Receding gums can be a symptom of gum disease, an infection of gum tissues caused by the bacteria in plaque and tartar. Plaque is a sticky film that builds on teeth as bacteria convert sugars into acids that damage teeth. It turns into tartar when left on teeth for a few days.
Gum disease is one of the most common reasons that people seek dental care, and it is more likely to affect people over the age of 30. It is the leading cause of adult tooth loss, and it is linked to health issues like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Also called periodontal disease, gum disease damages gum and bone structures that keep teeth in place. Other symptoms of the condition include inflamed gum tissues, loose teeth, and pus coming from the base of teeth.
receding gums is not always a symptom of periodontal disease. It can also be caused by brushing too strenously or using a toothbrush that is too hard.
Gum disease occurs in two main stages: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the first stage of the condition, and it comes with symptoms like purplish gum tissues, receding gums, and gum tissues that bleed when touched. Fortunately, the condition can be easily reversed with improved oral hygiene and teeth cleanings. In some cases, a dentist might recommend deep cleaning, a more comprehensive form of teeth cleaning that involves removing tartar from teeth roots.
If left untreated, gingivitis will eventually morph into periodontitis, a chronic inflammation of gum tissues that cannot be reversed. It can lead to inflammation in other parts of the body. Periodontitis has been linked to inflammatory diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis. Gum disease has also been linked to increased plaque formation in arteries. Plaque restricts blood flow to the heart, leading to cardiovascular events like heart attacks.
The inflammation that characterizes gum disease is caused by antibodies trying to eliminate the infection of gum tissues. Over time, the inflammation leads to the deterioration of the soft bone structures that hold teeth in place. As a result, teeth become loose, and spaces start forming between them. Eventually, some of the person’s teeth start falling out.
Treatments that a dentist can use to manage the more advanced stage of gum disease include the following.
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