At Today's Dentistry, we focus on the health of our patients' gums just as much as we do on their teeth. We understand the critical nature of the gums and the role they play in keeping teeth healthy, strong, and intact. Through regular dental care, we can work to prevent gum disease. In certain situations, regular dental care is all a patient needs. However, if you do notice that your gums begin to recede, call (408) 978-6601 and schedule an appointment with our San Jose, CA dental office. Since gum recession can lead to further health challenges, it is important to address the issue right away.
Why are gums receding from my teeth?
There can be several reasons for this, and some of them may have to do with lifestyle. For example, it is important to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day. However, if you use a hard toothbrush or brush too aggressively, you can actually irritate your gums and cause them to recede. This is why we recommend that you use a soft or electronic toothbrush whenever possible. You want to make sure you are gentle when brushing near your gums, regardless of what you are using.
Your gums can also recede due to gum disease. This is actually the most common reason for the condition. At Today's Dentistry, we find that gum disease can impact patients of all ages, and when it does, it is critical that you come in for a dental cleaning and treatment. Otherwise, you can begin to see the gums recede or pull away from the teeth. The cause is plaque that becomes trapped between the teeth and gums. Since you cannot clean this area, it remains in place, turns into tartar, and irritates your gums. The irritation will get to the point that the gums swell, bleed, become irritated, and eventually recede.
Genetics can also give you receding gums, so if your parents had this problem, you may as well.
If your teeth are crooked and your bite is out of alignment, additional strain could be placed on some of your teeth. As a result of abnormal wear patterns, your gums could begin to suffer and eventually recede.
Why are my gums receding only on one side?
If your gums are only receding on one side, it could be simply because plaque just happens to have built up in this area of the mouth. Plaque does not discriminate, but there is a chance that you could have brushed or flossed better on one side of your mouth, or it could be a simple fluke that plaque became trapped in one area but not the other. Another plausible solution is that this mirrors general wear patterns. If your teeth are crooked and your bite is off, your gum health will also be impacted disproportionally.
Why are my gums receding on one tooth only?
While this could be related to the other causes listed above, it is most likely to do some type of dental trauma. Perhaps this particular area of the mouth was cut or suffered a severe abrasion. Whether the injury was caused by eating something sharp, your nail scratched it, or an outside force cut you, gums can sometimes have difficultly healing and may recede as a result of that injury.
Should I worry about receding gums? Are they really a sign of trouble?
Yes, you should. At Today's Dentistry, we encourage all our patients to pay attention to their gum health. We encourage them to call us right away if they see their gums bleeding, swelling or receding. We want to examine the patient as soon as possible in order to determine if gum disease is present and treat it. You are best served by receiving immediate care since we can treat the problem using less invasive methods. For example, you may only need a deep cleaning if you come in right away or perhaps you will need an antibiotic treatment as well, but by coming in early, you give your gums the best chance for restoration without the need for a gum graft. Otherwise, if you delay, they could recede to the point that the health of your teeth, your jawbone, and your entire smile are at risk. After all, the majority of people who lose an adult tooth also had gum disease at the time. Preventing and treating it is truly one of the best things you can do for your oral health.
How do you prevent gum recession?
The best way to prevent gum recession is to visit our dental office for a teeth cleaning twice per year. We can remove the plaque and tartar that has built up over time in order to give your teeth a fresh clean feel while also reducing the likelihood that plaque or tartar will build up. Additionally, you can begin to use a soft toothbrush and monitor how aggressively you brush your teeth.
Is there a way to treat the condition?
Yes, if you are suffering gum recession due to gum disease, we must remove the disease. Generally, this requires us to perform a deep cleaning procedure in order to remove the plaque and tartar from the area in between the teeth and the gums. Once done, your gums can begin to heal and rejuvenate. There are also some laser procedures that we can use to help stimulate the gum tissue so it can begin to grow again. Otherwise, if the recession is really bad, you will need a gum graft to restore the tissue around the teeth as a protective measure.
What are the risks of not treating it?
Very simply, you could lose your teeth. Gum recession is typically caused by gum disease. The idea of not treating it is an incredibly risky option because it means that in addition to experiencing uncomfortable teeth and gums, you are also likely to suffer from bone and tooth loss.
Definition of Gum Disease Terminology
Chronic Periodontitis: Chronic periodontitis is the most common form of periodontitis, involving inflammation of the tissue surrounding the teeth and pockets forming as well.
Necrotizing Periodontal Disease: Necrotizing periodontal disease is an infection that causes lesions to form on the face and other symptoms due to the necrosis of gingival tissues, periodontal ligaments and alveolar bone.
Periapical Cyst: A periapical cyst is a pathological cavity, roots of the teeth, that typically has epithelium in the lining and contains fluid or soft matter.
Periodontal Disease: Periodontal disease is a serious inflammation of the gingival tissues and the periodontal membrane of the teeth that causes pain and helps form deeper gingival sulcus.
Periodontal Ligament: Periodontal ligaments are a group of tissue fibers that help attach the tooth to the alveolar bone, which can sustain damage from gum disease or improper oral hygiene.
Periodontal Pocket: A periodontal pocket is a potential area of space, known as a gingival sulcus, which is deeper than normal and can contain bacteria that cause an infection.
Periodontal Surgery: Periodontal surgery is the treatment of extreme levels of periodontal disease that can involve multiple techniques to remove the inflamed tissue and infection before it spreads.
Scaling and Root Planing: Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical therapy that involves the removal of dental plaque in hard to reach places with patients who do not take proper care of their teeth.