The gingival retreat is a common symptom that is more common in older people. Symptoms and Treatment the cause of the loss is often a gum disease, typically periodontitis (inflammation of the periodontium) or gingivitis (gingivitis). But other risk factors also favor gum recession, for example:
- a weakened immune system (eg as a result of infection or other diseases)
- Metabolic diseases such as diabetes
- Smoking and steaming liquids with e-cigarettes / e-shisha
- vitamin deficiency
- unhealthy diet
- hormonal changes (eg during pregnancy or during menopause)
Inadequate oral hygiene, improper cleaning techniques, too hard toothbrushes or stubborn dental plaque (tartar) increase the risk that the sensitive gums will retract, gum pockets will form and consequently the dental necks are no longer adequately protected.
Recognize Gum Decline Early And Have It Treated
Unfortunately, gingivitis often runs painless at first, so that first warning signals are not perceived. The forerunners of gum decline can already be recognized early on:
- Intense redness of the gums
- swollen, pressure-sensitive gums
- Traces of blood in the toothpaste or on the toothbrush
- unpleasant bad breath
- bad taste in the mouth
- Pain on the necks of the teeth or generally in the mouth
- Delicate reaction to cold, hot, sweet or sour foods and drinks
These warnings should by no means be ignored because if left untreated, a bacterial infection in the mouth can spread further and even affect healthy teeth. It is better to visit the dentist at the first signs of inflammation such as bleeding gums and to be examined.
In a first step, the dentist will perform a professional tooth cleaning, in which the tooth surfaces are mechanically cleaned to below the gingival margin. With the toothbrush and dental floss or interdental brush alone, not all regions in the mouth can be reached and cleaned – the dentist has considerably more and better options here.
Deep gum pockets or acute inflammation may also require topical antibiotic treatment to kill off harmful bacteria and initiate the self-healing process. Also, rinsing with chlorhexidine, an antiseptic, can already bring about a significant improvement after a professional cleaning of the teeth, and in particular prevent a slight decline in the gum, preventing the inflammation from progressing.
In case of severe damage with deep gingival pockets, a tooth cleaning is no longer sufficient, but an oral surgeon under local anesthesia must remove the inflamed gums. This is done either with a scalpel, but more gentle is the removal of the diseased tissue by a laser. Again, the healing process is often supported in parallel with a local antibiotic (such as a gel applied to the gum line).
Once the acute treatment is complete and the inflammation healed, lost gums can be surgically rebuilt. This often unpleasant treatment for the patient is, unfortunately, necessary, because, in an unprotected tooth bed, the jawbone can gradually degrade. And that ultimately results in the loss of teeth that simply can not find a hold in the jaw.
In particularly severe cases, transplantation of oral mucosa may be required. Here, a piece of the oral mucosa is removed from the palate region of the patient and sewn in the surgical field or glued with special biocompatible adhesives. The wound in the palate is covered with a plate and, like the transplanted tissue, completely heals within a few weeks.
Prevention Is Better Than Treat: Tips For Healthy Gums
The most important tip is to make an appointment with the dentist immediately for the first symptoms of gingivitis or gum decline. To prevent damaging the sensitive gums when brushing, use only a soft toothbrush and brush without pressure.
Healthy oral flora is also important to curb and inactivate harmful bacteria. Therefore, the teeth should be cleaned twice a day, preferably with an electric toothbrush, which has a pressure sensor, which measures the contact pressure on teeth and gums. After brushing a mouthwash can be used to intensify the cleaning effect.
For acute bleeding gums, there are a variety of home remedies that have been used in part for generations. For example, essential oil of cloves, which is available in the pharmacy, acts as a natural painkiller, which can be applied directly to a painful area if necessary. Rinsing with a saturated saline solution has a disinfectant effect, even tea tree oil has an antiseptic effect, but should only be used diluted. Herbal teas from sage, green tea or chamomile have a positive effect on the oral flora and can help to keep the gums healthy.
By the way, if you wear a brace, you have to be extra careful. Because the brackets offer many nooks and crannies in which food remains and bacterial plaque can accumulate better than on the smooth tooth surface. Therefore, thorough and careful daily oral hygiene is especially important for the wearer of braces, as well as the regular check-ups at the dentist.