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Receding Gums: Causes & Treatments

woman indicates gum irritation

If you’ve ever noticed gum tissue appear to creep up higher and higher over time, showing off more and more of the actual tooth, you’ve seen gum recession in action. Really slow action, but nonetheless, you’ve experienced it. Gum recession is incredibly common and can be treated. But our dental office in Buckhead wants to emphasize that just because it’s treatable, doesn’t mean you should let it go. It can be painful and be a sign of more serious problems.

Why is Gum Recession Concerning?

Gum recession is a sign of the loss of the bone supporting your teeth.  The gum needs the bone to attach to and if the bone goes away, the gum has to go away as well.  So in reality, when the gum recedes, some of the bone that supports your teeth has already been lost.  Besides helping to hold teeth in place, one responsibility of the bone and gums is to protect the roots of teeth. When gums start to recede, it leaves the roots exposed to the elements, making teeth sensitive and painful and more susceptible to decay.  It also can cause your smile to be less attractive.  If gum recession is left untreated, it will only lead to more serious and often painful problems including:

  • Severe inflammation
  • Increased susceptibility to bacteria
  • Erosion of more bone and supporting tissues
  • Increased incidence of decay on roots
  • Unattractive smile

Top Causes of Gum Recession

There are a variety of things that can cause gum recession. While we can list multiple reasons here, the main culprits include:

Signs of Gum Recession

Gum recession is a slow process, and the best way to catch it early is to maintain regular visits with your dentist in Buckhead. In between appointments, keep an eye out for:

  • Teeth that appear longer
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Little indentations on the teeth near the gum line

Gum Recession Treatment

Treatment can vary greatly depending on the severity. Sometimes a new toothbrush and better flossing habits will keep it from progressing. Sometimes an adjustment to the forces on the teeth  is needed.  For more serious cases, a deeper dental cleaning called scaling and root planing may be appropriate. People who have let the recession progress for a long time may need to explore a surgical option.

Gum recession isn’t something to take lightly. If you’re experiencing it yourself, we welcome you to call our Buckhead dental office. We’ll talk about your oral hygiene habits, examine your mouth for any other problems, and discuss the best treatment option for you.

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