The gums are the thick, pink tissue surrounding the teeth in the mouth. The gums, also referred to as the gingiva, protect the sensitive roots and nerves of the teeth. Many people suffer from the gradual loss of the gums, known as receding gums. This can be due to a number of reasons, with periodontal disease being the most common. Over brushing, lip piercings, bad dental work, and misaligned teeth can also cause gums to recede in patients with an otherwise healthy mouth. A receding gum line can lead to problems with sensitivity, greater risk of tooth loss and an unsightly smile. That’s why regular checkups and dental cleanings are important!
The soft tissue of the gums is the first line of protection for the teeth and underlying jawbone. They work with the roots and the jawbone in anchoring the teeth. When the gums recede, they expose the roots of the teeth and, in severe cases, the bone. This makes the patient more vulnerable to damaging the roots of their teeth, as well as the bone. This damage, along with the absence of the thick gums, puts the patient at a greater risk of losing their teeth. Tooth loss can be more than just unappealing. Losing a tooth can cause trouble with speech and eating. If left untreated, the remaining teeth will begin to shift and can cause an uneven bite. A “bad bite” can lead to pain in the jaw and headaches.
The roots of the teeth are filled with nerves and are much more sensitive than the rest of the tooth. When the roots become exposed, patients often suffer from tooth sensitivity. The sensitivity usually causes severe and sharp pains to shoot through the tooth and bone. Most people will have sensitivity to hot and cold drinks and food. Exposure to sweet or sour foods can also cause pain to the sensitive roots of the teeth. Some sensitivity is so severe, the pressure of simply brushing the teeth can be too much for some.
For many, receding gums can be a cause of embarrassment. The gums often recede quicker on the left side because we tend to put more pressure on that side when brushing our teeth. This leads to uneven recession, which makes the issue more obvious. Gingival recontouring is a great option for helping with the appearance of receding gums in patients with generally healthy teeth. If you are ready to address your receding gums, schedule a consultation with our team at Atlanta Smiles today!