Receding gums (also called gum recession) occurs when the tissue of your gums moves up the surface of the teeth and exposes the roots, making them more susceptible to cavities and sensitivity. Receding gums is a fairly common condition and becomes more common with age. Luckily, there are a number of ways to treat and prevent gum recession to help you keep your smile healthy.
Despite the common misconception, receding gums are not always a result of poor oral hygiene. Whilst this can be a contributing factor in many cases, there are a few other causes of receding gums, including;
Regardless of the cause behind receding gums, the earlier it is identified and treated, the less unpleasant symptoms and further dental issues you will experience.
The most obvious sign of receding gums is the exposure of the roots of your tooth, but there are some other symptoms you might experience, including:
If you experience any of the above symptoms, it's important to visit your dentist to see if you have receding gums, as leaving this untreated can lead to a variety of other serious dental issues, including;
Your dentist can diagnose receding gums or periodontal disease by measuring the amount of recession on each tooth, as well as look for bone loss in periodontal pockets around each tooth.
Receding gums are not necessarily 'curable', however there are a variety of treatments designed to give you greater comfort and quality of life living with receding gums. Some common treatments include:
Antimicrobials applied topically directly under the gums - this is often done alongside a deep clean under local anaesthesia to kill bacteria and treat diseased tissue
Dental Bonding - your dentist may be able to camouflage the recessed area with composite resin filling material to cover the exposed tooth root, protecting it.
Orthodontics - In some cases, misaligned teeth can be the cause of gum recession. Orthodontic treatments such as braces or clear aligners can help correct the problem. Over time the space in the gums may fix itself.
Gum Graft Surgery - performed by a periodontist, grafts taken from skin inside the mouth is attached to replace the missing tissue. This surgery is minimally invasive and can heal in around 2 weeks.
Your gums do not grow back once they have receded - This means that when it comes to gum health, preventative measures are the best treatment. Some of the best ways to reduce your risk of receding gums include:
Concerned about your smile or teeth? Book an appointment here to find a dentist near you.