What are Receding Gums?
As far as your dental anatomy is concerned, your gums are like the glue that holds your smile together. Without the gum tissue, the roots of the teeth would be uncovered and unprotected, leaving your teeth without support.
The gums are bound firmly in place by microscopic ligaments or fibers that play an important role in holding the gums in position. When the gums and the supporting fibers are damaged or otherwise unhealthy, the gumline can begin to wear away, in a condition that is referred to as gum recession. This results in the exposure of the roots of the teeth and bone loss in the corresponding location.
This condition can occur slowly over a long period of time, or it can happen rapidly within just a few months. Gum recession may affect a single tooth, or it may involve multiple teeth, details that are difficult to determine without a professional periodontal examination. As a specialist in the health and anatomy of the structures that support the teeth, your periodontist can identify receding gums and can determine if treatment is needed.
What Causes It?
What Can I Do About It?
Unaddressed gum recession can become progressively more severe, leaving the teeth sensitive and unsupported and the roots susceptible to decay. In fact, this form of periodontal disease is likely to result in tooth loss without the proper treatment.
Even after receding gums have been identified, the tissues will not regrow on their own, although there are a number of periodontal procedures that have been shown to resolve the problem with great success.
The treatment for receding gums can range from non-surgical to surgical, and may include professional cleanings, antibiotics, laser dentistry or gum grafting. However, the most important key to restoring your periodontal health is you! Your willingness and cooperation both in the dental office and at home will put you back on the road to recovery in no time.
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