Understanding what ‘receding gums’ are and what to do about them

receding gumsGum disease takes various forms and is actually very common. Many people suffer with it – in fact some of these people won’t even realise that their gums are in need of attention. The term ‘receding gums’ refers to the condition whereby the roots of your teeth start to become visible instead of being neatly covered by your gums.

What causes receding gums?

Gum can begin to recede when you don’t look after your oral health well enough and plaque is allowed to build up on your teeth. Plaque is a breeding ground for bacteria, and it’s these bacteria that get into the gums and cause problems. Other factors that can contribute to this condition include overzealous tooth brushing, using a toothbrush that has very hard bristles, smoking, diabetes and hormonal changes (such as those that occur during pregnancy and the menopause). Some of these causes can be managed, others are much more challenging to address.

Knowing what to look out for

The tell-tale signs that your gums are receding are if your teeth begin to feel more sensitive than normal (although this can be symptomatic of various things) and also if your teeth begin to look a bit longer. If this is caught early and the symptoms are not too serious then it can be treated.

Here at CK Dental Practice in Bristol, we would recommend an intensive professional cleaning treatment as the first step to see if this alleviates the problem. In some instances, the gums may have become infected, and if this is the case there will also need to be a course of antibiotics to rid your gums of the infection.

In very serious, advanced cases, gum surgery may be required to help rectify the problem.