Here's How To Reduce Your Risk Of Permanent Damage With Receding Gums

Gum disease is often a silent illness. Many people don't notice that they have it until obvious signs of damage occur, like receding gums. If you have receding gums, chances are you have gum disease. Unfortunately, receding gums can expose parts of your teeth that aren't protected by enamel, so it's important to do what you can to keep your teeth safe. Here's how you should act.

Change Your Diet

There are a few big problems with more of your tooth being exposed. While enamel can be broken down by plaque, bacteria, and long-term decay, parts of the tooth that don't have enamel are at a higher risk of problems with day-to-day eating and drinking.

For now, until your gums are restored, consider changing your diet. Cut back dramatically on sugar and simple carbohydrates, and make sure to rinse after eating them, at the very least. You should also completely avoid acidic foods and drinks, like juice or wine, as they can chew through teeth without enamel with ease and cause severe cavities or even tooth loss.

Start Flossing

If you have receding gums, there's a good chance that you have periodontitis. Unfortunately, this disease can't be reversed at home, but that doesn't mean you can't keep it from getting worse.

If you're not doing it already, you should immediately begin flossing. Flossing will remove food, plaque, and bacteria from under your gumline and from the newly-exposed parts of your teeth. This will lower your risk of developing cavities and help to slow the spread of the gum disease. It may also temporarily reduce inflammation and swelling in your gums, but don't mistake this for a cure.

Get to the Dentist

Finally, get to a dentist, preferably one that specializes in periodontal disease.

Periodontitis typically requires more extensive treatment than reversing gingivitis. Gingivitis can be reversed with a deep cleaning, good oral hygiene at home, and with enough time to allow your gums to heal and recover. With periodontitis, however, chances are you've already lost some gum tissue, and your teeth may have already experienced damage.

Your periodontist will go to work repairing your teeth and fighting the infection in your gums. This will likely entail a deep cleaning, antibiotics, and if necessary, surgical removal of destroyed or severely diseased gum tissue. You may also be given the option of coming back in after you've recovered to have gum graft surgery, which will restore your appearance and provide your teeth with the protection they've lost since your gums receded.

Gum disease is a big problem for many people and is one that can often go unnoticed. Take steps to protect your teeth while you wait to see a dentist, but don't put off seeing one. Doing so could put your gums and teeth at risk of getting even worse. For more information on periodontal disease treatment, contact your local dentist.