The danger with receding gums is that the damage happens so gradually you don't realize it's happening at first. Initial signs of receding gums are simply when you can see more teeth and less gums around your teeth. What's actually happening is the gums are slowly pulling back from the edges of the tooth, and the roots are becoming exposed.
There are TWO main causes of receding gums:
1. Dental Trauma
Dental Trauma can be caused by a strong blow to the face or just from brushing your teeth too vigorously or flossing too aggressively.
2. Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease begins with poor oral hygiene, which can then lead to gingivitis – a fancy term for inflamed gums. If left untreated, this can then turn into a more serious condition called periodontitis – when the gums are actually receding. When this occurs, pockets form and bacteria can grow causing further complications.
Common symptoms of periodontal disease are sensitivity to hot and cold, and gum line changes.
While receding gums are not reversible, and once they have receded, they do not grow back. Here's the good news— it is possible to stop the progression if the signs are caught and treated promptly. When receding gums are left untreated, it can lead to eventual loss of bone then tooth loss. Needless to say, the longer you wait, the harder it is to treat and the course of treatment will be more aggressive.
In a nutshell, you want to be gentle and consistent with the routine care of your teeth and gums, and see your dentist right away if you have any discomfort or noticeable changes around your gums.
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