Receding and inflamed gums needing periodontal treatmentClearly, everyone would love to have healthy gums. Not only do they look better, but they help you to keep your teeth, and are actually connected to the health of other body parts such as your heart. The main cause of gingival recession (receding gums) happens is because of harmful bacteria that live at, and below the gum line.  This bacteria can cause bleeding gums and gum disease called gingivitis. It also allows for bone loss to occur. If the bone loss around the tooth root gets bad enough a deep cleaning with scaling and root planing may be necessary. During this cleaning, a dentist will pull back the gum tissue and scale the pockets where bacteria live so that the tooth surface is smooth and there are no pockets left for the bacteria to hide (sometimes called scaling and planing.) Left untreated periodontal diseases can lead to loose teeth and tooth loss. Chronic gum disease also causes bad breath and painful inflammation of the gum. 


Receding gums are an issue everyone has to deal with. Often people don’t notice that their gums are receding because it happens gradually.  Maintaining oral hygiene is an important factor in slowing and preventing gum loss, but there is always the possibility that you will develop gum loss simply due to age. 



How to tell if your gums are healthy:


Healthy gums are dark red but when they recede pink tissue at the roots of the tooth is exposed. The expression long in the tooth meaning having reached old age refers to gingival recession and the fact that the teeth do look longer as people age because of gum disease. Oral hygiene is the key to slowing receding gums but it is important that it be done correctly. For example, brushing the teeth too hard can cause gums to further recede. It is important when you brush and floss that you brush your teeth correctly. It’s also important to know that it’s not normal to see blood when you brush. If you are seeing blood when you brush, you may already have gum disease and should contact your dentist. 


Another cause of gum loss is tooth grinding. Grinding your teeth can misalign them and cause tiny spaces to form between them where plaque and tartar can build up and make harmful bacteria more difficult to remove.  Good daily habits of oral hygiene are the key to avoiding receding gums and gum disease and having healthy gums is both cosmetic and also very import for your general oral health and keeping your teeth into old age.