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"My gums are painfully receding. What is causing this and how can I get help?"

ZocdocAnswersMy gums are painfully receding. What is causing this and how can I get help?


My gums have been receding lately, to the point that some sensitive areas of my teeth are exposed at the root area. When I get chocolate or other sticky, sugary foods near the roots of my teeth, I want to scream out in pain. It is incredibly, sharply painful! I have noticed that sometimes my gums are worse after eating foods like grapes, or if I brush too often or with too much intensity. What else causes my gums to recede? Is there anything I can do to keep them from deteriorating more? My dentist told me that I needed to be more aware of how I was treating my gums, or I might need some kind of oral surgery. What can I do to try to stop my gums from receding, and if I must have the oral surgery to fix the problem, what is involved?


Receding gums can be very painful and distressing, and the best thing to do is to discuss this issue with your dentist. It sounds like the pain your are experiencing is in part related to this exposure of sensitive areas of your teeth. Your are correct that sometimes severely receding gums do require oral surgery, but this can be a very involved process and hopefully you won't need to get to that point. The main offender for people who suffer from receding gums is overly vigorous brushing. If you use a regular toothbrush (ie nonelectric) this can be even easier to do because unlike the electric toothbrushes which are designed not to brush gums, you can easily be too vigorous with a regular toothbrush and wind up scrubbing the sensitive gums instead of focusing on the surfaces of the teeth. It is important to brush your teeth twice a day and after any large meals, but you want to make sure that you are focusing on the tooth surfaces only with good brushing technique. In your situation, the best thing to do would be to make an appointment with your dentist for an evaluation to make sure that your gums don't need further attention. In addition, your dentist or dental hygienist can go over proper brushing technique with you.

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