The real reasons that you may not even think of
When you have receding gums, it is often an indication that there is a problem. It reveals that your gums are not as healthy as they should be, and your oral health is declining. Healthy gums are necessary to help protect your teeth.
Symptoms of Receding Gums
Looking over your gums, there are some easy to spot symptoms that will help you know whether or not they are healthy. Some symptoms that reveal that your gums are in the early stages of gum disease include:
Bright Red Gums
Why You Should Stop Gum Decay
A receding gum line is often just the early steps to periodontitis. Unless it is treated and action is taken to stop it, it will gradually become worse. With the right conditions, it can quickly become serious.
Gum decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth that is out of control. Normally, the good bacteria, a healthy diet, and saliva keep it under control. As the bad bacterium multiplies, it produces an acid that starts to work on the gums and teeth. Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly can remove the plaque (the bad bacteria) that forms on your teeth.
Without the proper dental care, pockets will begin to form on your gums before long. This provides the perfect hiding place for the bacteria to grow colonies – and produce more acid. This is called periodontitis. As the pockets become larger, it starts to break down the structures that hold your teeth in place, and the bone, and your teeth start to become loose and will eventually fall out.
As your gums recede, it exposes the roots of your teeth. Prior to receding, the gums offered some protection for the roots, but as they recede, cavities can form on them and they become more sensitive.
Inflammation and Other Disease
Researchers now know that the inflammation caused by gum disease is behind many potentially serious health problems. It can lead to heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, a stroke, and many more.
Causes of Receding Gums
Before you can start to treat gum disease, you need to know what may be the cause of it. Some causes include:
Poor care of your teeth – A lack of regularly brushing your teeth and flossing will lead to gum disease.
Grinding your teeth – If you grind your teeth (bruxism), you have an increased chance of developing gum disease.
Brushing too hard – Brushing vigorously can wear away your gums, leading to gum recession. Using a toothbrush that has hard bristles can do the same thing.
A gum injury – Trauma to your teeth can also help promote gum disease.
Hormonal changes – Changes in the level of female hormones can help gums to be more likely to develop a disease of the gums.
Illnesses – Various diseases can lead to the faster growth of the bacteria that causes gum disease. This includes diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV/AIDS, and leukemia.
Genetics – It is possible that your genes may actually make you inclined to gum disease. WebMd says that as much as 30 percent of the population may be in this category, and how well you take care of your teeth may not prevent it.
Misaligned teeth – When your teeth are not aligned properly, it makes cleaning them more difficult. This often results in leaving food particles between your teeth – allowing bacteria to multiply and cause decay.
Poor nutrition – Vitamins and minerals are necessary for the strengthening of your teeth and gums. Eating or drinking a lot of sugary foods provides food for the bacteria that causes gum disease.
Obesity – Being overweight makes it harder to control gum disease.
Medications – Some medications will cause dry mouth, which encourages bacterial growth.
Drug abuse – Drug abuse generally promotes gum disease because the acids in them are strong, and those on drugs rarely take care of their teeth.
Types of Gum Treatment
If you have a mild case of gingivitis, you can probably get rid of it by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing. You will need to do it regularly to succeed.
If you already have pockets forming along the gum line, you will likely need to see a dentist for treatment. Periodontal treatment will be needed to stop it and repair the damage. Remedies include:
Non-surgical: medications, scaling and root planing.
Surgical: flap reduction surgery, soft tissue grafts, and bone grafting.
Preventing Receding Gums
The best way to prevent your gums from receding is to carry out a regular program of brushing for about two minutes at a time – twice a day, and flossing. This will usually eliminate the early stages of gum infection.
Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, is a Board-certified periodontist who regularly treats gum disease in all phases. This includes gum disease treatment, and treatment for receding gums. If you live in the Carrollton, TX or Grapevine, TX areas, you can call his office today at 214-731-0123 for a consultation.