As the margin of teeth recede, the roots of the teeth are exposed. Receding gums are a very common oral problem and are of concern as it may be the warning signs of many gum diseases. Gum deterioration occurs gradually with time and creates small pockets or gaps between the tooth and the gum, which allows growth of disease-causing bacteria in the affected areas. It may lead to many complications if not treated properly. Tooth with receding gums looks longer than normal teeth, and is often characterized by sensitivity. There will be a small notch near the margin of the tooth, which can be felt with the tongue. Treating the receding gums on time would help to prevent further damage to the affected teeth.
Receding gums are caused by a number of factors:
- Periodontal disease – This is one of the most common causes of receding gums. Bacterial infection of the gums affects the gums and the supporting tissues at the base of the tooth. This pulls the gum away from the margins exposing the roots.
- Genetic factors – People with certain genes are found to be more prone to get receding gums when compared to others. Reports suggest that about 30% of people have this genetic constitution in the population and this makes them more susceptible even when the oral hygiene and care are good.
- Aggressive brushing your teeth – Brushing teeth the wrong way or just too hard may also lead to tearing of the gums from the margins. The enamel of the teeth also wears away by this.
- Improper oral care – Not brushing or flossing adequately may lead to plaque buildup in the teeth causing gum recession.
- Hormonal changes – Gums become more susceptible to recession during certain stages of the life of a women like puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. The gums become very sensitive than normal and it makes it easier to pull away from the rim.
- Use of tobacco – Use of tobacco and its products makes sticky plaques which do not wear off and lead to gum recession.
- Teeth clenching – This puts more pressure on the teeth and lead to recession of gums from the margin.
- Crooked teeth – Misaligned teeth also puts pressure on the teeth and the gums allowing them to pull away.
- Multiple factors, such as periodontal disease, genetic factors, aggressively brushing your teeth, improper oral care, and hormonal changes, can lead to receding gums.