Gum Recession: A Dentist’s Perspective

When it comes to maintaining a confident smile, the health of your gums is just as crucial as the health of your teeth. A common dental problem that we are often asked about is gum recession, which is when your gums start to separate from your teeth. This condition can be concerning, but understanding the causes and treatment options available can help you take proactive steps to address it.

In our latest blog we’re discussing gum recession and providing insights from a dentist’s point of view.

Want to discuss your dental needs? Get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

What is Gum Recession?

Put simply, gum recession occurs when the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth starts to pull away or wear down, exposing more of the tooth’s root.

This can lead to a host of problems if left untreated; it can compromise the stability and aesthetics of your smile, as well as impacting your overall oral health.

Common Causes of Gum Recession

  • Periodontal Disease: The leading cause of gum recession is periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. This bacterial infection can erode the gum tissue and underlying bone, leading to gum recession, loosening of the teeth and even tooth loss if left untreated.
  • Aggressive Brushing: Overly vigorous brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush or poor brushing technique can cause gum tissue to recede over time.
  • Genetics: Some individuals may be genetically prone to thin or fragile gum tissue, making them more susceptible to gum recession.
  • Smoking and Tobacco Use: Tobacco products can lead to a decrease in blood flow to the gums, which may contribute to gum recession.
  • Bruxism: Grinding or clenching your teeth can put excessive pressure on the gums and lead to recession.
  • Trauma: Physical trauma or injury to the gum tissue can cause it to recede.

Want to discuss your dental needs? Get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

Consequences of Gum Recession

Gum recession is concerning because it can have several unpleasant consequences including:

  • Tooth Sensitivity: Exposed tooth roots are much more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, causing discomfort for the patient.
  • Aesthetic Concerns: Gum recession can lead to an uneven gum line which can become an insecurity.
  • Tooth Decay: Exposed tooth roots are more susceptible to decay, increasing the risk of cavities.
  • Tooth Mobility: As the supporting gum and bone tissue recedes, teeth may become less stable.
  • Tooth Loss: In severe cases, untreated gum recession can result in tooth loss.

Treatment Options

The good news is, there are treatment options available to reduce gum recession:

  • Scaling and deep cleaning: This deep cleaning treatment can remove bacteria and tartar from the surfaces of the teeth and under the gums, helping to prevent further gum recession.
  • Orthodontic Treatment: Correcting misaligned teeth through orthodontics can help reduce gum recession by repositioning the teeth and improving the distribution of biting forces.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Dentists may recommend changes in oral hygiene practices, such as using a softer-bristle or electric toothbrush and gentler brushing techniques, as well as quitting smoking or addressing bruxism.

Closing thoughts

Gum recession is a common dental issue that shouldn’t be ignored. One of the best ways to avoid this is through regular dental check ups and maintaining good oral hygiene.

If you suspect you have gum recession or have any concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We are currently accepting new patients and would be delighted to welcome you to our Preston clinic.

Want to discuss your dental needs? Get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

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