If your teeth are feeling a bit sensitive, and your gums are a bit swollen, something is obviously going on with your dental health. It could be a number of things and it is important that you call a dentist. One common condition that affects many mouths is receding gums and it can lead to gum disease as well as cause some discomfort.

What is gum recession and how can I treat it?

Gum recession is referred to as gingival recession or receding gums. Although it cannot be reversed, gum recession is treatable and preventable. This condition occurs over time when the gum tissue pulls back from the teeth. Teeth may wear away and the roots are exposed. In addition, gaps may appear between the teeth and the gum line which causes a build-up of bacteria. Gum disease may increase the risk of tooth decay, tooth loss, and indicate underlying dental problems.

Causes vary and the condition is more common in middle-aged and older adults. Receding gums is a progressive condition that occurs over a period of years. The condition may go unnoticed until symptoms appear, or problems happen. The condition may start as a teenager, and in some cases, even younger. People who regularly brush their teeth may experience gum disease due to overaggressive brushing, improper and rough flossing, and cutting into gums. Hereditary factors may play into the predisposition of gum disease.

Habits such as dipping tobacco over an extended period of time may lead to gum recession. Tooth crowding is another possible cause. Piercings of the lip or tongue may wear away the gum by constantly rubbing against it. Poor diet and lack of vitamin C may also lead to receding gums.

However, everyone is different, and each individual’s dental health differs as well. Some people are more susceptible and predisposed than others. The best course of action is to develop regular oral hygiene health habits and to seek the advice of a licensed dentist to discuss the best course of treatment.

Symptoms include red, swollen, or tender gums as well as bad taste in the mouth. Gums that easily bleed when flossing or brushing the teeth are symptoms of gum disease. Sharp or dull pains when chewing food may be a symptom of gum disease. Teeth that are overly sensitive to hot and cold temperatures may be due to gum disease. In older adults, loose teeth, and a change in the fit of dentures are possible symptoms.

Treatment of gum disease may include a variety of remedies and courses of treatment. The condition of receding gums cannot be reversed. However, it can be treated and alleviated. Deep cleaning treatments, i.e., scaling or root planning may help the condition. Regular dental checkups and cleanings more than twice a year may be included as part of a treatment plan. A dentist may recommend visiting a periodontal specialist who will perform a dental review and recommend a course of treatment.

Prevention tips for gum recession include regular brushing, twice per day, and flossing at least once per day. Have regular dental cleanings. Use fluoride toothpaste and a therapeutic mouthwash formulated to fight gum disease.

Our Family and Cosmetic Dental Office in Walled Lake MI wants you to have long term dental health with a beautiful smile. Dr. Hechtman and his staff offer full-service dentistry with care and compassion. We are committed to your smile and pride ourselves in offering a personalized experience which includes general, restorative and cosmetic dental care services. Call our Walled Lake Dental Office today to learn more about how we can maintain your beautiful smile!