Receding Gums: Treatment, Causes, & Prevention

Receding Gums: Treatment, Causes, & Prevention

Receding gums, clinically known as gingival recession, pose a significant threat to oral health. If left untreated, this condition involves gradually exposing tooth roots, leading to sensitivity and potential tooth loss. Let’s explore the vital aspects of receding gums, including causes, symptoms, treatment options, and preventive measures. Empower yourself with the knowledge to safeguard your oral well-being and maintain a radiant smile.

What is the Gum Recession?

Gum recession, clinically known as gingival recession, is a dental condition characterized by the gradual exposure of tooth roots as the surrounding gum tissue diminishes. This phenomenon often occurs due to various factors, such as aggressive brushing, using hard-bristled toothbrushes, smoking, or underlying gum diseases.

As the gum recedes, it unveils the tooth roots, leaving them vulnerable to sensitivity, decay, and other oral health issues. The aesthetic impact is also notable, with teeth appearing longer. Understanding gum recession is pivotal for recognizing how to stop receding gums from getting worse, their symptoms, seeking timely intervention, and adopting preventive measures for comprehensive oral health.

What Causes Receding Gums?

Gum recession, or gingival recession, is a frequent dental condition with various underlying causes. Understanding these factors is vital for effective prevention and treatment. Here’s a detailed exploration of the causes of gum recession:

  • Aggressive Brushing: Brushing your teeth too hard or using a firm-bristled toothbrush can lead to gum tissue wear and recession.
  • Smoking and Tobacco Use: Tobacco consumption, especially smoking, weakens the immune system, which makes the gums more susceptible to infections and recession.
  • Poor Dental Hygiene: Inadequate brushing as well as flossing can result in the accumulation of plaque, leading to gum inflammation and recession.
  • Gum Disease (Periodontitis): Advanced stages of gum disease can be the cause of significant gum tissue loss and recession.
  • Genetic Predisposition: Few people may have a genetic predisposition to thin or insufficient gum tissue, making them more prone to recession.

Symptoms and Stages of Gum Recession

Gum recession manifests through various symptoms and progresses in distinct stages. Recognizing these signs is crucial for timely intervention and treatment. Here’s an insightful overview of the symptoms of gum recession:

Common Symptoms

  1. Tooth Sensitivity: Increased sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures may indicate exposed tooth roots due to gum recession.
  2. Visible Tooth Roots: As gums recede, the roots of the teeth become more visible, altering the tooth’s appearance.
  3. Bleeding Gums: Gums may bleed during brushing as well as flossing, signalling inflammation and potential recession.
  4. Red, Swollen Gums: Inflammation and gum colour changes indicate underlying issues, including recession.
  5. Bad Breath: Persistent bad breath can result from bacterial growth in the spaces created by receding gums.
  6. Loose Teeth: Extreme gum recession may lead to tooth instability and looseness.

Stages of Gum Recession

  1. Initial Stage: Mild recession with minimal symptoms and reversible changes.
  2. Moderate Stage: Increased visibility of tooth roots, heightened sensitivity, and noticeable gum loss.
  3. Advanced Stage: Severe recession, significant tooth root exposure or tooth cavities, increased sensitivity, and potential tooth mobility.

Understanding these symptoms and receding gums stages empowers individuals to seek professional dental care promptly. If you observe any gum recession signs, consult your dentist in Sunshine Coast to determine the appropriate treatment and prevent further progression.

Treatment Options for Receding Gums

Addressing gum recession involves various treatment options tailored to the severity of the condition. Here’s an overview of available receding gums treatments:

  1. Scaling and Root Planing: Deep cleaning to remove bacteria as well as tartar from beneath the gums, promoting healing.
  2. Orthodontics: Orthodontics treatment is correcting misaligned teeth to alleviate pressure on the gums and assist in natural gum repositioning.
  3. Dental Bonding: Application of tooth-coloured resin to camouflage exposed tooth roots and enhance aesthetics.
  4. Gum Grafting: Surgical procedure involving the transplantation of gum tissue to cover exposed roots and restore gum health.
  5. Flap Surgery: A deep cleaning procedure to eliminate bacteria and tartar, facilitating gum tissue reattachment, is a popular gum recession surgery.
  6. Desensitising Toothpaste: Specialized toothpaste to alleviate tooth sensitivity associated with gum recession.
  7. Regular Dental Check-ups: Routine examinations to monitor gum health, detect early signs of recession, and initiate timely interventions.
  8. Professional Dental Cleaning: Biannual cleaning by a dental professional to remove plaque and prevent gum disease.

How to Prevent and Slow Down Gum Recession?

Preventing and slowing down gum recession involves adopting proactive oral care practices. Here are effective strategies to help you understand how to prevent receding gums:

  1. Gentle Brushing: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush as well as gentle brushing techniques to avoid gum irritation.
  2. Regular Flossing: Incorporate daily flossing to remove plaque between teeth and along the gumline.
  3. Antimicrobial Mouthwash: Rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash as it helps to reduce bacteria and maintain gum health.
  4. Dental Cleaning: Schedule regular professional dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar, preventing gum disease.
  5. Avoid Tobacco Use: Quit smoking and tobacco products, as they elevate the risk of gum disease.
  6. Monitor Tooth Grinding: Address teeth grinding issues with a night guard to prevent gum damage.
  7. Address Gum Disease Promptly: Seek timely treatment for receding gums to prevent its progression to recession.
  8. Regular Dental Check-ups: Visit your dentist for routine check-ups to detect early signs of gum recession.

