Lifestyle factors that can help prevent gum recession include maintaining oral hygiene, proper use of toothbrush as well as avoiding smoking and chewing tobacco. It is also important to consume a healthy diet.
Dr Marlene Teo
360 Orchard Rd, #03-06/07 next to Lido,
International Building, Singapore 238869
+65 8588 9868