Gum recession is the common cause of gum disease and tooth loss as it increases tooth sensitivity. Sensitive teeth cause inconvenience and are a great threat to your oral health. There are many ways to identify that your gums are receding.
When gums recede, more of the area is visible. Look for lines or notches along the bottom of the teeth to determine where the gums have retreated.
What are receding gums?
Gum recession is the deterioration of gum tissue surrounding teeth that exposes more of the area or the root. Gum recession occurs most often in adults over age 40 who do not practice excellent oral care habits, such as brushing and flossing daily. However, gum recession can also be an early indication of mouth cancer in certain patients with larger than average recession areas. GVSHP is currently conducting a study on this topic here.
How does gum recession affect the gum tissue and teeth?
Gum recession can lead to:
-Stains and discoloration due to increased contact between the tooth and food and beverages. Plus, it’s easier for plaque and debris to accumulate on the teeth. And because the root becomes more exposed, tartar (calculus) can build up there as well.
All this can eventually lead to bad breath, cavities, periodontitis, loss of bone around the roots, sensitivity, or even pain when eating hot or cold foods or drinking acidic liquids like fruit juices or sodas.
Gum recession also makes it easier for harmful bacteria under your gum line to enter your bloodstream by clinging to teeth and gums. This can contribute to low-grade infection, interfering with how your body uses iron and causing osteoporosis, fatigue, and poor immune function.
Receding gums also make it easier for bacteria under your gum line to enter your bloodstream by clinging and gums. This can lead to -Low-grade infection and interference with how the body uses iron, causing: -Osteoporosis (bone loss) -Fatigue -Poor immune function.
How can you identify if Your Gums Are Receding or you have gum disease?
Most of us are enlightened about how important our mouth is. Your mouth is the entrance to your body, so you must practice good oral hygiene. And if your gums are receding, you need to take extra care to maintain your oral hygiene routine because that can also bring on diseases.
There are two methods or factors of identifying if your gums are receding: by looking at the lines or notches along the bottom of your teeth or by looking for any change in coloration on the gum line between the tooth surface and the gum.
The first way requires you to look for lines or notches along the bottom of your teeth. Your teeth should be uniform in height, but if there’s a height difference, these lines or notches are indications that your gums have receded.
The second way is to look for changes in coloration on the gum line between the tooth surface and the gum. This means a change of color of more than 50% or a lack of pinkness along the gum line. For instance, if you’ve been wearing braces for quite some time now, too much force from your wire may cause your gums to recede. Those who grind their mouth at night can also have a risk of gum recession, as well as those who smoke.
Other reasons include over brushing, which usually removes the protective layer of enamel; poor nutrition results in insufficient intake of vitamin C, folic acid, and proteins which can lead to gingivitis; allergies that cause your gums to swell up and recede.
However, mild gum recession is not a problem, but you should be careful if it becomes an “aggressive” type because the result may be tooth exposure. It causes pain for those who experience the same, especially during cold days or when eating anything that involves intense chewing, like carrots or apples.
Complications of receding gums:
The complication of receding gums is that bacteria may accumulate between the teeth and gums, which can cause gum disease. Brushing your teeth afterward can help prevent the buildup of bacteria.
Another complication is that when your gums recede, more of your tooth is exposed, making cavities more likely to form.
Finally, receding gums make it difficult to clean the affected area around your teeth with an interdental brush or floss.
Early detection is important because serious health problems are associated with more advanced cases of gum disease, including heart disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Gum disease has also been linked to premature birth in pregnant women.
Causes of Gum Recession:
There are many causes of gum recession. The list below shows some of the general causes for this condition:
• Genetics – Some people are predisposed to gum recession, and it runs in families.
• Poor dental hygiene – Brushing and flossing daily can protect against gum recession.
• Diseases – Acute or chronic illnesses such as anemia or diabetes can cause gum recession.
• Age – As we get older, our gums often recede naturally, and we need to brush and floss more often.
• Toothbrush bristle pressure – Using heavy pressure on your toothbrush can further damage the gum tissue and cause a recession.
• Orthodontic correction – Retainers or braces that are used to close spaces between teeth place excess stress on the gums, and they may recede in response.
• Inadequate closure of the gingival tissues – If your gums don’t naturally close around your teeth as tightly as they should, they may cause more stress on the gums and lead to recession.
Symptoms of receding gums
Receding gums can cause signs such as:
-a pink or white line that is smooth and even (if the line is bumpy, it may be due to trauma)
-gum recession below teeth
-white spots on the tooth ridge where previously there was only gum tissue
-a visible gap between the tooth and gum
-sensitive teeth which are prone to cavities
There are several ways you can prevent your gums from receding, including:
-brushing two times a day with fluoride toothpaste
-flossing at least once per day, or ask your dentist for floss threaders
-gargling with mouthwash every day
-using a soft-bristled toothbrush or avoid using a hard-bristled toothbrush
-eating healthy food like fresh fruit and vegetables, avoiding sugary snacks
How to Tell if You Have Gum Recession?
When gums recede, they expose more of the tooth. This can cause discoloration and sensitivity. Fortunately, there are several warning signs that you can look for to determine if your gums are receding:
Lines or notches running along the bottom: Gum recession exposes more of the tooth and makes it more likely that you will see lines or notches along the bottom of the teeth.
Notches at the back of your teeth: If your teeth have small roots on their sides, then gum recession may cause a notch to form in between them.
Discoloration: Gum recession can expose more of the tooth and make it susceptible to stains and discoloration.
Pain or sensitivity: Gum recession may cause the teeth to become more sensitive to pain on hot, cold, sweet, or sour foods.
Unstable teeth: Gum recession can make the teeth less stable and more likely to break.
Children: Generally, gum recession is not something that affects children.
If you notice any of these warning signs in your mouth, please see your dentist discuss the problem and what steps to improve it.
It is important to keep your gums healthy and maintain the level of gum coverage. It can be done by practicing good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing daily. If you notice that your teeth are becoming more visible than usual or if they have become sensitive because of receding gums, we recommend calling at a consultation with one of our dentists for a healthy smile!