February 19, 2020
Have you ever heard someone call someone else “a little long in the tooth?” It’s an expression that means someone is getting old. We say this because older folks are more likely to get gum disease in Ft. Collins. One of the symptoms of gum disease is receding gums, or gum tissue that pulls back from the teeth. However, this doesn’t have to be a symptom inherent of growing old. Keep reading to learn what you can do to combat receding gums.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a bacterial infection in the gum tissue as well as the bone that supports the teeth and keeps them firmly anchored in place. It typically starts as a result of poor oral hygiene. When plaque hardens into tartar below the gumline, bacteria in tartar then attack the structures supporting the teeth. Your gums may bleed or pull back from the teeth. Your teeth might even become loose and fall out!
Can Receding Gums Grow Back?
Unfortunately, your gum tissue does not regenerate in the same way that much of your other bodily tissues do. Because of this, gums that have receded cannot grow back naturally. However, there are a few ways to treat receding gums.
What Can You Do About Receding Gums?
Even though receding gums don’t grow back, you can slow down the process.
First things first, call your dentist if you notice your gums pulling away from your teeth. Your dentist can measure the distance your gums have receded and plan a treatment accordingly. If they determine that you have bacteria in the spaces between your gums and your teeth, they will perform a scaling and root planing procedure, also known as a dental deep cleaning.
Scaling and root planing involve scraping away plaque and tartar from beneath your gumline, and then smoothing out your tooth roots so that bacteria have a hard time sticking to them in the future. Your dentist may also apply a topical antibiotic to the area and/or prescribe an antibiotic in pill form to kill off any hard-to-reach bacteria.
During this time, proper oral hygiene is crucial. Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush, and floss at least once daily. Ideally, you should brush and floss after every meal, but twice is more than good enough.
About the Author
Dr. Shiloh Lindsey graduated as valedictorian of her 1999 class at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center School of Dentistry. For the past 19 years, she has been voted “Best Dentist in Ft. Collins” by her peers. Her practice offers periodontal therapy, like scaling and root planing, to treat gum disease and receding gums. To learn more, visit her website.
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