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Gingival recession: Treatment, symptoms, advice and help

About gingival recession

Gingival recession also known by name of ‘receding gums’ - is a dental condition characterised by the shrinking of gum tissue which may result from several factors. This is a gradually progressive condition.

Gingival recession: Incidence, age and sex

Gingival recession may affect an individual in any age group. However, it is more common in teenagers and middle-aged adults, especially those who have poor dental hygiene.

Signs and symptoms of gingival recession: Diagnosis

Gingival recession results in increased exposure of teeth due to moving back of gum tissue away from the teeth. Subsequently, the teeth look longer in size. Sometimes, the gums recede back excessively resulting in exposure of roots of teeth. This condition can affect any part of dentition, but the frontal part is most frequently involved. Affected individuals may experience abnormal hot or cold sensation in teeth. If gingival recession is accompanied with gingivitis, then the gums may be red and swollen. A comprehensive dental examination is mandatory to evaluate the condition.

Causes and prevention of gingival recession

Several causative factors may play a role in causing gingival recession. These include infection of gum tissue also known as gingivitis or any other diseased condition of gums. Sometimes ill-fitting dentures or braces may irritate the gums and progress to gum recession. Structural factors like overcrowding of teeth, thin gum tissue or prominent roots of teeth may also lead to this dental condition. Aggressive dental hygiene which involves vigorous brushing of teeth and forceful rubbing of gums is a potential risk factor in causation of gingival recession. A few measures like timely management of dental caries and maintaining adequate dental hygiene may go a long way in preventing this dental problem.

Gingival recession: Complications

Gingival recession if left untreated, may lead to loss of dentin which is a significant structural material of teeth. In long-standing cases, roots of teeth may get infected which is a painful and serious condition.

Gingival recession: Treatment

It is essential to evaluate the condition and detect the underlying cause of gingival recession. There is no absolute cure for this condition. The first and foremost step is to evaluate and subsequently manage the cause of gingival recession. Thereafter depending upon the severity of recession, surgical intervention can be considered. Surgical approach involves periodontal surgery wherein the damaged gum tissue is replaced with healthy tissue.