Gum recession is the unhealthy ailment that causes vertical loss of gum tissue around the teeth. There are many causes of receding gums, but all involve irritation to the gum tissue around the teeth.
There are generally two types of gum tissue:tick/flat and thin/scalloped. For those with thin and scalloped gums, you may be prone to recession more than others. A solution that many think will help their gums is to scrub or brush them excessively, but that can actually cause more harm than good. In addition, having a bite that is off or having a lot of dental work can cause more recession of the gums. Even something meant to help, like a sonic toothbrush, can have the unfortunate side effect of separating the gums from the teeth due to vibration. Alcohol-based mouthwashes are also not good since they also increase the amount of gum recession.
The recession of the gums leads to premature erosion of the roots of the teeth. Your teeth will look longer as the gums recede. As the roots are exposed, the bone begins to shrink as well, which is permanent. Recessed teeth lead to increased sensitivity to hot and cold food, and food may begin to stick to the roots and gums easier.
Gum recession leads to dangerous bacteria getting into your bloodstream easier and increased chances for a bevy of ailments including heart attack, pancreatic cancer, stroke, diabetes, respiratory diseases, and Alzheimer’s just to name a few.
Through a visit to the dentist, the cause of the recession can be discovered, and a plan to stop it can be put in place. Early changes can help prevent the need to have gum surgery later on.