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What Causes Receding Gums: Insights and Preventive Measures from Experts

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Receding gums develop when your gum tissue pulls back from your teeth. This leaves the roots of your teeth exposed and open to problems like decay. It can even lead to tooth loss. In this article we will discuss about the causes, symptoms, and ways to manage receding gums. Lastly, we will answer some frequently asked questions regarding this topic.

Overview of Receding Gums

Receding gums are a big problem for many people. Below we will discuss what gums are and what happens when they start receding.

what causes receding gums

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What are the Gums?

Gums are soft pink tissues in your mouth. They do the important job of holding your teeth in their places. Not just that, they also keep harmful bacteria away from the jawbones and tooth roots.
What are Receding Gums?

Receding gums occur when your gum tissue pulls away from your teeth. This exposes the roots of your teeth. Remember this is a type of gum disease. Bad oral health often causes this. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss. Timely diagnosis and management may save your gums from this problem.
Causes and Risk Factors of Receding Gums

The common risk factors and causes of receding gums are discussed below.
1. Gum Disease

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Gum disease can cause receding gums. It happens when plaque and bacteria build up on your teeth and gums. This buildup slowly harms your gums. The damaged gums then pull back to form pockets between your teeth and gums. This lets even more bacteria and plaque build-up.
2. Smoking

Using tobacco forms too much plaque on your teeth. This plaque causes inflammation which leads to gum recession.
3. Family History of Gum Disease

If you have a family history of gum disease you may be more likely to suffer from receding gums. This is because of your genes.
4. Aggressive Brushing

Brushing too hard is not good for your teeth or gums. It applies too much pressure on your gums. Over time, this can wear out your gums and cause them to recede.
5. Hormonal Changes in Women

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Changes in your hormone levels can make your gums more prone to bacterial infections. This can lead to gum recession.

6. Certain Medications

Some medicines can make your mouth feel dry. A dry mouth is more prone to bacterial infections .which can lead to receding gums.
7. Teeth Clenching or Grinding

This extra pressure on your gums could lead to receding gums.
Symptoms of Receding Gums

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Here are some signs that indicate you might have receding gums.

Bleeding after brushing or flossing
Red and swollen gums
Bad breath (halitosis)

Pain at the gum line
Sensitivity in teeth
Visibly shrinking gums
Exposed tooth roots
Loose teeth

Diagnosis of Receding Gums

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Usually, during your routine check-ups. The dentist will look closely at any changes in your gum tissue. They may even measure the gap around your teeth with a probe. If that gap is larger than 3 millimeters, they might suspect gum disease and receding gums. In some cases, the dentist may ask you to see a periodontist for more tests.
Management of Receding Gums

Here are some ways in which we can deal with receding gums.
1. Deep Cleaning

Deep cleaning involves scaling or root planing. This process removes plaque and tartar from teeth and may help your gums reattach to your teeth.

2. Scaling

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This is the process of removing plaque and tartar. It cleans the tooth surface and areas under the gumline. This may lessen swelling.
3. Root Planing

In this process, the tooth root surfaces are cleaned thoroughly. This removes rough spots where bacteria can collect. It may help gums reattach to the teeth.
4. Antibiotics

Your healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotics to manage the infection. Antibiotics come in many forms like pills, gels, or mouthwashes.
5. Surgery

In some severe cases, surgery might be needed to manage receding gums. These are described below.

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Flap Surgery

This is also called pocket reduction surgery. In this process, the dentist lifts the gum tissue away from the teeth. They clean the area and then stitch it back in place. This reduces the space where bacteria and plaque can collect.

Soft Tissue Grafting

This involves taking tissue from somewhere else in your mouth. Then they put this tissue on the receding gums to strengthen them.

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Bone Grafting

In some cases, there might be bone loss. For these cases, they do bone grafting. This means putting bone fragments or artificial bone around the tooth root. This helps the bone grow back and makes the tooth stable.
Complications of Receding Gums

Complications develop if you don’t treat receding gums, here is a list of complications that may develop.

There’s a higher risk of tooth decay and cavities because of exposed tooth roots.
Your teeth will be sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
You will feel pain and discomfort in your teeth.
Your teeth might even fall out. Then you may need options like dental implants or dentures.

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How to Avoid Receding Gums

Here are some tips that may be used to reduce or avoid receding gums.
1. Proper Oral Hygiene

Brush softly with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Remember to floss every day and use mouthwash to keep bacteria away.

Brushing Techniques

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Choose gentle brushing over forceful brushing. Use circular movements when you brush. Make sure to set your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gumline. This cleans your teeth well.

Flossing

Clean the spaces between your teeth with floss every day. It helps remove plaque and bacteria.

Mouthwash

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Mouthwash helps kill bacteria and stop tartar from building up.
2. Regular Dental Checkups

Visit your dentist for routine cleanings and check-ups. Your dentist can keep a close watch on your gum health and act early if there’s an issue.

3. Avoiding Tobacco Products

Say no to smoking or using other tobacco products. They may lead to gum recession.
4. Managing Clenching and Grinding

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Learn to control clenching and grinding your teeth. You may do this by managing stress or using a night guard given by your dentist.
Outlook for Receding Gums

How well you recover from receding gums will depend on how serious your condition was, and how well the management options worked. Caught early and managed promptly, you may be able to stop receding gums from getting worse or even reverse it. Regular dental check-ups and taking good care of your teeth are important in delaying further gum recession.
Conclusion

Receding gums affect many people. When gums recede, they expose tooth roots. These roots are then open to decay, infection, and loss of the tooth. Gum recession can be due to many things. It might be gum disease, rough brushing, smoking, or just because of your genes. If you catch it early you may stop it in its tracks. This may save you from further problems.

It’s important to keep your mouth clean. Brush gently with a soft-bristled brush, floss regularly, and rinse your mouth regularly with mouthwash. Regular visits to your dentist will keep your gums in check. By doing these steps, you may keep your mouth healthy and keep receding gums at bay.

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