Dental Tips Blog

Mar
12

What are Receding Gums?

Posted in Gum Disease

If you, or a family member, have been told your gums were receding, you may have wondered what they really meant.  Receding gums, also known as gum recession, is actually what happens when your gum line begins to wear away.

This wearing away of the gum line and surrounding tissue then exposes the root of the tooth.  Someone with gum line recession may notice increase hot or cold sensitivity when eating or drinking, or may notice gaps in their tooth line.  A receding gum line can also be a common sign of gum disease or periodontal disease.

The problem with gum line recession is not only root exposure and tooth sensitivity, but also the increased susceptibility for plaque and other bacteria to build up.  When the gum line wears away, there is additional space for this bacteria to accumulate, making the progression of tooth decay and gum disease even faster.  If receding gums are not treated, eventually the tissue holding the tooth in place, and the bone the tooth is attached to, will be damaged.  This damage can be severe enough to cause tooth loss, bone loss, and change in mouth shape.

Even though this sounds incredibly scary, receding gums are actually very common.  If you feel a notch around your tooth, or if your tooth looks ‘longer’ than normal, you may have some gum line recession occurring.  If you have noticed these symptoms, you should make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible.  There are a variety of options for treating receding gums including gum recontouring and gum grafts.  While waiting to see your dentist, continue to brush twice a day and floss once a day.  Gum disease is treatable when caught early enough, and treating gum disease will help you keep your natural smile the rest of your life!

Posted on the behalf of Prime Dental Care

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