Gum recession: treatments, causes, and symptoms
Gum recession is an extremely common dental problem. There are a lot of potential culprits – the most common is inadequate tooth care – and it’s often an early sign of gum diseases like gingivitis or periodontitis. How can you spot gum recession? How is it treated? Take a closer look at gum recession with this article from CDH.
The inside skinny on gum recession
- Gum recession is when your gums gradually shrink away from the base of your teeth. That creates spaces where bacteria can build up. Gum recession contributes to tooth loss.
- Gum recession is an extremely common dental problem,
- It usually means you aren’t doing enough at-home tooth care,
- Gum recession is often an early sign of gum diseases like gingivitis or periodontitis,
- Gum recession is treatable. You will need to improve your tooth care and see a dental care professional for treatment.
- If it has progressed too far, you may need to see a periodontist for a gum graft or a regenerative treatment.
What is gum recession?
Gum recession is the loss of the gum tissue that covers the roots of your teeth. Losing that tissue creates gaps called gum pockets or periodontal pockets where bacteria can build up. That can cause your teeth to become loose or even fall out.
Gum recession is a common dental issue. While it is often a sign of poor tooth care, it can also be a warning sign of gum diseases like gingivitis or periodontitis.
What causes gum recession?
Gum recession is usually caused by bad habits like:
- inadequate tooth care,
- brushing horizontally,
- using a hard-bristled toothbrush
- using too much pressure when you brush,
- or by gum diseases like gingivitis or periodontitis.
Other risk factors include:
- tobacco and alcohol use,
- tooth placement,
- tongue or lip piercings.
What treatments are available for gum recession?
How is gum recession treated?
If you notice that your gums are receding, it’s key to improve your tooth care routine (brush 3 times a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and remember to floss!) and make an appointment with your hygienist or dentist as soon as possible.
Your dentist or hygienist will measure how far your gums have receded and treat any gum disease. Once your mouth is healthy, you may need more extensive treatment:
- a gum graft,
- periodontists also offer regenerative procedures.
How do you prevent gum recession?
Good tooth care is the key to preventing gum recession:
- brush 3 times a day for 3 minutes each time, using a soft-bristled toothbrush,
- floss daily – you can also add interdental brushing to your routine,
- see your dental hygienist one to two times a year,
- eat a balanced diet and avoid refined sugar and soda.
What causes tooth detachment?
There are a lot of potential causes of tooth detachment:
- inadequate tooth care, which allows dental plaque and tartar to build up,
- grinding your teeth while you sleep, known as bruxism,
- gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis,
- poorly aligned teeth which prevent you from brushing thoroughly,
- medical conditions like diabetes and HIV,
- vitamin C deficiency.