Managing Sensitive Teeth Caused by Gum Recession

Addressing tooth sensitivity enhances oral comfort and promotes overall dental well-being, ensuring a more enjoyable eating and oral care experience. Consider the following steps to prevent sensitive teeth from gum recession:

  1. Desensitising Toothpaste: Use toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth to alleviate discomfort.
  2. Fluoride Applications: Opt for fluoride treatments to strengthen tooth enamel and reduce sensitivity.
  3. Avoid Acidic Foods: Limit acidic foods and drinks to prevent enamel erosion.
  4. Soft Toothbrush: Opt for a soft toothbrush to minimize irritation.

Receding Gums: Before and After 

Understanding the progression of receding gums is crucial for effective treatment. Before the intervention, receding gums exposed tooth roots, leading to sensitivity, pain, as well as an increased risk of infection. However, after professional care and dental treatments, such as gum grafting or orthodontics, the receding gum line can be restored, minimising sensitivity and preventing further complications. Regular dental check-ups contribute to maintaining optimal oral health and prevent gum recession recurrence.

Conclusion

Understanding the causes, symptoms, as well as treatment options for receding gums is vital for optimal oral health. For personalized and professional dental care, consider scheduling an appointment with Oris Dental. Our team of specialists is dedicated to addressing your dental concerns and providing tailored solutions. Take the proactive step toward a healthier smile, and schedule your appointment today!

FAQS

How common are receding gums?

Receding gums are prevalent, affecting many adults over 40. Factors like poor oral hygiene, genetics, and habits like smoking contribute to their occurrence.

Can gums grow back?

Unfortunately, gums cannot naturally grow back. However, professional treatments and good oral care can prevent further recession.

How do you treat gum recession?

Treatment options include deep cleaning, gum grafting, and orthodontic procedures. The choice depends on the severity as well as the underlying causes.

How long does it take to recover from gum surgery?

Recovery time varies based on the surgery type and technique. Generally, patients may experience improvement within a few weeks to a few months post-surgery.

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Adarsh (Principal Dentist)

Adarsh

Adarsh (A-Dash) is the principal dentist at Oris Dental. Adarsh graduated as a dentist in 1996 from the University of Mumbai (Bombay, India). He entered private practice as an assistant dentist in one of the leading practices in Mumbai from 1996-2002. The practice offered all aspects of dentistry with the exception of Orthodontics. This prompted Adarsh to pursue a post graduate degree in Orthodontics and successfully completed the 3 year Full time the master’s program from University of Mumbai (Bombay, India) in 2005. Since then, Adarsh has been in private practice both as a general dentist and an orthodontist. He also served as teaching faculty at University in Mumbai for 3 yrs and when in India, he has been ‘the dentist’ to many dentists!! In 2008, Adarsh took the Australian Dental Council exam for direct recognition of his skill in Australia. He successfully completed the exams in the first attempt and moved to Australia early 2009. He has been in private practice in Australia since Jan 2009. Oris Dental was set up in Minyama in 2011. Oris Dental is now over 8 years old and is growing to be a well-respected practice in the area. He is particularly interested in Cosmetic dentistry Dental implants and Orthodontics. Adarsh hopes to use all the experience he has gained in the past 22 years, to offer the best in dentistry to all his patients in this practice. Adarsh believes in spreading smiles and has successfully designed smiles and in doing so improved the lives and self-confidence of many Sunshine Coast locals (Take a look at our Smile gallery!). Adarsh is an active member of the Australian Dental Association since 2009 He held the post of Senior Lecturer in Orthodontics in Mumbai University before moving to Australia. He is a Life member of the Indian Dental Association, serving as the General Secretary of the Association (Mumbai City Chapter) 2007-2009 He is Life member of the Indian Orthodontic Society. He is Candidate for Membership Examination MRACDS (Ortho) and plans to complete his membership exams soon. Adarsh is also currently pursuing his Diploma in Implant dentistry at the Royal College of Surgeons(Edinburgh). Adarsh has recently complete intensive training in implant placement and restoration in Neoss and TRI (Swiss) Implant system. He is married to Prachi for 15yrs and they have a 11 yr old son – Aarjav, a little daughter Aria who has just started prep and Daisy the mad Lab pup! He is currently learning to play Tennis and Badminton and loves watching the cricket!

