While many people are concerned with tooth decay, gum recession can be a far greater threat to the state of your mouth. The health and appearance of the teeth are typically our main concern. However, you may be surprised to find out that the gums play a significant role in keeping teeth strong and healthy. Additionally, receding gums can take a toll on the appearance of your smile and affect your self-confidence.
Identifying gum recession
Symptoms of early gum recession are usually subtle and may go on for an extended period without being noticed. One apparent sign of gum recession in adults is a visibly longer tooth or teeth. If you see more of your tooth root than you are used to, this could be due to receding gums. This can give you a toothy smile without the balance of gums to make the smile look healthy. Gaps may start to form between teeth as the gums recede further.
Another common complaint held by those with receding gums is sensitivity to hot and cold food or drink. This can happen when a tooth is infected or has damage, but that is not always the case. Gum recession exposes the tooth roots to foreign objects. The exposure of the nerves in the root to hot and cold items causes the sensitivity.
What happens when gums recede?
The gums are your first defense against the barrage of food particles, debris and bacteria that are constantly moving into the mouth. Although some people might consider gum recession to be a mild issue, this persistent problem can only get worse. Without treatment, it will destroy the gums.
Enamel protects the teeth against cavities and trauma. It is one of the hardest substances in the body. Enamel allows you to eat a variety of sticky and hard foods. The enamel covers the crown of the tooth, protecting it from harmful bacteria. That said, no enamel sits below the gums. If the root is slightly exposed, bacteria can stack the base of the tooth. The bacteria can enter the tooth pulp and roots. This will cause a painful infection that can spread to the gums and bloodstream. The dentist will likely recommend a root canal to save the tooth and prevent the infection from spreading.
Gum recession also loosens your teeth. Instead of the gums tightly holding the teeth, they will allow gaps to form. These gaps, called periodontal pockets, can become infected. At the same time, the teeth will lose support and can fall out.
Take care of your gums
Gum recession can happen for several reasons. Teeth grinding and clenching, gum disease, poor oral health and hereditary factors can all lead to gum recession. It is important to treat gum recession as soon as it is spotted. If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, contact our office today to schedule an appointment. We provide restorative procedures that can save your gums and keep your teeth healthy.
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