Gum Recession: Symptoms And Treatments

Posted on: 9 March 2022

Gum recession, also called receding gums, refers to when your gum tissue pulls away from your teeth. This can cause pockets to develop between the gum tissue and your teeth, causing an infection as a result of trapped bacteria. Gum recession may be caused by periodontal disease, inadequate dental care, cigarette smoking, hormonal changes such as those seen in menopause and pregnancy, and grinding your teeth.

If gum recession is not treated, complications such as tooth loss may occur. While early-stage gum recession may be asymptomatic, signs and symptoms may be more obvious as it progresses. Here are some symptoms of gum recession and some treatment options your family dentistry services professional may recommend.

Symptoms Of Gum Recession

As gum recession progresses, your teeth may look longer because your gum tissue is pulling away from them. You may also develop sensitive or painful teeth as a result of root exposure. Tooth loss may also occur in severe cases. The primary cause of tooth loss in people who have gum recession is bacterial invasion into the periodontal pockets.

When bacteria invade the pockets, infections develop, damaging the soft tissue and weakening the underlying bones of your teeth. At the first sign of periodontal infection such as painful gums, gingival bleeding, a bad taste in your mouth, or drainage seeping out of your gums, visit your dentist so that a treatment plan can be implemented. 

Treatment For Receding Gums

At the first sign of receding gums, your family dentistry services provider will recommend that you maintain a strict regimen of oral hygiene care. In addition to at-home brushing and flossing, getting regular professional teeth cleanings will also help improve the health of your gums so that the pockets can heal.

If you have an infection, antimicrobial oral rinses or antibiotics will be prescribed to eliminate the infection-causing microorganisms, which will further promote healing. If these treatment options are ineffective at managing your receding gums, then your dentist may recommend a deep cleaning treatment called a scaling and planing procedure.

During a scaling and planing procedure, your dentist removes hardened plaque and calculus from under the gumline. After the calculus and plaque have been removed, the exposed roots of your teeth will be smoothed so that infection-causing bacteria will be less likely to adhere to them. In extreme cases of gum recession, your family dentist may refer you to a gum specialist known as a periodontist for further treatment such as gum surgery.

If your gums are receding, see your dentist as soon as possible. When gum recession is treated early on, complications such as infection and tooth loss may be less likely to develop.

If you need family dentistry services, reach out to a dentist near you.