When the gums surrounding teeth in the mouth begin to recede, more of the teeth are visible and if not treated effectively, the root may even become exposed. Any gum recession increases the risk of infection, especially if the root is exposed and vulnerable.
About Gum Recession
Gum recession is often a primary symptom of periodontal disease, caused by the buildup of tartar and plaque in the mouth. This material contains bacteria that harden against the teeth and gums, becoming difficult to remove and causing infection to set in.
When gums recede due to periodontal disease, pockets between the gum and teeth form where additional bacteria accumulates. Because of this infection, the gums, tissue and even the bones can become infected and require deep cleaning or even surgery or tooth removal.
Note that one of the first sign that gums are beginning to recede is an increase in tooth sensitivity or a visible difference in the size of the teeth.
While periodontal disease is the primary cause of gum recession, other potential causes include a genetic tendency towards gum disease, poor dental care, hormonal changes, overly aggressive dental cleaning on a daily basis, body piercings in the mouth, grinding of the teeth and smoking. Tobacco users have increased levels of plaque in their mouth that is more difficult to remove.
Individuals who suspect that their gums might be receding should visit a dentist for a thorough examination and cleaning as soon as possible. If left untreated, the care of a prosthodontist may be necessary. A prosthodontist has additional education and experience on the treatment of periodontal disease, including whole mouth restoration and facial deformities caused by excessive periodontal disease.
Treatment may include a deep cleaning of the dental tissues, gums and teeth. This may include cutting open the gums to clean inside, and then stitching the gums in place to correct the dental pockets created by periodontal disease. In addition, teeth may need removal and replacement with dental implants.
Contact a qualified prosthodontist for more information.
Remember that daily oral care including brushing teeth twice a day and flossing will help prevent the onset of gum disease. In addition, regular dental cleaning and examination by a dentist can identify and treat periodontal disease before the disease progresses to the point of extreme treatment measures.