Prachi (Owner/ Dentist)

Prachi

Prachi is the director, part time dentist at Oris Dental. Prachi graduated in 2002 from Nair hospital dental college, Mumbai (Bombay, India), one of the leading dental schools in Asia. She then worked in multiple private practices across Mumbai (Bombay, India). While working as a dentist in various practices she picked up the positives from them and implemented them into this practice at Oris Dental. She is very friendly by nature and is particularly good at handling children, preventive dentistry and hygiene. Prachi moved to Australia in 2009. Prachi has there on completed her Australian Dental council exams successfully in early 2011 and is now ready to bring in her 12 years of experience to Oris Dental. Prachi also serves as a part time dentist at the Oral Health Services Sunshine Coast in Caloundra Kawana and Nambour as needed.

Davina (Dentist)

Davina

Davina has been a part of our family since 2014. After completing her bachelor’s degree from the University of Queensland, Davina has been in private practice in an around the Sunshine coast for a year before joining us full time. Davina shows exemplary skills in building a great relationship and rapport with her patients and is well regarded by her peers. Davina is very highly regarded by her current patients. Davina currently works 3 days a week.

Lise Slack (Dental Hygienist)

Lise Stack

Our dental hygienist Lise Slack is a trained member of the dental team who works together with your dentist in preventing gum diseases and dental decay.

Lise joined OrisDental in 2015 and has worked extensively in private specialist practices. She graduated from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa in 1982 and has had specific training and exposure to an extensive range of periodontal conditions and treatment modalities.

Lise’s dad was a professor in dentistry and this is where her love of teeth comes from. She has invented two specialist oral care products which are available in Australia and several international countries. Lise has also lectured at international dental conferences on the maintenance of dental implants and how to help patients care for their teeth once they have contracted periodontitis.

Both adults and children can benefit from having an appointment with a dental hygienist as they are taught how dental diseases occur and how it can be prevented or managed.

Lise is married to Sam and they have two daughters. They value their family time and love adventurous outdoor sports.

Jesse (Dental Assistant)

Jesse (Dental Assistant)

Jess has been a part of Oris Dental from the outset in 2011. Always cheerful and welcoming Jess is the star amongst our patients at our practice. If you cannot find Jess in the practice she will be at the beach!

 

Kaela (Receptionist)

Debra (Receptionist)

Kaela arrived at our practice in early 2021. Coming from eight years of retail experience in Northern NSW, she loves working with people and assisting in any way she can. Kaela has also just finished her training as a dental assistant. You will immediately fall in love with her happy, bubbly personality.

Abby (Sr. Dental Assistant)

Abby (Dental Assistant)

Abby is originally from Hervey Bay, but she has been calling the Sunshine Coast home with her husband and two kids for the past four and a half years. Abby completed her cert III in dental assisting in 2015 and is looking to further her studies In the near future. Abby enjoys camping, playing guitar, and travelling
the world with her family.

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    Dr. Param Dass

    Dr. Param Dass

    Param Dass graduated with a Bachelor in Dentistry from the University of Otago, NZ in 2005. He went on to complete his Bachelor in Medicine from the University of Auckland NZ in 2010.

    Param started working part time in our practice since 2015 with special interest in surgical procedures including Dental implants and bone grafting procedures, Surgical extractions including Wisdom teeth and other minor surgical procedures.

    Param is well known for being gentle and caring in treating patients with dental anxiety and maintains a calm demeanour.

    He is also well trained in working with patients with various levels of anxiety, offering dental treatment under Happy Gas, Twilight sedation or under Full general anaesthetic.

    Dr. Brayden Fracchia

    Dr. Brayden Fracchia

    Brayden hails from North Queensland, having completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery at JCU Cairns, practicing in Hobart and outreach dentistry from Mount Isa over the course of his studies. He has worked with us since 2020. Brayden enjoys becoming a part of a community and enjoys the outdoors and sport in his spare
    time. Having only recently moved to the beautiful Sunshine Coast, Brayden is enthusiastic and well versed in all aspects of basic general dentistry and looks forward to bringing North Queensland hospitality to the South East.

    Briar

    Briar

    Briar stated off as a trainee dental assistant in our practice mid-2020. She is the youngest member of our practice and is rapidly becoming an integral part of team Oris. Briar completed her Certificate 3 in our practice in 2021 and works full time Dental assistant at Oris Dental.

    Drew

    Drew

    Drew is Oris Dental’ newest member, who has only recently moved from his hometown of Rockhampton. He is our Oral Health Therapist, who specializes in oral health education, general check-ups, fillings and more!
    He loves a good chat and a laugh at work. He prioritizes patient’s comfort and likes to encourage an environment where everyone feels a sense of security and safety in the dental setting. When Drew isn’t at work you’ll find him having a refreshing swim at the beach or having his usual dirty chai at his local cafe.

    Jasmine

    Jasmine

    Jasmine joined our practice in November 2021 and works with our Oral Health Therapist Drew. Jasmine is new to dental assistance, however is quickly taking on any and all challenges that come her way! She loves animals, and spending quality time with her husband and two kids. Welcome to the team!

    Brooke

    Brooke

    Brooke is originally from Brisbane but has been living on the coast since 2017. She brings over 15 years of experience in the dental industry and has had the opportunity to work in London and Melbourne for the Royal Flying Doctors. Brooke enjoys surfing, scuba diving and exploring the many things that the Sunny Coast has to offer.