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Receding Gums

Receding gums is more evident in people of and above 40 years of age. The tissue that surrounds the teeth starts wearing away towards the end of the root, thereby exposing the tooth much more from the gums. Recession of gums is a sign of dental disease.

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Symptoms of receding gums

  • Sensitive teeth
  • Visible increase in length of the teeth from the gum line
  • Sensing a notch in the tooth at gum line
  • Tooth becomes spaced
  • Roots of the tooth are more exposed
  • Change in tooth colour

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Causes of Receding Gums

  • Tooth and gum diseases- the main cause of receding gums is periodontal disease- caused by bacteria that destroy the gum tissue surrounding the teeth.
  • Brushing and flossing flaws- aggressive and rough brushing cause gums to recede and enamel to decay. Inadequate brushing and lack of dental care leads to plaque build up in between teeth which can expose the tooth.
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy, puberty and menopause can have direct effect on the gums and cause it to recede.
  • Chewing tobacco products can easily give rise to gum disease which makes you vulnerable to gum recession.
  • Receding gums could also be genetic wherein the person is highly susceptible to gum disease. It could also show up with advancing age.
  • People who have misaligned or crooked teeth and wear pierced jewellery inside mouth.

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Risks associated with receding gums

Remember it’s a sign of dental disease and should not be neglected. If left untreated, the surrounding tissue and bone structures can get destroyed gradually, which ultimately leads to tooth decay and tooth loss.

When to see a dentist?

Many people do not know that their gums are receding. So watch your teeth carefully. If your teeth are becoming sensitive and they appear to be exposed more from the gum, then you need to see a dentist.

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Treatment of receding gums  

When the recession is mild or just at the initial stages, then it can be checked by deep cleaning of the teeth wherein plaque deposits are cleaned and the exposed root is smoothed.

Your dentist may also suggest a surgery if he considers that the tooth pockets are too deep and there’s severe loss of bone damage.

Three strategies are involved in gum recession surgery, viz.

  • Regenerating the lost bone tissue
  • Reducing the depth of the pockets
  • Soft tissue grafting to cover the exposed root

How to prevent receding gums

Make sure you fix an appointment with your dentist every six months to rule out any dental disorder. In general you can take the following precautions:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day, softly and smoothly in circular motion and not vertical. Floss once daily. Make sure your teeth are clean
  • Stop chewing tobacco products and smoking cigarettes
  • Observe your teeth and gums for any unnatural changes
  • Eat a diet rich in vitamin C
  • You can follow plenty of home remedies to maintain oral hygiene- rinse your mouth will clove oil and lemon water

You will be saved from a dental surgery if you get your teeth diagnosed early. The best option is to take care of your teeth and gums to prevent infections and gum diseases.

Written by: Saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: January 17, 2015