Gum recession happens when the gum tissue begins to pull away from the teeth, which can expose the tooth’s roots. When this happens, bacteria can accumulate in the spaces between the teeth and the gum tissue, which can cause an infection.
Receding gums are a sign of gum disease and typically happen as the condition advances, which can lead to sensitive teeth, bleeding gums, and teeth that appear longer. But is gum recession reversible once it starts? Here’s what you need to know.
Gum Recession May Be Reversible If Caught Early
Gum recession is easiest to reverse if it’s caught early. Gingivitis, which means gum inflammation, is the beginning stage of gum disease and can typically be reversed with a deep cleaning and regular care from your dentist . However, if left to progress to full-blown periodontal disease, gum recession becomes harder to reverse.
Since gum tissue doesn’t generally grow back, gum recession can be challenging to treat. Any gum recession that occurs is likely to lead to more gum recession as a result of exposed tooth roots and irritation. This is why catching gum disease early is so important, as it can increase your chances for successful gum recession reversal.
Brushing and Flossing at Home Can Help
If you’ve been treated for gingivitis or gum disease, home care habits are going to be important in preventing the condition from returning. Research shows using an electric toothbrush as opposed to a manual one can help inhibit gum recession from progressing, so this could be a smart investment for you if you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease .
Flossing daily is also going to help remove plaque and bacteria from between teeth where it would otherwise accumulate and cause gum irritation. Your dentist can advise you on best home care habits for your oral health to help keep gum disease at bay and prevent gum recession from getting worse.
What Happens If It’s Not Treated?
If gum recession isn’t treated, it will get worse over time. People who have advanced gum disease will likely need a gum graft to successfully restore their gum tissue . A gum graft is a procedure in which tissue is taken from another area in your oral cavity and placed over the areas affected by severe gum recession to help regenerate healthy gum tissue.
While gum recession can be unsightly and uncomfortable, it can be treated. Your dentist will work with you to address your gum recession before it gets worse and advise you on how you can protect your smile from gum disease. If your teeth appear longer or you’re noticing your teeth are more sensitive, it’s time to see if gum recession could be affecting your smile and what you can do about it!