Gum recession is what happens when the gum tissue surrounding the teeth pulls away from the tooth, exposing more of the tooth and/or its root. In early stages, receding gumlines might be hard to notice. In fact, since it occurs gradually over time, you may not notice it as it typically does not initially present with pain. But as gum recession gets incrementally more severe, a quick glance at your smile may help you see where any recession may be present. Often, a tooth will appear longer when a gum recedes, and the gum area is higher than on other teeth. This recession at the gumline creates pockets, or gaps, between the teeth and the gums where bacteria can build up and damage the tooth. Often, as a gum recedes, a notch can be felt near the gumline of that particular tooth. If left untreated, the supporting tissue and bone structure of the tooth where the recession occurs can be significantly damaged and may eventually result in loss of that tooth.
You may be asking, “What causes gum recession?” There are a number of triggers for gum recession.
To start, periodontal disease, a bacterial gum infection, is the most likely culprit. The presence of harmful bacteria creates an unhealthy environment in which the gums are damaged and begin to pull back from the surface of your teeth.
As well, if you are not taking adequate care of your teeth by brushing and flossing regularly, you may be more susceptible to recession of the gumline. This is because the plaque that forms on your teeth can build up and turn into harmful tartar if not cleaned regularly. It is also essential that you visit our office twice per year for your regular hygiene visits so we can help you keep tartar build up under control.
Other factors include:
-Genetics: You may be surprised to hear that up to 30% of the population may be more genetically predisposed to gum disease, regardless of their oral hygiene.
-Hormones: As hormone levels fluctuate during different seasons of a woman’s life, her susceptibility to gum sensitivity and recession can increase.
-Teeth Grinding: If you are a tooth grinder, this action can put excessive strain on your teeth which can lead to recession.
-Misalignment: When teeth are misaligned, gum recession can occur as too much pressure is placed on certain areas of the gumline.
-Tobacco Use: This goes without saying, but the use of tobacco is harmful for your health and for the overall health of your teeth.
If you think you have gum disease at any stage, please do not ignore your symptoms. It is best to catch it at an early stage in order to prevent further damage to your oral health. Our dental team offers gum treatments to help ensure that you do not incur long term damage to your teeth and/or bone structure.
River Valley Smile Center is your family’s partner for long-term dental health and is here to help you and your family maintain optimal oral health for a lifetime. To schedule an appointment, call our friendly office staff at 479.646.0706 or, for your convenience, fill out an appointment request here: https://www.ident.ws/template_include/new_patient_sign_in.do?site=10348&practiceId=35766.