Receding gums occur when the bone underneath the gingiva melts away. There are several reasons depending on the patient’s age and condition. Some dental professionals blame it on forceful brushing with a hard brush. However, many patients with this problem never pick up a toothbrush. In young people, it’s most often caused by tooth grinding, not tooth brushing! Unfortunately, these undesirable changes can usually be seen in a patient’s smile and gum surgery remains the primary corrective procedure. Gum grafting is often done but because there is no underlying bone for the grafted gums, the results may not be lasting.
In later life, the most common reason for receding gums is gum disease. Gum disease usually strikes patients over 30 and destroys the supporting bone which holds teeth in place. Eventually the teeth become loose, the supporting bone is rapidly lost and the recession becomes more apparent. The exposed root surfaces from the lost gums are often hot and cold sensitive and very susceptible to a special type of tooth decay called root caries.To make it worse, an older person makes less protective saliva and often complains of a dry mouth. Using a home fluoride gel, such as Periomed, can significantly help decrease the associated hot and cold sensitivity and protect the tooth roots from decay.
Some diseases and nutritional deficiencies can contribute to receding gums.Diabetics have more gum problems.Vitamin C and calcium deficiencies can also be the cause. In rare cases, trauma is the origin. Of course, if there is an underlying cause, this cause must be addressed. This is why working with both a dentist and physician is often necessary. After identifying the cause, a treatment plan to address the causative issues should be designed and the patient educated and informed of ways to prevent the recession.
If you are interested in learning more about receding gums , please consider the Atlanta Dental Group PC. Our dental office has over 45 years of combined experience serving Atlanta’s dental needs. Our dentists and staff are dedicated to our patients’ good health and well being and our goal is to make your visit as pleasant as possible. You are welcome to join our family of patients, whatever your dental needs may be. If you would like to schedule a dental consultation with any of our Atlanta dentists, call us at 404-874-7428 to make an appointment.