For the health of your smile, the condition of your gums is just as important as the condition of your teeth. As an often-overlooked supporting structure, the gum tissue serves a very valuable purpose, although many of us fail to recognize it until it’s too late. It is only after the gum tissue has been damaged or diseased do we take note of just how much we depend on this delicate layer of tissue.
Fortunately, this high level of importance is not overlooked in your Smithfield dental office. During each dental examination, the gums are visually and clinically inspected for any signs of damage or disease. The most commonly reported signs of unhealthy gums involve recession.
Receding gums represent an irreversible loss of the soft tissue that surrounds the teeth. The gum tissue may recede in one localized area, or it may spread to involve a generalized area. Even recession in a very small area can be enough to subject you to numerous complications.
While healthy gums fit snugly around the neck of each tooth, protecting the root surface, receding gums leave a portion of the root surface exposed and unprotected. The more porous surface of the roots are far more sensitive to temperature and touch than the enamel that covers the top of each tooth. The consequence is hypersensitivity to cool air, foods, drinks, and even your toothbrush.
Tooth decay can occur on any vulnerable surface, and the root happens to be the most vulnerable. Without the protection of the gum tissue, the roots of the teeth can be attacked by plaque acids and even eroded by the bristles of your toothbrush!
Aside from covering the teeth, the gums also cover and protect the supportive bone. As the gums recede, the layer of bone underneath also recedes, leaving your teeth without enough support and creating new crevices for plaque to accumulate. This progressive condition typically ends in tooth loss unless professional care is rendered.
Learn more about preventing or stopping the progression of receding gums by scheduling an appointment with your Smithfield dentist today.