Gingival recession, or receding gums, is simply the progressive loss of gum tissue, starting at the gum line. Not all receding gums require professional intervention. However, if receding gums progress and are left untreated, they can eventually result in tooth root exposure. No one wants their tooth roots exposed, as this leads to extremely sensitive teeth and teeth that can even become unstable or loose.
Although gum recession is most common in adults over the age of 40, it can occur in children as well. Regardless of age, gum recession is most likely found on the bottom front teeth.
If you are an adult with receding gums, there are several reasons for your condition. Contributing factors range from from periodontal disease, tobacco use, insufficient oral hygiene and hormonal fluctuations to aggressive brushing, grinding and even your genes. While some of these may be lifestyle factors, your dentist is the one to handle your gum recessions by treating it at the source. Before you get to the point of needing gum graft surgery, your dentist can make sure you have healthy brushing habits and technique as well as evaluate you for signs of gum disease. Often changing your oral health habits can halt receding gums. If not, Group Health Dental has an exceptional periodontal staff that can reverse your gum recession with state-of-the-art treatment.
Although it is less common, children can start experiencing gum recession as early as 7 years of age. The most common culprit to gum recession in children is an irregularly located tooth. It is very important that you professional advice if you notice signs of gum recession on your child. Often times, your dentist may recommend just monitoring the condition until all of your child’s permanent teeth have erupted. Making sure your child is brushing and flossing twice daily as well as teaching them to brush gently plays a major role in preventing childhood gum recession.
Your routine dental checkup will most certainly include an examination for gum recession. However, if you notice that your teeth are becoming more sensitive or they start looking longer, this may indicate gum recession and your dentist needs to take a look. Healthy teeth and gums are essential to overall health at all stages of life. Periodontal conditions such as gum recession are not exclusive to older adults. Group Health Dental is happy to answer any of your questions or concerns when it comes to signs of gum recession.