What is gum recession?


Gum recession occurs when the gum line recedes to the point where sensitive roots of the teeth are exposed. This leads to increased feelings of sensitivity to cold and sugary foods since the roots are no longer protected by the gums. If left untreated, gum recession can increase the risks of tooth decay and tooth loss. At Omni Dental in Council Bluffs and Carter Lake, we want to help ensure that your gums are at their optimal health.

Causes of Gum Recession

  • Periodontal disease – a serious oral disease arising from poor oral habits
  • Gingivitis – gum disease characterized by bleeding and swollen gums
  • Aging
  • Overly aggressive brushing and/or flossing – brushing hard in a scrubbing fashion will erode gum tissue at the roots of teeth
  • Genetic predisposition to gingival recession – having inherited thin, insufficient gum tissue facilitates gum recession
  • Bruxism – a condition where someone regularly grinds their teeth, usually during sleep
  • Chewing tobacco/smoking – promotes chronically dry mouth and reduced gum health

Periodontal gingivitis can also be the cause of drooping of the gums. This is a different condition in comparison to gum recession. If your dentist diagnoses you with periodontal gingivitis, the recommended solution may be a gingivectomy. A gingivectomy is a process that removes excess gum tissue that has been weakened by bacterial decay. Another option is a gingivoplasty, which reshapes the gums around the teeth. If left untreated, sagging, drooping, and receding gums may be a dangerous enabler of bacteria growth inside of the mouth. Food particles, mucus, and other debris can get caught in the pockets that are left behind. Oral bacteria is responsible for tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and chronic halitosis.

Treatments for Gum Recession

For the benefit of your health, it’s best to get your gums treated immediately if you notice any issues. It’s possible for your dentist to help reverse the effects of gum recession. One recommendation may be to switch from a hard-bristled toothbrush to a soft-bristled toothbrush that will allow your brushing to be more gentle. We may also recommend improving oral hygiene habits, including brushing after meals, rinsing with mouthwash, and getting regular cleanings every six months.

If you think you may be at risk of gum recession or gingivitis, our team of dental professionals at Omni Dental in Council Bluffs and Carter Lake are here to help. Give us a call today at (888) 860-4886 to reserve an appointment.