Why Receding Gums May Be Bad for Your Oral Health

Wednesday - 09.29.2021

Gums that recede are a common condition in adults. When you have receding gums, your teeth appear longer and tooth roots may be exposed. This can cause gum sensitivity – even tooth loss. Your dentist can treat receding gums and prevent the condition from becoming worse.  

 

What causes receding gums? 

Adults may develop receding gums due to years of rough tooth brushing. In some cases, receding gums are caused by periodontal disease (gum disease). Other causes include: 

  • Abnormal tooth positioning 
  • Unaligned teeth or an unaligned bite 
  • Grinding or clenching your teeth
  • Tobacco use 

What is periodontal disease? 

Plaque contains bacteria, and bacteria will irritate your gums. When plaque isn't removed from the teeth daily, it can build up and produce toxins. These toxins cause gum inflammation. If left untreated, this inflammatory process can destroy gum tissue. The gums will separate from the teeth and form pockets. The pockets then hold more bacteria, which makes the problem worse. 

Gum disease is usually detected during a dental check-up and can be treated by a dentist or dental hygienist.  


Are receding gums common?
 

Yes. Receding gums are often a sign of aging. Most adults over the age of 40 will develop receding gums.  


Are receding gums painful?
 

Receding gums usually aren't painful. Some people may experience tooth sensitivity. 


Do receding gums cause tooth loss?
 

If periodontal disease isn't treated, your teeth can eventually become loose. Periodontal disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in people over the age of 40. 


Can receding gums be fixed?
 

Receding gums can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene. You can prevent receding gums by using a soft-bristle toothbrush. Brush your teeth with mild-to-moderate pressure using small, circular motions – no rough, back-and-forth brushing. 

If your gums have receded, you may experience sensitivity due to exposed tooth roots. Your dentist may recommend a topical medication for home use. The medication can help reduce root sensitivity and protect root surfaces from decay. 

In some cases, a dentist can graft tissue to cover exposed root surfaces and protect sensitive gum tissue from receding further. This is called gum grafting.   

Gum grafting is a surgical procedure performed by a dentist or periodontist. During the procedure, the dental professional will cover exposed root surfaces with grafted oral tissue.  

Gum grafting restores gum health, reduces discomfort, and improves tooth appearance.   

With daily brushing and flossing and regular visits to your dentist, you can look forward to healthy gums and a bright smile in the years to come. 

Did you know...

Nearly half (46%) of all adults aged 30 years or older show signs of gum disease?

Request an Appointment Today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Advantage Dental Oral Health Center

This blog is designed to provide general information and discussions about health and dental-related subjects. No doctor/dentist to patient relationship is established by your use of this blog or website. We are not providing any treatment or diagnosis on this blog, and it is not intended to offer specific dental or medical advice to anyone. The information or other content provided in this blog is not a substitute for professional dental expertise or treatment. We will do our best to provide you with information that will help you make your own healthcare decisions, however no guarantees or warranties are made regarding any of the information contained within this blog. If you have questions about any of the information presented on this blog, you should consult with your dentist. The dentists at Advantage Denlta from DentaQuest are licensed to practice in the state of Oregon and this blog is not intended to solicit patients from other states. External links may be provided on this blog as a service and convenience to our patients and other visitors to our blog. These external sites are created and maintained by other public and private organizations, and we do not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance or timeliness of any outside information.