Receding gums can be caused by many factors. It’s important to figure out why your gums are receding and stop the cause. However, once you’ve stopped the gum recession from advancing, your gums won’t grow back. You need to get treatment to restore your gums to their previous position.
And it’s important that you do, because it can impact not only your appearance, but also your comfort, and, potentially, the lifespan of your teeth. Here are five reasons to treat your receding gums.
Your Smile Looks Unhealthy
When your gums have receded, it’s very obvious to everyone who sees your smile. They can tell that your gums have peeled back on several of your teeth. You may have developed black triangles around your teeth. Maybe your teeth look too long. Maybe you have exposed yellowish cementum.
All of these contribute to the appearance of teeth that are unhealthy. And if your teeth look unhealthy, you look unhealthy.
Your Teeth Look Crooked
Another way that receding gums impact the appearance of your smile is that they can make your teeth look crooked. The alignment of your teeth is determined not just by the teeth themselves, but by the correlation of the two defining lines of your teeth, their cusps and where they meet your gums.
If your gums have receded, it disrupts the lower margin of your teeth, which can make your teeth look not only uneven in size, but also crooked. If you’ve had orthodontics to straighten your teeth, it would be a shame to lose the benefit because of receding gums.
Your tooth enamel should be sturdy enough to avoid sensitivity. After all, it’s supposed to be exposed. But the cementum on your tooth roots is not thick or strong enough to resist exposure to hot or cold foods. That’s why people with receding gums experience tooth sensitivity–a part of the tooth that isn’t supposed to be exposed had become exposed.
Toothpaste for sensitive teeth can provide some short-term relief, but the sensitivity will likely persist until either the tooth dies or the roots are covered again.
Cementum is a very good material for what it’s supposed to do, anchor your teeth in your jawbone. It’s got a rough surface that helps your periodontal ligaments attach to the tooth. It’s a similar mineral content to bone tissue, so it’s very compatible with the environment.
But cementum is not well-suited to resisting decay. The rough surface also makes it easier for bacteria to cling to your teeth so they can shelter from your toothbrush and saliva. And because cementum is not as hard or mineralized as enamel, it’s more vulnerable to the acid that oral bacteria excretes.
As a result, you are more likely to develop cavities in your roots than in your tooth crowns–once the roots are exposed. So it’s important to cover those roots before they begin to experience decay.
There are many potential causes of tooth loss that can be related to receding gums. First, root cavities can lead to tooth loss. The tooth can also be at a higher risk of breaking once more of it is exposed, especially the narrow root made of softer cementum. And your gums will be vulnerable to future recession, which can go along with bone recession that will leave your tooth loose or completely unanchored.
Although there are not good studies linking receding gums to tooth loss, receding gums can contribute to all these mechanisms, and we’ve seen it happen many times. We recommend treatment of receding gums not just for cosmetic reasons, but to protect your teeth.
Are You Ready to Restore Your Gums?
If you are unhappy with the appearance or health of receded gums, we can help restore your gums to their previous position. Please call today for an appointment with an Orange County cosmetic dentist at Rice Dentistry in Irvine.