Various potential issues can affect your oral health, including receding gums. Receding gums occur if your gums start to pull away from your tooth’s surface. This can expose the teeth’s roots and can even cause tooth loss. About 75% of adults have a periodontal disease of some sort, which can include receding gums.
You have better chances of successful treatment if you treat receding gums early, so it is important to be aware of the warning signs. Of course, Dr. Sharma can look at your mouth and let you know if there are any concerns about receding gums. It is still better, however, to be familiar with some warning signs yourself. This way, you can make an appointment if you notice issues.
What Causes Receding Gums?
Receding gums and other periodontal diseases occur because of advanced gingivitis. Bacteria and plaque start building up in and on the teeth and gums. Eventually, this damages the gums, so they fall back. This is an invitation to more plaque and bacteria. In addition to plaque and bacteria, some of the other potential causes of receding gums include HIV, diabetes, hormonal changes (for women), a family history, smoking, and aggressive brushing.
Symptoms of Receding Gums
Some of the symptoms associated with receding gums include:
- Bad breath
- Red and swollen gums
- Bleeding after flossing or brushing
- Pain by the gum line
- Exposed tooth roots
- Shrinking gums
- Loose teeth
Good News: Receding Gums Occur Gradually
The good news is that your receding gums will occur gradually. This means that if you make it a point to visit your dentist at regular intervals, they are very likely to catch it early. They may make less-invasive suggestions, such as confirming you follow a regular flossing routine, early on to help prevent the need for more invasive treatments in the future.
Diagnosis of Receding Gums
If you notice any of the above warning signs, you should mention them at your next appointment with Dr. Sharma. Your dentist does a physical examination to check for receding gums. The most common method is using a probe to check the size of the pocket between the gum and teeth. If it is larger than 3 millimeters, this is an indication of gum disease.
What Treatment to Expect
If your dentist determines your gums are receding, there are a few treatment options. The first step will be to try to get to the cause of the problem. This may mean treating an infection with antibiotics.
In the case of early warning signs, like bleeding gums, don’t stop flossing. Instead, continue doing so but keep the flossing gentle. The bleeding should stop within one or two weeks. If it lasts longer, make a dentist appointment.
In the case of severe receding gums, your dentist may suggest grafting or flap surgery. Grafting aims to revive the bones or gum tissue by placing a piece of tissue in the area. Flap surgery involves lifting the gums, deep cleaning the area, and putting the flaps back into place.
If you have concerns about your gums, you can contact our dentist in Chicago today!