What is gum recession? Gum recession, also known as gingivital gum recession, occurs when your gum line recedes from the top of the teeth, exposing sensitive roots. People typically experience increased sensitivity to sugary or cold foods when gums no longer cover and protect teeth roots. If gum recession is left untreated, it may lead to loosening of teeth and accelerated tooth decay, something Dr. Matt Laurich & Dr. Dennis Laurich see all too often.
Causes of Gum Recession
- Periodontal disease – a serious oral disease arising from poor oral habits
- Gingivitis – gum disease characterized by bleeding and swollen gums
- Overly aggressive brushing and/or flossing – brushing hard in a scrubbing fashion will erode gum tissue at the roots of teeth
- Genetic predisposition to gingival recession – having inherited thin, insufficient gum tissue facilitates gum recession
- Bruxism – a condition where someone regularly grinds their teeth, usually during sleep
- Chewing tobacco/smoking – promotes chronic dry mouth and reduced gum health
Periodontal gingivitis may also cause causing drooping of the gums instead of gum recession. A gingivectomy removes excess gum tissue weakened by bacterial decay while a gingivoplasty can reshape gums around the teeth. If sagging or receding gums are left untreated, they may develop pockets (gaps) that provide hiding places for food particles, mucus and other mouth debris conducive to anaerobic bacteria growth. As the most destructive type of oral bacteria, anaerobic bacteria is responsible for tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and chronic halitosis.
Treatments for Gum Recession
Dr. Matt Laurich and Dr. Dennis Laurich urge you to take corrective actions as soon as possible. Contact one of our three dental offices in Michigan so our gum recession experts can address the cause of your gum recession and stop it in its tracks. For example, people who brush with hard-bristled toothbrushes should switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush more gently. Gum recession can be prevented with good oral hygiene habits, especially after meals. Be sure to floss, and use non-alcoholic mouthwash, as well as attending your annual dental checkups and cleanings every six months. For severe cases of gum recession, soft tissue grafts can add gum tissue to exposed roots by removing tissue from the person’s palate and attaching it to existing gums at the area of recession via laser surgery.