The receding gums, also known as gingivae, consist of soft pink tissue lining the inside of your mouth that connects to your lower teeth. There is generally one gum cavity for each pair of teeth. However, sometimes there are two or more gum cavities for each tooth. Receding gums can be a very painful and unpleasant condition, but most people don’t realize that their gums are receding before a serious case has developed.
The term “receding gum” refers to a loss of tissue along the gum line. The longer this happens, the harder it will be for the patient to chew their food properly, which can lead to serious tooth decay. There are a variety of conditions that can cause the roots of the gums to break off from the teeth or jaws. Receding gums, however, is most commonly caused by aging, poor oral health practices, and even dental procedures and treatments.
Other causes of receding gums include periodontal disease, gingival recession, and poor oral hygiene. All three conditions involve pockets of plaque or tartar that form at the bottom and top of the teeth, and sometimes lie beneath the surface of the gum line. The reason these pockets develop is because they trap food particles and debris, and then trap the bacteria and moisture that cause the formation of cavities. Plaque and tartar build up is what causes the gums to recede.
Treatment for periodontal disease and gingival recession involves removing the plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums. This is done by scaling, suction, scaling, flossing, and brushing. Flossing and brushing floss in a circular motion around the teeth will remove the plaque that may have remained on the teeth and gums for years. Surgery may be necessary if the plaque cannot be removed through these methods.
Periodontal disease, which is also known as gingivitis, is caused by plaque buildup in the gums and also the teeth and underlying bone. Gum tissue eventually breaks down and enlarges, which allows tartar to form. This causes the gums to recede, leaving small gaps between them. This is what causes the teeth to move toward the open space, when the person smiles or laughs. These gaps can narrow over time, and when this happens the smile becomes less appealing and more unattractive.
Gum disease is caused by many risk factors, such as diet, genetics, tobacco products, age and health. Women are more likely than men to develop gingivitis, but men are not immune. Women who smoke and use tobacco products are more at risk for receding gums. Gum disease can be genetic, meaning that families that have a history of it tend to have a higher risk factor. People who have diabetes and AIDS are at greater risk for the disease.
People who have frequent symptoms of receding gums should see their dentist regularly. If your dentist suspects that you have gum disease he can perform a number of tests, including tissue samples and x-rays. The dentist may even prescribe antibiotics to help prevent gum disease. If you smoke or use tobacco products, these may help to prevent the symptoms from worsening.
Although there is no cure for receding gums, treatment can be done to stop the condition from worsening. You need to make sure that you take good care of your teeth and gums. Be careful about what you bite into or apply to your teeth, especially anything that contains sugar or sticky substances. Also brush your teeth regularly and visit your dentist regularly. Early treatment is often the best option for relieving gum recession.