Most cases of receding gums are caused by the dental condition periodontal disease (gum disease). This is a common ailment for both men and women especially over the age of 40. Three out of four adults have some form of gum disease. In some cases it even begins in childhood. Cases can remain mild for a matter of years or deteriorate rapidly in a matter of months. It is the inflammation from the gum disease that causes the deterioration of the healthy gum tissue and makes it recede from the tooth surface producing the tell-tale signs of periodontal disease—a toothy smile.
Early on, the only symptoms of beginning gum disease may be redness and swelling that lead to sensitivity and easy bleeding. For the most part periodontal disease is caused by the buildup of plaque that releases toxins into the gums and causes them to become infected and inflamed. In some instances it can be a matter of brushing too much, too often, and too vigorously actually causing damage to the gum tissue; this is rarely the case however and inappropriate brushing and flossing are usually the culprit.
As the disease progresses the gums pull back further from the tooth exposing the sensitive nerves and creating spaces between the teeth and nerves called pockets. At this stage of the gum disease the pain can be quite unbearable and a visit to the dentist is an absolute necessity. The dentist can provide medication to help alleviate the swelling of the gums, and deaden the sensitive nerves but this is only temporary and a permanent solution will have to be completed before the damage to the nerves of the tooth are complete.
Periodontal disease is the number one reason for tooth loss in adults. If properly cared for adults can keep their own teeth for their entire lives. Gum disease that leads to receding gums is much easier prevented than cured although in most cases if treated before severe damage and bone loss occur there are remedies for receding gums. Proper brushing and flossing of the teeth and rising with a good antiseptic are the best prevention of troublesome gum disease.
Giving toddlers and infants bottles with plain water rather than sugary juices or sodas help to prevent many forms of adolescent gum disease. Milk should never be given to an infant in their bottle while laying in bed or left when they fall asleep as the liquid can pool in their mouths and create problems that will become more evident as they mature and enter their teen and adult years.
If your gums have already begun to recede there are surgeries that can be performed to replace the damaged tissue with a transplant of healthy gum from another area of the mouth. This procedure is relatively routine and very little recovery time is necessary after surgery. There is some suggestion that the topical application of comfrey herbs or non-acidic folic acid applied to the gums can help to reverse the stages of gum disease. No matter what attempts are made to remedy the situation the fact remains that you should do everything in your power to avoid needing a remedy.
If ignored and left untreated very often the only recourse to advanced gum disease is the removal of any remaining teeth in order to let the gums close and heal completely and then the application of dentures, although modern advances of implants have made this a less frightening option there is still no better model than your original teeth.