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What is Gingival Recession and What Causes it?


Of the many health issues facing people, dental health can have far-reaching implications, from whole-body health to self-esteem. If your teeth and gums aren’t kept in peak condition with regular checkups and constant oral care at home, several conditions can crop up that can only be fixed with restorative dental treatments that we offer at South Meadows Dental & Orthodontics.

One of the most often ignored issues people encounter is gum disease, which is marked by gingival recession, or receding gums. There are many possible and contributing causes of this condition, and few solutions, which means preventive care is extremely important to prevent gum disease.

What is Gingival Recession?

Gingival recession is the phenomenon of gum tissue receding from the visible parts of the teeth in the mouth. Not only does this become apparent as your teeth appear larger, with more surface enamel exposed, but it also leads to symptoms like sensitivity, accelerated tooth decay, and pain.

Gingival recession is the main symptom of gum disease, also called gingivitis, which can lead to more serious decay called periodontal disease, which requires more frequent and more involved teeth cleanings from a dentist in Reno.

The Causes of Gingival Recession

The general cause of gingivitis or gingival recession is poor oral health. However, certain behaviors, habits, and substances can accelerate the condition. Tooth grinding, or bruxism, can accelerate all kinds of tooth decay and damage, including gingival recession. In addition, overly aggressive brushing or toothbrushes with too-hard bristles can wear away at gums and irritate them more immediately, as well as brushing with a purely side-to-side motion as opposed to a circular one.

Finally, tobacco use and piercings can aggravate the gums and teeth, quickening gum disease and gumline recession. With age, all of these causes will worsen the condition of the teeth, gums, or both.

What’s problematic about gum disease is that it’s often painless. People don’t realize they have an issue until it becomes uncomfortable or unbearable, meaning it takes years for the disease to manifest and get worse before people seek treatment. This re-emphasizes the importance of regular checkups and cleanings by a dentist who can see more than you might feel in your mouth, spotting the early stages of gingival recession and creating a treatment plan to stop or even reverse it.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Gingival Recession

Diagnosing gum disease is relatively simple. There are standard protocols to measure the depth of gum loss to determine if you have gum disease, periodontitis, or other degrees of gingival recession. From there, your dentist will ask you about your oral health, including any symptoms involving tooth grinding and other potential risk factors. You will then be advised on a treatment plan to fill cavities, treat sensitive teeth, remove piercings, quitting smoking, or many other types of lifestyle changes that might help slow the progress of gum disease.

Gum and Dental Care in Reno, NV

If you’re suffering from sensitive teeth, sudden changes in your oral health, or a cosmetic issue with your smile or mouth, the dental professionals at South Meadows Dental & Orthodontics are here to help. Call or contact us online to start a conversation about your needs and our availability.

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