Receding Gums – The Causes And The Risks

Helping our Clapham patients to maintain healthy gums.

Gum recession not only detracts from an otherwise attractive smile, but can create other problems too. In today’s blog, we take a look at why some people’s gum recede, how to prevent it, and the problems that can occur if we don’t.

Natural causes

It should be said that gums are likely to recede, to some degree, as we grow older. This is simply one of those unfortunate facts of life, like wrinkles, that we would rather avoid. Most of us would probably agree though, that we would rather our gums not recede until we are in the later years of our life and avoid it completely if at all possible.

Other causes

Medical – There are a number of potential medical reasons for your gums to recede. These include hormonal changes, such as during pregnancy, and other medical conditions where the immune system is affected, making it less able to fight bacterial infections. Some medications may also cause gums to recede as a side effect. If your medication has this listed and you are concerned, please consult your GP before stopping any medication.

Gum disease – This is one of the most common reasons for gum recession that we see here at the Confidental Clinic in Clapham. Both gingivitis and the more advanced periodontitis, will cause this to happen over time. In addition to improving your home oral health regimen, we strongly advise that you see our helpful dental hygienist on a regular basis for professional cleaning (also known as a scale and polish).

Incorrect brushing – In their desire to have clean teeth, some patients are prone to use excessive force when brushing. This can have the effect of wearing away the gums and, at the same time, causing enamel damage which increases the risk of tooth decay. A gentle circular motion with a relatively new toothbrush is all that is needed and our hygienists will show you the correct techniques.

The problems

Aside from any aesthetic issues, receding gums can create other problems. The main one of these is that it reveals the root part of your tooth which is not covered in enamel. This porous layer of the tooth, known as dentin, is more vulnerable to decay and infections as it is unprotected. Because the nerves are more easily reached via the porous material of this part of the tooth, many patients are likely to experience extra sensitivity when eating or drinking very hot or cold foods too.

Receding gums should not occur until later in life, and even then, the risks can be minimised. To help maintain healthy teeth and gums, please call the Confidental Clinic in Clapham today to arrange your dentist or hygienist appointment on 020 7801 9060.