Our Dental Blog

Are My Gums Shrinking?

September 7, 2018
Women watchinf herself in Mirror

Looking into the mirror and seeing a change can be frightening. Whether it’s pimples, wrinkles, or something more serious, we tend to be the ones the quickest to notice a change in the mirror. If your gums look like they might be shrinking, it could be because they are receding. Gum recession occurs when the soft gingival tissues begin pulling away from the teeth. Sometimes this can expose the tooth’s roots to cause pain, sensitivity, and an increased buildup of bacteria. If left to advance, gum recession can lead to tooth and bone loss. If you notice a change in your gum tissue, it is important to talk to your dentist in Kansas City, MO.

Potential Causes

There are several possible causes for gum recession: advanced gum disease (periodontitis), overly aggressive brushing and flossing, trauma, genetics, and bruxism. Bruxism is the habitual grinding of teeth that often happens while you are sleeping. Your dentist can examine your smile and talk to you about your daily life to help determine the cause of gum recession.

Potential Treatment

The treatment will obviously depend on the cause of the gum recession. In any case, early treatment is important. If gum recession is caught early enough, it might be reversed without extensive treatment. If the cause is your brushing habits, your dentist may talk you through ways to improve your oral hygiene routine. If the cause is bruxism, your dentist may want to help you treat that issue. Grinding your teeth can cause more damage to your smile beyond receding gums. If gum disease is the culprit, a scaling and root planing may help to remove bacteria from the area. At more advanced stages of gum disease, there is no longer a chance to reverse the disease. Rather the disease must be managed to keep it progressing into the terribly serious stages (stages where tooth loss can occur). If gum disease is still in the early enough stages, there may be a chance to reverse it and its effects.

Have You Noticed Your Gums Looking Smaller?

Gum recession can be a sign of advanced gum disease.To schedule a consultation, call Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry of Kansas City, MO, today at 816-427-4018.