I have noticed that my gumlines are receding. Is this a dental emergency? The gums seem healthy, but it looks like they are just pulling away. Why would this be happening? I’m worried something terrible is happening to my teeth.
There are several reasons why your gums could be receding. The only one that would be considered a dental emergency is if you had advanced gum disease. Though, there is not a “one and done” treatment for that. It would require multiple treatments over a period of time. Advanced gum disease is often accompanied by tender and bleeding gums.
You could have general gum disease. While not an emergency, it does need to be dealt with because left untreated, gum disease advances and you will lose your teeth. With very advanced gum disease they can just start coming loose and falling out.
Your dentist should be able to treat you, but if they can’t, you can visit a gum disease specialist. They’re called periodontists.
Another possibility is the bone in the area of the recession could be thinning. This will cause the root to show through, which means the gum gradually recedes over a period of time. In this case, you will just need to be gentle when you brush. There are also esthetic treatments, such as a gum graft.
If you clench or grind your teeth at night, it can cause notches to develop in your teeth at the gumline. This will lead to your gums receding from that area. Wearing a nightguard will help prevent further damage, but it will not repair damage already done.
Finally, one of the simplest causes of gum recession is brushing too aggressively or using a hard-bristled brush. I always recommend soft toothbrushes.
Hopefully, you are going to a dentist who regularly checks for gum disease. If you’re not, it may be time to find another one.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman Estates Dentist Dr. William Becker.