Dental Health and Hygiene: Is Gum Recession Permanent?
Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and thought “Are my teeth longer?” While it does sound like something from a sci-fi movie, it is actually possible. It doesn’t mean that your teeth are growing. However, it can mean that your gums are receding. Gum recession involves the wearing away or pulling back of the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth. This gradual process slowly exposes more and more of the tooth, exposing it to harmful bacteria that can build up and damage it. If gum recession is not treated, it can severely affect the gums and even the bone structure of teeth, ultimately resulting in the loss of teeth.
Receding gums are more common than one would think, but they go unnoticed due to the gradual nature of the process. If you suspect your gums are receding, schedule an appointment with a dental professional. There are treatments available that can repair your gums and prevent further damage.
What Is the Cause of Receding Gums?
Gum recession is not something that a lot of people are aware of. Because of this, many people do not know what can cause this common condition. These are some of the most common causes of gum recession.
● Gum Disease
Severe cases of gum disease, also known as periodontitis, are one of the leading causes of gum recession. Periodontal disease is a result of the buildup of bacteria in the mouth. If not treated, it can result in the loss of teeth and damaged gums.
Certain people can have a higher chance of getting gum disease. Family history determines your biotype and can play a huge role. This genetic predisposition to gum disease can result in gum recession and the loss of teeth.
The gums can be affected by a blow to the teeth. This can strip away tissue and leave teeth exposed. Apart from a direct, physical impact such, trauma can also include aggressive brushing. Vigorous brushing with a hard toothbrush can increase the rate at which your gums recede.
● Poor Dental Hygiene
Dental hygiene is one of the determining factors for gum disease in later life. If a person does not adequately brush, floss, or use mouthwash, they are susceptible to the buildup of plaque. Plaque overtime can harden into calculus, also known as tartar. This hard substance will build up and form around the teeth. Once tartar builds up, it can only be removed with professional cleaning.
We have all heard that smoking is not good for us. However, not many people associate it with receding gums. The fact is that smoking can result in sticky plaque on teeth. This plaque is hard to remove and can, over time, result in gum recession.
What to Do About Gum Recession?
Unlike some cells in the body, gum tissue does not regenerate. Once it is gone, it cannot grow back naturally. However, some treatments can help improve receding gums.
Slowing Down the Process
While gum recession can be a huge problem, there are steps we can take to slow down the process. This includes proper dental hygiene and a healthier lifestyle. Things such as a healthy diet and exercise can drastically improve your overall well being, including your oral health. Apart from that, regular visits to the dentist can help.
Severe cases will require surgery to remedy. Common surgeries include:
● Flap Surgery
Flap surgery is done by making a small incision in the gum tissue. The incision allows the gums to be lifted and any plaque under them removed. Once the plaque is removed, the gums are secured back into place. While this might seem extreme, it can prevent bone loss in the long run.
● Gum Draft
Gum grafting includes taking tissue from one part of the mouth and surgically applying it to the receding gum line. Gum drafts are great for aesthetic purposes and for protection.
Bonding includes applying a colored resin over the roots of affected teeth. This gives teeth a more natural and healthy look, while also protecting exposed teeth and gums.
Receding gums are a problem that nobody talks about. Numerous factors can cause it, and once it happens, there is no natural cure. That is why it is essential to take care of oral health while the gums are still strong and healthy. Prevention is always better than cure, especially when it comes to teeth.