Gum recession is a common problem among the population and can be caused by several factors. In all cases, the consequences are the same and can significantly affect oral and dental health. That is why we have prepared this article to inform you about this pathology, its signs and symptoms, as well as its treatment.
What is gum recession?
Gum recession is the retraction of the gums at the roots of some teeth. It can be caused by a combination of genetic and habit-related factors. When the gums recede, the roots of the teeth become exposed. The roots are not covered with enamel, as is the case with the crown of the teeth (the part of the tooth that is normally visible outside the gum line). This makes the roots more vulnerable to bacteria and external stimuli such as hot, cold and sweet/acidic foods.
As mentioned, gum recession can have different causes, the main ones being:
- Naturally thinner gums.
- Inadequate or overly vigorous brushing technique, which can damage the gums in the medium or long term.
- Poor oral hygiene, which contributes to the accumulation of tartar under the gum line. This bacterial deposit contributes to the development of gum disease.
- Wearing an oral piercing, which may constantly rub on the gums.
- Bruxism, or teeth grinding during sleep, which can put pressure on the roots of the teeth and contribute to gum recession.
- Smoking, which affects the general health of the gums.
In addition, aging increases the prevalence of gum recession.
How to recognize it?
A few signs and symptoms are associated with gum recession. Here are the most common ones:
- Some teeth may appear “longer” than others, since their roots are partially exposed.
- There is an increase in the space between the teeth due to the shrinking of the gum tissue.
- Teeth are generally hypersensitive to hot and cold, as well as to certain acidic or sweet foods.
- There is a greater risk of root cavities.
- One suffers from persistent bad breath.
- Gums become redder and slightly swollen.
- Teeth may become loose in more advanced cases.
Gum Recession Treatment in Ottawa
If you recognize yourself by reading the symptoms of this condition, consider seeing your dentist so that he or she can diagnose and treat gum recession.
In most cases, a dental cleaning is necessary to remove the tartar build-up that contributes to gum disease and recession. Then, in order to restore the strength of the gums and cover the exposed roots, a gum graft is usually necessary.
There are different types of gum grafting, using a graft from the patient or a graft from an external donor (allogenic grafting). In all cases, the goal is to restore the appearance and function of the gums in order to prevent the consequences associated with gum recession: root cavities, tooth hypersensitivity, unstable teeth, etc.
Are you concerned about gum recession? If so, consult your Ottawa dentist at General Dentist Solutions. He can provide the care you need to keep your gums and smile healthy.
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