Gum recession: should you be worried?March 10, 2020 9:36 am
Gum recession, more formally known as gingival recession, sounds more complicated than it really is. If you think you might be suffering or want to know more, read on for information and advice. Remember it’s always best to seek out a professional for a one-to-one consultation if you think you might have the condition.
- What are receding gums?
Gum tissue surrounds and supports your teeth, anchoring them in the bone sockets and helping protect them from harm. Gum recession affects the area of tissue just around the edge of your teeth – as it recedes back, more of the tooth (or even the tooth root) is exposed. Gums can recede because they have been worn away, or because something has happened to make them pull back.
- Should I be worried?
Receding gums mean that your teeth are more exposed to bacteria and to damage. This is because the action creates small pockets, where bacteria – found naturally in the mouth, and under normal circumstances kept carefully in check – can set up home. These bacteria can cause a lot of damage, particularly if the condition is left untreated, or if it has a bigger underlying cause.
- What causes it?
There are a few reasons that you might have receding gums. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common one. This simply means that bacteria have gathered on the surface of your teeth, and have formed a hard plaque that your teeth and gums really don’t like. Immune responses to the bacteria mean that gums and teeth over time are damaged, and gums pull back. Most often this condition is a result of a poor dental hygiene routine at home, which neglects to remove ‘bad’ bacteria from the mouth.
Sometimes gum recession can just be hereditary – if your parents suffered from receding gums, it’s unfortunately much more likely that you will too. Or, if your teeth are misaligned and you haven’t had orthodontic work to straighten them, you might also be a sufferer. Finally, receding gums can also be caused by over-enthusiastic toothbrushing. If you are scrubbing teeth too hard or using an overly-hard toothbrush, this will impact the gums. In this case you should switch to a soft toothbrush, and don’t brush to the point of being painful!
- How do know if I have receding gums?
You might not even notice it, because it’s a pretty slow process. Most people with receding gums find they have increased tooth sensitivity. Or, teeth might look a little ‘longer’ than they used to. Six-monthly dental check-ups at a surgery such as Drs. Nicolas & Asp are a vital part of spotting the signs of receding gums. This is especially important if you have a condition like gum disease that needs to be treated. If you’re a smoker, a little lazy in your daily dental routine, or if you are diabetic, then you are more likely to suffer from receding gums also.
- What do I do now?
The receded gums will need to be repaired by the best periodontist in Dubai. Depending on the severity of the damage, this can be done in a number of ways. Greater attention to daily brushing is the first step. If the recession is severe, you may need a special type of clean by your dentist, some form of medication, or a tissue graft or composite to cover the exposed areas. Desensitising treatment can also help with the greater sensitivity to hot and cold that comes with an exposed tooth surface. While these kinds of treatment aren’t necessary for most people, it’s important to seek out professional medical help. If you do have an underlying condition that’s left untreated, in the worst case scenario, you could even lose your teeth!
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