Receding Gums Can Wreck Your Oral Health
Receding gums, as the name itself suggests, occurs when the gum tissue around your teeth wear away and the gums seem to recede backwards making a larger area of the surface of tooth more visible. If you do not contain receding gums, even the root of teeth may become exposed which can then cause pain making your teeth extremely sensitive. Not only this, due to the damage caused to the supporting tissue and bone structures of your teeth, you may eventually lose teeth.
Symptoms of Receding Gums
Although gum recession is a very general dental problem, most of the people suffering from it don’t seem to notice it happening because the process is very slow and it occurs gradually. The symptoms of receding gums are as follows:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Tooth appearing larger than usual
- Pain or tooth ache
Causes of Receding Gums
Receding gums often indicate some gum disease. However, there are many more other causes of receding gums as listed here:
- Gum diseases, specifically speaking periodontal diseases meaning bacterial infections that occur in your gums.
- Poor oral hygiene. If you do not brush or floss properly, you may end up building plaque on your teeth.
- Brushing teeth aggressively. Yes, this is contrary to the previous cause which says if you don’t brush properly, you may get receding gums. In fact, if you brush your teeth aggressively, then \ you may also get receding gums.
- Heredity is also a cause sometimes. If your genes are the cause of your receding gums, there is very little you can do to prevent it.
- Hormonal changes, especially in women, may also sometimes cause receding gums.
- Smoking not only causes various diseases including cancer and lung diseases but also receding gums.
- Misuse of teeth in the form of grinding and clenching teeth put pressure on the teeth which leads the gums to recede. Similar force when put on teeth, for example during taking bites while eating, may lead to receding gums. This happens when you have crooked teeth and when they do not come together evenly while eating.
- Piercing of your lips or tongue can also cause gum recession. This is because the jewelry that you wear after piercing may get rubbed against the gums.
How Is Gum Recession Treated?
Mild gum recession may be able to be treated by your dentist by deep cleaning the affected area. During the deep cleaning – also called tooth scaling and root planing – plaque and tartar that has built up on the teeth and root surfaces below the gum line is carefully removed and the exposed root area is smoothed to make it more difficult for bacteria to attach itself.
If your gum recession cannot be treated with deep cleaning because of excess loss of bone and pockets that are too deep, gum surgery may be required to repair the damage caused by gum recession.
What Type of Surgery Is Used to Treat Gum Recession?
The following surgical procedures are used to treat gum recession:
Pocket depth reduction: During this procedure, the dentist folds back the affected gum tissue, removes the harmful bacteria from the pockets, and then snugly secures the gum tissue in place over the tooth root, thus eliminating the pockets or reducing their size.
Regeneration: If the bone supporting your teeth has been destroyed as a result of gum recession, a procedure to regenerate lost bone and tissue may be recommended. As in pocket depth reduction, your dentist will fold back the gum tissue and remove the bacteria. A regenerative material, such as a membrane, graft tissue, or tissue-stimulating protein, will then be applied to encourage your body to naturally regenerate bone and tissue in that area. After the regenerative material is put in place, the gum tissue is secured over the root of the tooth or teeth.
Soft tissue graft: The dentist is able to graft gum from near the tooth or remove tissue from the roof of the mouth. This is called a pedicle graft.
Your dentist can determine the best type of procedure to use on you based on your individual needs.
How can Receding Gums Grow Back?
Gums are nothing else but soft tissues that cover the bones supporting your teeth so that they may remain in place. Proper dental hygiene, diet and certain home remedies like oil pulling can help your receding gums grow back.
Treating Receding Gums at Home
Certain home remedies that use simple kitchen ingredients and sometimes herbs and spices etc. can help treat and grow back your receding gums. Green tea, Aloe Vera gel and oils like sesame, coconut, eucalyptus and clove can all be effective for regenerating gum tissue.
Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene to Prevent Gum Recession
You should take proper care of your mouth to not only prevent gum recession but also to prevent any other kind of oral disease.
- Never brush aggressively.
- Whenever brushing, do it with gentle strokes and in circular motion.
- Never push your gums upwards while brushing. Brush them along your gum lines.
- Don’t use too large a toothbrush. A brush having a small head and soft bristle is ideal for your mouth.
- Don’t forget to floss as it is essential for removing plaque.
- The ideal condition is to brush and floss after every meal. If, however, it is not possible every time, at least rinse your mouth properly with water after meals.
- Schedule regular dental appointments. Your dentist and hygienist will be able to detect receding gums early and treat as needed.
Sources: WebMD, Colgate, RapidHomeRemedies.com