Answers To 3 Common Questions About Receding Gums

Though many people still don't realize it, receding gums may represent a serious threat to their health. Not only are they a sign of more serious diseases, but receding gums can also lead to decay and other dental problems. If you would like to learn more about this common problem, read on. This article will answer three commonly asked questions about receding gums.

What exactly are receding gums?

As the term implies, receding gums are gums whose tissue has begun to pull back. As this process continues, more and more of the roots of your teeth become exposed. This leads to larger gaps between the crown of the tooth and the gum line--prime real estate for destructive bacteria.

If you've noticed that your teeth have been growing increasingly sensitive, there's a good chance you may be in the early stages of gum recession. Likewise, you may be able to feel an exposed notch below the gum line. You may even have noticed that your teeth have begun to appear longer than normal.

What causes gums to recede?

There are many potential reasons why gums begin to recede. Perhaps the most common is the gum disease known as gingivitis. While gingivitis can be reversed through adherence to a regimen of good dental hygiene, when left unchecked it will eventually lead to much more serious periodontal diseases. These gum infections cause the gum tissue become inflamed--and eventually die away. 

Overly aggressive brushing is another reason that many people develop receding gums. To a degree, this can be counteracted by switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush. Yet it is also important to practice gentle brushing habits. Ultimately brushing too hard will cause more trouble than good.

Finally, receding gums can be caused by genetic factors. In fact, it has been estimated that up to 30 percent of people may be predisposed to developing gum disease--and hence experiencing gum recession. While there isn't much you can do to change your genes, those with a family history of receding gums should be prepared to take extra precautions to keep the problem from developing into something more serious.

What can a dentist do to treat gum recession?

If your gums are only mildly receded, a thorough deep cleaning may be enough to help. Through the techniques known as scaling and root planing, a dentist can help remove build ups of plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth. Note, however, that this solution requires that you adhere to a regimen of strict dental hygiene.

For professional dental care, contact an office such as Hurst Family Dental.