Receding Gums and Their Effect on Oral Health

Learn More About The Causes of Gum Recession and How to Prevent It

Gum recession, also known as receding gums or gingival recession, is an oral condition in which the tissue surrounding the teeth starts to wear down, pulling back from the gum line, causing pockets in the teeth. Your gums exist with the purpose of protecting sensitive areas of your teeth from exposure to bacteria build up. Receding gums could be due to a number of different reasons, but it is important not to leave them untreated. If you start to notice gum recession occurring, that’s a sign: it is time to schedule an appointment with your dental office.

Causes of Gum Recession

Receding gums may develop for a number of reasons, and there is usually no one reason why the issue is occurring. For most patients, gum recession is caused by a combination of poor dental hygiene and poor oral habits. However, in more severe cases, it could mean a patient may be suffering from more serious oral health issues, like periodontitis. Some of the most common reasons why patients develop gum recession include:

  • Periodontitis. The second and third tier of the stages of gum disease, periodontitis is often linked to the development of cardiovascular disease and other serious health conditions.
  • Crooked, misaligned teeth.
  • Tooth grinding and clenching, also known as bruxism.
  • Improperly or aggressively brushing or flossing your teeth.
  • Hormones or genetics.
  • Smoking tobacco or similar tobacco use.
  • Oral jewelry, such as tongue or lip rings.

Gum receding can be harmful to your oral health because it exposes one of the most vulnerable areas of your tooth: the root. When plaque and harmful bacteria accumulate in these areas, it can lead to the development of gum disease, aka gingivitis. Additionally, exposed roots can cause patients to experience uncomfortable sensitivity to hot or cold foods or drinks, as well as anything that is heavily acidic. This can cause you to have trouble enjoying your favorite foods, such as ice cream.

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Treating Gum Recession

Fortunately, there are a number of treatment options available to help patients who are suffering from receding gums. First things first, you will need to schedule a consultation with your dentist so you can discuss the issues you are experiencing. Once they do a thorough examination, they will be able to better understand how to best treat your receding gums.

Ultimately, the best form of treatment will be heavily weighed on how serious your gum recession is and whether or not it has caused other oral health concerns that need to be addressed. In most cases, Dr. Beaufils will recommend one of the following treatment options to patients struggling to treat and further prevent gum recession.

Deep Cleaning

A deep dental cleaning, usually called a scaling and root planning, is far more involved than a traditional tooth cleaning procedure. Unlike your yearly cleanings, a dental scaling is only performed when your dentist thinks you may be showing signs of developing gum disease or to treat a condition such as gum recession. The procedure helps to remove any built-up tartar or unwanted bacteria from the area where the recession is occurring.

Gum Grafting

Unfortunately, even if you undergo a cleaning to eliminate the harmful debris in your mouth, you may still struggle with sensitivity due to the exposed roots. A gum grafting surgery can be performed to take healthy skin tissue from another area of the mouth, typically the palate, and surgical applied to the area where the gums receded. They will act as the new gum tissue, fitting around your teeth to protect them from further damage and decay.

Regeneration

In extreme cases of gum recession, patients may have some form of bone loss or resorption that may affect the ability to receive a gum graft or other treatment. Thankfully, an advanced treatment option exists to help patients regenerate lost bone and tissue in certain areas of the mouth. This procedure has proven especially beneficial for patients who have suffered from severe gum recession.

Prevent Receding Gums From Developing

Receding gums can often develop slowly over the course of years, which means you may not always catch it before it starts to seriously influence your oral health. This is why it is so important to regularly brush your teeth and keep up with annual checkups at your local dentist.

At Beaufils Dental, we are dedicated to providing patients of all ages with complete health dentistry services, so we can work to prevent receding gums from occurring in the first place! Contact us today at 954-252-1390 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Beaufils.

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