Those who provide family dental services commonly see cases of receding gums. Receding gums are a dental condition in which your gums begin to pull back from the surface of your tooth. Over time, this can expose the root of the tooth, which can be quite serious and cause pain and sensitivity. If you suspect you have receding gums you should seek treatment right away, as they can lead to tooth-loss if left untreated.

There are several causes and risk factors for receding gums, including:

  • Brushing and/or flossing too aggressively
  • Tartar buildup
  • Hormonal changes
  • Lack of saliva (perhaps due to use of certain medications)
  • Smoking
  • Gum disease
  • Diabetes
  • HIV

If you have a family or personal history of gum disease, have diabetes, or are HIV-positive, you should always be on the look-out for receding gums.

Symptoms of receding gums include:

1.Bleeding after Brushing/Flossing 

Bleeding after brushing and/or flossing can be a symptom of gingivitis, gum disease, and/or receding gums. If you notice that your gums bleed often after brushing and/or flossing, you should         see  your dentist as soon as possible.

2.Red, Swollen Gums

Like bleeding, swollen or red gums are a symptom of gum disease and possible receding gums

3. Visibly Shrinking Gums/Exposed Tooth Root

You may be able to see that your gums are receding, or that the root of your tooth is becoming exposed. This is usually accompanied by pain and sensitivity and should be seen by a dentist right away.

4. Pain at Gum Line

Any pain around and in the gums should definitely be examined by a dentist as there are a number of possible causes in addition to receding gums.

5. Loose Teeth

Loose teeth are a sign of quite advanced gum recession, or tooth decay, and should definitely be seen by a dentist right away.
Treatment for receding gums depends on the severity of the recession. Your dentist will be able to determine the best course of treatment. Treatment options include topical antibiotic gel,                  antimicrobial mouthwash, or antiseptic chips for less severe cases. For more advanced cases of receding gums, flap surgery or grafting are treatment options.

In flap surgery, the gums are lifted up while all the bacteria and plaque is cleaned out from under them. The gums are then put back into place. In grafting, the periodontist will place either a synthetic material or a piece of bone or tissue in the gums to help them grow back. Flap surgery and grafting are only used in very serious cases of gum recession.

As you can see, it’s very important to catch and treat receding gums early. If you notice any of the above symptoms, make an appointment with your family dental service today!