When your gums start to recede, your teeth start to get exposed at the root. This can lead to nerve pain when eating or drinking and rotting of your teeth from exposure. It can even cause your teeth to become loose or fall out. Preserving your teeth is the best way to deal with a receding gum line, since once your gums start to pull back, they cannot come back again. Learn the most common reasons your gums are receding, and what your dentist may do to help preserve your smile.
What causes gum loss?
Gums recede for a variety of reasons. The most common cause of gum tissue loss is gingivitis. Gingivitis is a bacterial infection in your gums that over time can cause them to become swollen and dark-colored. Your gums pull back from the root of your teeth to try to heal and keep infection at bay. Even when you get periodontal treatments to repair the damage, you are often left with a gum line that is precariously low.
If you brush your teeth hard or the wrong way, your gums become affected over time. Your dentist can help you learn the right way to brush your teeth so you can preserve your gum tissue.
Gum tissue is also affected by smoking or chewing tobacco. People who chew tobacco will often experience gum loss where they place their chew. Finally, age-related gum loss is an issue, especially in women after menopause. As women loose bone density due to osteoporosis (a common side effect of menopause) they may encounter gum recession as a result.
What can you do for your teeth?
Your dentist may suggest dental bonding to help preserve the root of your teeth if you are experiencing major gum loss. Dental bonding is a process where a tooth-colored material is fused to your teeth using special lighting to place a protective shield over the roots of your teeth. This process helps keep your teeth healthier and makes their root structure stronger.
Your dentist will also want to know exactly what caused your receding gums in the first place. They may suggest that you quit smoking or chewing tobacco, or take a calcium supplement if osteoporosis is a suspected cause. If you have gingivitis, this gum disease will need to be treated with several deep cleanings (periodontal cleanings) prior to having any dental bonding done.
For more information, contact Richard M Holmes DMD PA or a similar dental professional.