How to stop your gums receding

3rd October 2015 by

The issue of gums receding is extremely common, especially (but certainly not limited to) people over the age of forty. Since Bow Lane has  a periodontist (gum specialist) on our permanent team to give patients the best care possible in one place, this article will explain what causes receding gums and what you can do to both prevent as well as treat the condition.

Red flags for receding gums

When your gums are receding they pull back from the surface of your teeth, exposing the root surfaces and opening the door for the proliferation of bacteria and plaque.

While receding gums will obviously make your teeth appear noticeably longer once advanced, the problem is this happens slowly over time so many people don’t become aware of it until there has been significant (and mostly irreversible) damage.

Here are the common symptoms of receding gums and periodontal problems in general:

  • Bleeding after brushing or flossing
  • Red, swollen gums
  • Bad breath
  • Pain at the gum line
  • Sensitivity caused by exposed teeth roots

The final stage of receding gums is loose teeth, because the damaged gums simply cannot hold them in place.

Causes of receding gums

There are a number of reasons why your gums could be receding:

  • Gum disease (known as gingivitis) caused by poor dental hygiene
  • Hardened plaque build-up (known as tartar)
  • Family history of periodontal weaknesses and disease
  • Brushing too aggressively over a lengthy period
  • Clenching or grinding your teeth
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Certain medicines that cause a dry mouth (with inadequate saliva the tissues in your mouth become vulnerable to bacterial infections)
How to stop receding gums

If you suspect your gums are receding, or in fact if anything about your oral health seems not as it should be, your first port of call is to book in with the dentist – please don’t put it off because the problem will only get worse and require more drastic measures.

Dentists are fully trained to recognise gum problems. For example, if you have ‘gum pockets’ measuring more than 3 millimetres it is a sure sign of gum disease.

Receding gums treatment for mild cases can be effectively treated by your dentist and hygienist i.e. you will be prescribed a course of deep cleaning (also known as tooth scaling and root planning) to get rid of plaque and tartar build-up below the gum line so your gums can heal.

If the condition is more advanced, you will need to see a periodontist (gum specialist) to tackle the problem more aggressively. Our periodontist can regrow gums using grafts and other regeneration techniques.

Conclusion

Receding gums respond well to treatment IF you catch the condition in the early stages. The reason why it’s so important to have a dental check-up at least every 6 months as well as regular hygienist cleans is these are the best prevention methods against gums receding – your dentist will be able to spot the condition and prescribe treatment to nip it in the bud before it gets worse. With our in-house periodontist at hand, we will come up with the best strategies to suit your individual needs.

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