While we all want a beautiful smile, regular dental hygiene goes far beyond regular cleanings. Quality dental care is as much about healthy gums as it is about healthy teeth and most people tend to neglect their gums until they become a problem. A typical problem that people face is receding gums. This can impact your smile and can also be a warning sign for more serious health concerns. In this article, we will identify the causes, symptoms, and dangers of receding gums and outline ways receding gums can be treated.
Receding Gums Have Many Causes
When we hear the term “receding gums” we naturally think of gums pulling away from the teeth. But if you are experiencing soreness, your healthy gums may already be at risk. Disease, genetics and poor dental care are the most common causes of receding gums. Your treatment plan will be adjusted according to the specific cause of your receding gums.
Symptoms of Receding Gums
It’s important to be aware of possible symptoms because the problem is easier to treat when it is diagnosed early. There are many signs of receding gums, including sore gums, consistent bad breath, bleeding gums, and loose teeth. In more extreme cases you may see pus around the teeth and gums, or see evidence of gums moving away from teeth. In all of these cases, it is evident your gums are at risk and you should contact your dentist.
Receding Gums Can Mean Gum Disease
Receding gums can affect more than just your smile. In fact, receding gums may be a sign that you have gum disease, which can be directly linked to diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and other disorders. Because of these health ramifications, if you have receding gums, it is important that you see your dentist immediately to talk about treatment options.
You May Be Brushing Or Flossing Too Hard
The cause for receding gums, however, may not be as severe as gum disease. In fact, it could be something as simple as brushing or flossing too hard. Remember, healthy gums require gentle care. Your dentist can recommend safe brushing and flossing methods that will ultimately help prevent your gums from receding.
Proper Gum Care is Key
Just as brushing and flossing too hard can cause receding gums, a lack of care altogether can be equally as damaging to your gums. Inadequate brushing and flossing can lead to plaque and tartar build on your teeth, which may cause your gums to recede. The balance for proper gum care is to brush and floss frequently, but not too aggressively.
You May Be Predisposed to Receding Gums
Unfortunately, some people are genetically predisposed to receding gums and gum disease. It is very important for all patients to review their family history and see if receding gums and/or gum disease is present in other family members. If so, you need to inform your dentist immediately so you can begin steps to fight against receding gums.
Environmental Causes of Receding Gums
Environmental factors like smoking, teeth grinding, piercings and mouth jewelry can all lead to receding gums. Smoking in particular is one of the leading environmental factors in causing receding gums. In some cases, patients should considering adjusting their behavior to help decrease the likelihood of receding gums and other dental complications.
Treating Receding Gums
As discussed, several leading factors of receding gums can be changed through new behaviors. These include brushing and flossing regularly, but not too hard, and stopping or decreasing environmental behaviors like smoking and teeth grinding.
If a change in behavior is no longer an option, you may want to consider a few dental procedures to help treat receding gums:
- Root Planing and Open Flap Scaling – a procedure in which the dentist folds back the affected gum tissue to treat the disease.
- Regeneration – a regenerative material like graft tissue, or tissue-stimulating protein is applied to your gums to help naturally regenerate your gums.
Getting the Best Care
Proper dental care is necessary for treating receding gums. Do not wait until you begin to see your gums receding. It’s important to be proactive by telling your dentist about any concerns you may have over receding gums and gum disease. Ideal Dental Solutions will help you diagnose the cause of your receding gums, and identify the best treatment plan possible.