Dental Implant FAQs
Receding gums (gingival recession) refers to exposure in the roots of the teeth caused by a loss of gum tissue and/or retraction of the gingival margin from the crown of the teeth. Gum recession is a common problem in adults over the age of 40, but it may also occur starting from the teens. It may exist with or without concomitant decrease in crown-to-root ratio (recession of alveolar bone).
Causes of Gum Recession:
- Abnormal tooth position, such as tooth crowding, giving inadequate cover of one or more teeth by the jaw bone.
- Thin, fragile or insufficient gingival tissue, which is hereditary.
- Overaggressive brushing, which causes the enamel at the gum line to be worn away by scrubbing the sides of the teeth horizontally.
- Using a tooth brush that is too hard.
- Progressive periodontal disease.
- Inadequate brushing or flossing, allowing bacteria to build up between the teeth.
- Smoking or chewing tobacco, which affects the blood flow to the gums, and affects the lining in the mouth and cause receding gums over time
- Adult orthodontic movement of teeth.
- A reaction to chemicals found in some toothpastes.
Gum recession is not something that happens overnight. In most cases, receding of gums is a progressive procedure that happens gradually over many years. That explains the fact that it is common over the age of 40. Because the changes in the condition of the gums from one day to another are minimal, we get used to the gums appearance and do not notice the changes over longer periods of time. Receding gums may remain unnoticed until someone else talks about it or until the condition starts to cause other problems.
The following signs and symptoms may indicate gum recession:
- Sensitive teeth – Teeth become sensitive to hot and cold or to sweet, sour foods.
- If gums are receding a larger part of the crown is visible.
- The roots of the tooth are exposed and visible.
- The tooth feels as if the is a ridge at the gum line
- A difference of colour between crown and the root will be noted.
- Spaces may be noticed between teeth.
- Cavities may develop below the gum line
If the gum recession has been caused by gingivitis, the following symptoms may also be present:
- Puffy, red, or swollen (inflamed) gums
- Gum bleeding while brushing or flossing
- Bad breath ( halitosis)