Posted on 10/15/2019 by Robert Henshaw, DMD
|Receding gums are a common sign of gum disease, also called gingivitis. In this early stage, it's often treatable, and your gums can heal up if the infection is dealt with quickly. However, as gum disease progresses, it turns into periodontitis. This is a much more serious condition, and it's very possible it will cause you to lose teeth.
What Gum Recession Causes
When your gums start to recede, it does more than just reveal more of your teeth. The gums actually pull away from the front, back, and sides of the teeth. This creates small pockets between the gums and your teeth. Bacteria, food particles, and various other debris can become stuck in these pockets. Because they're very small, it's difficult for a toothbrush to reach down into them and remove the bacteria there. Even flossing may not help.
As the bacteria in these pockets multiplys, it makes the infection in your gums even worse. This, in turn, cases the gums to recede even more. If you don't do anything to combat the infection, your gums will continue to pull away, removing the support your teeth have. This recession also exposes the roots of your teeth.
Root Decay Occurs Next
With the roots of your teeth exposed, bacteria can begin collecting on them. This bacteria turns into plaque, which then begins eating away the enamel surrounding the root. Without the support of your gums and with a weakened root, it's much easier for teeth to fall out. Some teeth may break off from damage, while others may eventually become so loose they just fall out on their own.
Since it can become a very serious condition that leads to tooth loss, it's very important that we treat gum recession and its underlying cause as soon as possible. If you've noticed your gums receding, contact us today to schedule a consultation.
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