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Gingival recession: when the gums retreat

gingival recession

The gingival recession is a pathology that involves the gums, it is commonly recognized for its effect, that of the withdrawn gums. What happens, from a clinical point of view, is a retreat of the gums from their original and natural position towards the apical margin, that is the root, of the tooth.

The gingival recession has as immediate consequence, visible even with the naked eye, the greater exposure of the teeth which appear elongated and exposed. To this first aesthetic problem are added other disorders such as: hypersensitivity of the teeth, inflammation, potential periodontitis.

The causes of the gingival recession

Gingival recession causesAll teeth can be affected by gingival recession, especially the canines and premolars are particularly subject to the phenomenon of withdrawn gums. The main cause of the gingival recession can be found in poor oral hygiene or prolonged incorrect use of the toothbrush.

The gingival recession is often the culmination of a series of ailments that are neglected over time, which is why follow-up visits are essential even when the gums seem healthy.

The use of a hard bristled brush, excessive pressure during brushing or an incorrect brushing technique are actions which, if repeated daily, can favor gingival recession.

Among the causes or in any case among the factors that may affect the onset of the problem are also:

  • Bruxism (tendency to clench teeth)
  • Dental malocclusion
  • Eating disorders (bulimia)
  • Periodontitis (both cause and consequence of the gingival recession)
  • Lip or tongue piercing

The main symptoms of the gingival recession

When the pathology of the withdrawn gums occurs, the following symptoms can turn from mild to severe. For this reason, at the first appearance of one of the signals indicated below, it is advisable to book a check-up visit from your dentist as soon as possible:

  • Dentinal hypersensitivity: the teeth become sensitive to both thermal stimuli (hot / cold) and mechanical stimuli (contact of the tooth with the tongue, corresponding tooth or toothbrush)
  • Bleeding: swollen and red gums are the symptom of gingival inflammation (gingivitis), in these cases the gingival recession may already be at an advanced stage
  • Halitosis (bad breath): fruit of the accumulation of plaque and tartar in the oral cavity
  • Aesthetic changes: teeth that seem longer, color difference between the upper part and the part that is discovered near the root of the tooth, interdental spaces that seem wider
  • Displacement and loss of teeth: this is the most alarming symptom and could indicate a very advanced stage of the gingival recession

Treatment of the gingival recession

There are different ways of intervening on the pathology of the gingival recession based on the timeliness of the diagnosis. If the pathology is diagnosed in good time it is possible to intervene with a gingival surgery (a gum transplant) to give new coverage to the roots of the teeth.

In extreme cases, when the gingival recession has affected the stability of the tooth, implantology is the only solution to restore chewing and aesthetic function.

It may seem trivial and repetitive, but before every cure there is always prevention. In daily oral hygiene, performed regularly, one should be careful to use a brush with soft bristles and perform brushing without applying excessive pressure, with a vertical movement that goes from the gum to the upper part of the tooth, never the other way round .

To avoid favoring the regression of the gums it is also recommended to avoid toothpastes that have an abrasive paste. Small precautions that could save us from an annoying problem.

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