The exposure of the root of a tooth due to the loss of gum tissue is known as gingival recession or receding gums. A common problem in the adults over 40 years old, this occurs due to the retraction of gingival margin form the crown of the teeth. Though the problem is associated with people over 40 years of age, the signs of the condition may show as early as 10 years of age.
The issue of receding gums can be extremely painful for the patient, however, the problem can be treated both at home and by a dentist. There are several cures available for the issue, and thus, with the right habits and the right treatment, one can tackle this problem.
- Gum disease: Periodontal disease or gum disease is regarded as the most common cause of gingival recession. Gum disease affects the tissue around the tooth and eventually leads to the loss of gums and alveolar bone.
- Aggressive Brushing: Aggressively brushing your teeth can cause wearing of your tooth over the years. Therefore, use only the brushes that are labeled as soft.
- Genetics: The problem of gum recession can be hereditary as you may inherit fragile or thin gums from either of your parents. If anyone of your parents has had gum recession, chances are that you may have it too.
- Abnormal tooth alignment: Abnormal positioning of the tooth and bite disorders can later lead to wearing of the tooth. This could eventually result in gingival recession.
- Scurvy: The lack of Vitamin C in the body inhibits the proper growth of the gum tissue. This may result in gum recession later in life.
- Poor Oral Hygiene: Maintaining poor oral hygiene like not brushing teeth on time or not flossing them may lead to the formation of plaque over them. This could lead to a gum recession later in life. Apart from this, self-inflicted trauma like digging things into your gums could also result in their recession.
The condition of gingival recession happens over a period of time and thus, its symptoms are hard to notice. One of the major reasons it affects the people over 40 years of age is that it takes a lot of years to fully develop. Some of the common symptoms include:
- Hypersensitivity of the dentin
- Tooth mobility
- Teeth longer than usual
- Change in the color of the tooth
- Exposure of the tooth’s roots
The treatment of the gingival recession is based on its causes. If recognized early on and due to poor oral health, it is advised to brush gently and floss more often. This doesn’t stop the gum recession but further prevents it. Apart from that, dental cleaning performed by the dentist also helps in preventing a further gingival recession.
If the gum recession is very severe, a surgical procedure like gingival drafting may be required in order to treat the recession. This process requires the regeneration of gum tissue by use of grafts. Another soft tissue surgery may also be used if the condition isn’t severe.