Guest Blog: Gum Recession - Available Treatments to Fix It

Sunday 8 March 2020

Receding gums is not a topic people usually like speaking about, but it’s one that more people should probably discuss with their dentists. While very few people are talking about gum recession, there’s a good chance a lot more are experiencing it.

1. Introduction to Receding Gums

Gum recession, also known as gingival recession, is a condition where the sensitive gum tissue around the tooth line begins to erode, moving further away from the teeth, creating pockets or gaps between the teeth and gum line, which can harbour damaging bacteria. Over time, this leads to a sensitive, uneven smile.

Gum recession starts gradually and is often unnoticeable until significant damage has already occurred. What starts out as a mildly sensitive gum line can quickly evolve into an infection. If you suspect your gums are receding, visit your dentist as soon as possible.

2. Symptoms of Receding Gums

There are plenty of ways to spot gum recession, simply through your normal oral care routine - many of them obvious.

For example, if you’ve noticed any bleeding or excess sensitivity after brushing or flossing, or even experienced swollen and inflamed gums, there’s a good chance you’re experiencing signs of gum recession due to increased exposure of your teeth roots.

There are also some less-obvious signs of gum recession you should consider, like loose teeth and even noticeably bad breath. Although there are countless causes for these symptoms, either could be the result of gum tissue erosion.

3. Causes of Gum Recession

Gum recession can arise as the result of poor oral hygiene habits (which are easily prevented) or a symptom of larger periodontal problems, like bacterial infections, excessive grinding of the teeth, or even shifts in hormone production.

Though these situations aren’t as common, they are serious and need to be addressed with your dentist as soon as possible.

It’s more likely that gum recession is the result of your own oral hygiene and personal habits. Things like poor diet, tobacco use, or excessive time between dental cleanings can all contribute to gum recession, even if your at-home dental hygiene is impeccable.

4. Treatment for Gum Recession

The best course of action is to visit a dental professional to ensure your gum recession isn’t the result of something more serious. When you visit a private dentist, you’ll get a thorough cleaning and assessment of your oral health, along with a detailed list of things to do to prevent further damage.

(a) Deep Scaling

Should your dentist notice an infection, he may decide to perform a deep cleaning procedure (also known as teeth scaling), which thoroughly removes any plaque and bacteria from the affected area. This also reduces the amount of surface area for bacteria to infect, lowering the chances of further damage.

(b) Root Planning

If the recession is allowed to progress too long, more advanced gum surgery might be the only remaining option. Once this determination is made, your dentist will opt for one of several procedures. Less-severe cases might be repaired by root planning, the surgical cleaning, and repositioning of affected gum tissue to remove exposed areas.

(c) Soft tissue grafting

More severe cases might need full tissue grafts, usually taken from the roof of the mouth and transplanted to the affected gum area. Once in place, the tissue begins to heal as normal gum tissue.

5. Tips on How to Prevent Gum Damage

Always watch for changes that happen in your mouth. Any pain, discomfort, or other differences can indicate potential gum concerns. Immediate changes to your current oral hygiene habits will go a long way toward preventing any further gum recession damage.

Assess how you brush and floss. If your teeth and the gum line are sensitive after your daily routine, you’re probably brushing and flossing too aggressively. Instead of “scrubbing” your teeth, allow the brush to do its job without adding any muscle or speed.

Also, consider your personal habits. If you currently smoke, quitting can go a long way toward preventing further gum damage. And moving to a well-balanced diet is always a good idea to improve overall health.

Finally, take note of the brush you’re using. If you’re experiencing gum recession, strongly consider moving to softer bristles or replacing your toothbrush more often.

Disclaimer: This article is contributed by a Guest Blogger. Ping of Health does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurances as to the content appearing in this article. Ping of Health disclaims all responsibility for any losses, damage or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.