Gum recession is one of the signs of gum disease that’s often difficult to notice until it’s progressed. This is because the gums can recede over a period of several years, lowering the chance that you’ll notice the difference in your smile! However, it’s important to know the signs of gum recession so that you can spot gum disease before it takes over your smile. What are the signs of gum recession?
The Appearance of Longer Teeth
You know your smile. But would you notice if your teeth gradually got longer over time? Many people don’t realize that their appearance has changed and that their teeth actually look bigger or longer than they did before. The appearance of longer teeth is one of the signs of gum recession and can be indicative of gum disease. Take a close look at your teeth—does it look like there’s more of the tooth and less of the gum visible? You could be looking at gum recession!
Red or Swollen Gums
Gums affected by gum disease and gum recession are often red and swollen. Your gums should be firm and pink, but if your gums have a puffy appearance and look to be swollen out from your teeth at the gumline, you could be seeing a sign of gum recession, especially if red or irritated gums are present in addition to these other signs. Red or swollen gums may also bleed when you brush or floss.
Brown Spots at the Gumline
This is a sneaky sign of gum recession that often isn’t noticeable until it’s a large enough area for you to spot! When your gums begin to recede, a brown area can form at the top of your tooth near the gumline. This means that the root of your tooth could be exposed—this can lead to extreme sensitivity to hot and cold, pain, and even a tooth infection. If you notice that your gums are pulling back and are seeing some root exposure, get yourself to a dentist as soon as possible!
Larger Spaces Between Teeth
Teeth are meant to fit together evenly, but when you begin to notice that there are larger gaps in-between your teeth than there were before, your gums could be pulling away from your teeth. These larger spaces between teeth could mean the absence of vital gum tissue, which protects your teeth just as much as your tooth enamel does. When spaces begin to get bigger or you notice gaps in your smile (especially at the roots of your teeth), you may be experiencing gum recession.
The earlier gum recession is identified, the easier your treatment will be. If your gums progressively recede, you could even need surgery for gum grafting to repair your affected gums. Schedule a visit with your dentist to talk about gum recession and gum disease. As a common oral health problem, you could be experiencing signs of gum recession and not know it—but your dentist will be able to tell and can help you treat the condition before it gets worse!