As we age, our bodies go through many changes. Skin loses its elasticity, and some people notice their hairline receding. Most people over the age of 65 will deal with a lesser-talked-about change, which is receding gums, or gingival recession. This can happen with one, two or many teeth.
Age is not the only factor leading to gingival recession. Misaligned teeth are another natural cause of receding gums, but there are mechanical causes, too. Aggressive tooth brushing is one of the major reasons people experience this condition. The gums become worn down when a hard or stiff bristle toothbrush is used, or the brushing process is done with too much pressure. Lip piercings can also cause gums to recede.
Gingival recession exposes the roots of a tooth. This makes the tooth more vulnerable to decay and infection. Without treatment, these teeth are more likely to fall out or need extraction. Patients with receding gums often experience pain or sensitivity with these teeth.
General dentistry treatment for receding gums depends on the severity of the condition. A mild case may be treated by carefully cleaning affected areas. This procedure includes scaling and planing the roots of the teeth. Special hand instruments are used to thoroughly scale away plaque and tartar. They are then scraped or planed smooth.
Bleeding and swelling gums are often indicative of gingivitis or periodontal disease. This will also cause gums to recede. When the immune system is fighting off an infection, the gums may become inflamed and bleed.
Relief for Bleeding or Swollen Gums
When periodontal disease is involved with gum recession, brushing and flossing your teeth will often cause bleeding. In mild cases, the treatment consists of carefully and thoroughly cleaning the teeth professionally. This is done with instruments designed to remove hardened tartar from tooth roots and make them smooth again. When the roots are cleaned and smoothed, bacteria has a difficult time growing, and the gums have an easier time reattaching to the roots. Antibiotics may also be required to get the infection under control.
More severe cases could be cause for surgery. Necrotic or damaged gum tissue may need to be removed and special oral “bandages” could be required to help the gums heal. Antibiotics can also be administered to contain and eliminate infection.
Receding gums lead to dental decay and tooth loss. Make an appointment with Engineered Smiles to have your gums checked. Dr. Wang will advise you on what treatment will be necessary to bring your gums back to health.