August 26, 2022
If you hear someone call a person “long in the tooth,” they probably mean “old.” This expression actually originated from the fact that horses’ teeth grow longer as they age. Although this doesn’t happen in humans, the phrase stuck around because some people’s teeth look longer when they’re older. Often, this is because of gum recession, where the gums have pulled back from the teeth. Has this happened to you? Keep reading to find out whether gums grow back after they’ve receded!
Have My Gums Receded?
Sometimes, it’s easy to spot when your gums have receded because your teeth appear noticeably longer. It’s also possible for the gums to recede without being very visible. Some common symptoms of gum recession include:
- Sensitivity in the gums or teeth.
- Pain near the gumline.
- Bleeding easily when brushing or flossing.
- Swollen or red gum tissue.
Gum recession is more than just an aesthetic concern. Even if you can’t see whether your gums have pulled back from your teeth, your oral health could still be at risk. The roots of your teeth are left exposed, making it easier for bacteria to gather there, which increases your risk of tooth decay and infections.
Do Receded Gums Grow Back?
Unfortunately, gum tissue doesn’t grow back after it has been lost. So, it’s impossible for receded gums to return to their original state unless you undergo a gum grafting procedure. This involves attaching new tissue (typically from the roof of your mouth) onto the areas where gum recession has occurred. However, this treatment is invasive and can be expensive.
While you can’t reverse gum recession, you definitely can prevent it from getting worse by keeping your gums healthy.
How to Stop Gum Recession
More often than not, gum recession occurs because of a bacterial infection called periodontal disease, or gum disease. Without treatment, bacteria can permanently damage the gums and cause them to separate from the teeth. It may even lead to tooth loss! That’s why it’s important to stop gum disease in its tracks.
One easy way to maintain healthy gums is to practice great oral hygiene. This means brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day to clear away leftover food debris that could attract bacteria. You should also remember to visit your dentist every six months, even if your gums and teeth feel fine. Gum disease often develops unnoticed in the early stages, but your dentist can detect it during your routine exams. If they do, they can treat the condition before it causes serious damage.
Even though receded gums don’t grow back, you can take steps to keep your gums in good condition. When in doubt, it never hurts to ask your dentist for advice on maintaining your healthiest smile!
About the Author
At Indigo Dental of Daytona Beach, Dr. David R. Lloyd is committed to providing dental care that prioritizes a patient’s overall well-being above everything else. Since gum disease can impact the rest of the body, Dr. Lloyd carefully monitors the health of his patients’ gums during each checkup. If he detects any signs of gum disease, he can plan to stop it before invasive gum grafts are needed. He also provides antibiotic therapy as well as scaling and root planing to treat receded gums. To learn more, contact Dr. Lloyd at (386) 253-3629.
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