The first signs of a receding gum problem are usually redness of the tissue and then easily bleeding with any pressure. Unfortunately this is usually long after the actual disease that causes most cases of receding gums has begun. That is why the best way to prevent receding gums is to properly care for your teeth and mouth all the time.
Receding gums can be caused by several things, most commonly incorrect brushing and flossing, brushing too hard over a long period of time, bad eating habits, and even grinding the teeth. All of these things are items that can be dealt with before and adverse symptoms appear.
Proper eating habits such as avoiding sweets and acidy foods as well as regular brushing, and dental checkups go a long way to preventing the onset of periodontal disease that is the main cause of receding gums. Learning the correct way to brush and floss can prevent the damage of enamel and gums from brushing too hard, and if any occurrence of grinding becomes apparent a quick trip to the dentist for a mouth guard will help to prevent damage.
Once the disease has advanced to outwardly noticeable symptoms you will often see such issues arise as:
• Tooth sensitivity—hot and cold foods impacting on exposed nerves create an extreme pain that can often times become unbearable.
• Toothy smiles—Teeth appear longer because the gums are receding back from the base of the tooth. This creates a very ‘toothy smile’. As the gums recede further pockets between the teeth at the root become visible.
• Notched tooth—as the root of the tooth is exposed a notched can be felt when running a finger, or the tongue over the tooth. This is the exposed edge of the enamel above which is the tooth root.
• Color change—the tooth appears to become a different color. This is due to the difference in color between the enamel, and the cementum (the surface layer of the tooth).
• Space between teeth becomes wider—in actuality it is the same, but the gums pulling back show the spaces between the roots and the teeth appear to be pulling apart.
• Increased incidence of cavities.
• Bad breath—caused by the infection in the gums.
At most stages of gum disease there are still remedies that can be affected to help delay the progression of the disease. Surgery to repair the gum line, and/or graft healthy gum tissue to the infected areas can add years to the health of your teeth and gums. Once the bone has become severely damaged and many teeth are lost it may be necessary to remove the remaining teeth and replace them with dentures. This is a last resort in most cases and dentists do everything in their power to avoid needing to advise this permanent solution.
In some cases if the tooth and nerve damage are severe, and some bone loss has occurred it may still be possible to remove the damaged teeth and nerves and replace them with implants which is a much better solution than full dentures. For these reasons it is always advisable to prevent gum disease rather than try to prevent or cure it after it has become a problem.