3 Telltale Signs that Your Gums are Receding

Are you having issues with your teeth, gums, or both? Does your smile seem to be changing in appearance? You could have receding gums. Read on to learn the signs of this condition and how it can be treated.

Your teeth seem to be growing longer and longer, but that can’t be true — or can it? No, teeth don’t keep growing with age, but they can look longer if your gums begin to recede.

At Image Dental in Stockton, California, our team provides LANAP gum treatment, which is a laser treatment that can eliminate gum disease and restore oral health.

The basics of gum recession

Your gums are extremely vulnerable to infection and disease, especially if you’re in the habit of skipping your nightly oral care regimen or your biannual dental cleanings. This type of neglect can lead to gum disease, also known as periodontal disease

Bacteria can get between your gums and your teeth, collecting below the gum line and causing pockets to form between your teeth and gums. This can lead to irritation and infection. 

The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. 

The later stage of gum disease is known as periodontitis. One of the hallmarks of periodontitis is receding gums.

Telltale signs that your gums are receding

Maybe you’ve noticed something is off, but you haven’t been able to pin down what and why. Here are some of the most common signs of gum recession:

1. Painful, red, swollen, or bleeding gums

If your gums are constantly red or swollen, you have pain at the gum line, or you find yourself spitting blood during or after brushing or flossing your teeth, there are a few potential culprits. You could be using a brush with bristles that are too stiff. Or, you could be using the wrong brushing technique. And finally, you could be starting to display the signs of gum disease. You may not notice your gums receding yet, but it could be coming if you don’t address your gum health.

2. Chronic bad breath

Chronic bad breath is another sign of gum disease. This can occur due to the bacteria trapped underneath the gum line. If you notice you have bad breath a lot, don’t keep chewing gum and swishing mouthwash. Talk to your dentist about the “why” behind your constant bad breath.

3. Lengthening teeth 

If your gum disease has progressed to the point that you have visibly shrinking gums, you need to see your dentist as soon as possible. Advanced periodontal disease can end up exposing the roots of your teeth, and gum tissue might literally start to dissolve in the jaw, making otherwise healthy teeth get loose or even fall out. 

Treating gum issues

At Image Dental, we treat issues like receding gums with safe, gentle LANAP laser gum therapy. This minimally invasive treatment removes the infected gum tissue and kills the bacteria responsible for it.

What’s more, there’s no need for scalpels or stitches. In general, the gum tissue just regenerates and grows back into place, restoring your smile. Of course, everyone is different, and your treatment and follow-up care will depend on your situation. 

If you’ve noticed that your gums are receding, or if you have any other dental needs, call 209-392-5688 or book an appointment online with Image Dental today.

Stephen Nozaki, DDS, MPH, DIDIA

Dr. Stephen Nozaki is the owner and lead dentist at Image Dental in Stockton. He is a dedicated professional born and raised in California's Central Valley. With a commitment to his community, he brings advanced dental techniques learned from extensive education and continuous training from around the world. A third-generation Japanese American, Dr. Nozaki has a rich background that includes international living and a deep passion for both dentistry and outdoor activities. His focus in dentistry aligns with his passion for cosmetics and dental implants.