Wondering whether tooth extraction is considered an emergency dental procedure? Read on to find out when you might need an emergency tooth extraction. No one ever wants to undergo an emergency tooth extraction. Yet sometimes, it is the only way to alleviate pain and restore oral health. A dentist will usually do their best to…
What Are Receding Gums?
A lot of people have receding gums. For most, it does not cause any discomfort or embarrassment. However, some people feel extremely self-conscious about the way they look, especially when smiling. If you have this problem and want to do something about it, talk to your dentist. You will discover several viable treatment options.
Understanding receding gums
As a simple explanation, receding gums have pulled away from one or more teeth. When that occurs, it often leaves roots exposed. Again, many people find this unsightly. However, there is a bigger concern. The gap created is an ideal place for plaque and bacteria to develop. If that happens, there is a significant risk of infection.
What causes this?
As for the cause of receding gums, there are several different possibilities. Knowing what these are can help people avoid this problem in a lot of cases. This is why becoming educated about good oral hygiene is so important. Following are the most common reasons that people have gums that recede.
- Poor dental care — This includes improper brushing, flossing and rinsing, as well as brushing too hard
- Wear and tear — Even gums can wear down, causing them to recede and become inflamed
- Genetics — In some instances, a receding gumline is an inherited trait
- Miscellaneous — Additional causes include misaligned teeth, damaged from a dental treatment and even tongue piercings
Potential risk factors
Along with the known causes for receding gums are a few possible risk factors. For instance, many people struggle with this problem after the age of 65. Also, smokers are more inclined to develop receding gums. Diabetes is another potential risk, which increases the likelihood of this condition. Fortunately, there are some preventative measures that people can take. However, once the gumline has receded, it is essential to seek help from a dental professional.
Treating patients with receding gums
The good news is that most cases of receding gums are mild. For that reason, a patient would not require any treatment. For those who need dental care, a dentist might first recommend using some type of bonding agent. When applied to the involved teeth, these help by reducing the sensitivity level caused by an exposed root. These also make it easier for the individual to brush.
Another treatment consists of covering the surface of the root with a composite resin. Typically, a dentist uses a tooth-colored material so it blends in naturally. The composite resin also fills any gaps, again, reducing sensitivity. In that case, the dentist would likely use a pink-colored composite or porcelain material to match the patient’s gums.
There are even removable veneers made specifically for receding gums. Made from silicone or acrylic, these work by replacing a large area of missing tissue. Orthodontics is also a good treatment. With this, bracers or aligners reposition the teeth, which corrects the problem with the gums. Finally, an individual might require surgery. For that, an oral surgeon would use a tissue graft.
Get the help you need
If you have receding gums, visit your dentist to discuss your options. Regardless of which treatment you end up getting, you can enhance your self-esteem. Remember, there are times when a receding gumline does not need treatment. The only way you will know is by talking to a dental professional.
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