How Far Can Gums Recede Before Teeth Fall Out

May 30, 2024
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Gum recession is a common problem that can affect anyone, no matter their age. Studies show that 3 out of 10 adults have some degree of gum recession. Therefore, “How far can gums recede before teeth fall out?” is a major concern.

A periodontal pocket between 1-3 mm is normal. A 4mm pocket indicates periodontitis. If your gum pocket exceeds 4mm, the situation can be alarming.

How Does Gum Disease Progress?

Gum disease develops in different phases, and knowing these can help you prevent serious oral health problems. Following are the receding gums stages:

  1. Gingivitis
    Gingivitis is the first stage of gum recession. It’s less harmful and affects the gums around the base of your teeth. In this early stage, your gums become inflamed, sore, swollen, or tender and may look redder or puffier than usual. They also bleed more easily when brushing or flossing.
  2. Early Periodontitis
    If gingivitis isn’t treated, it can progress to early periodontitis, which is more harmful. Bacteria and plaque spread below the gum line, causing deeper pockets between your teeth and gums. This leads to more pain when brushing or flossing, persistent bad breath, and tooth sensitivity.
  3. Moderate Periodontitis
    Moderate periodontitis occurs when early periodontitis is not treated. Bacteria and plaque spread further below the gum line, damaging the jawbone and tissue that hold your teeth. Your gums recede, become sore, and may cause loose or shifting teeth or even tooth loss.
  4. Severe Periodontitis
    Severe periodontitis is the fourth stage, where your teeth appear longer due to significant gum recession. This changes how your teeth fit together, making it hard to bite or chew. Teeth may become loose or start moving because the gums can’t hold them in place. You might notice a bad taste, bad breath, and abscesses with thick discharge. These issues are painful and often require periodontal surgery.
  5. Advanced Periodontitis
    Advanced periodontitis is the most severe stage. By this point, you may have already lost several teeth, and the remaining ones might be loose because the bone and gum tissue are too weak to hold them. Eating becomes difficult or painful, and your front teeth can drift, creating gaps.

How to Stop Receding Gums from Getting Worse?

Preventing gum recession is essential for maintaining good oral health and avoiding serious health issues like heart attacks or diabetes. Following are some tips to keep your gums healthy and prevent periodontal disease:

  • Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Floss at least once a day. Use an antiseptic mouthwash after brushing.
  • Regular Dental Check-ups: Visit your dentist regularly to catch early signs of gum disease and get proper treatment.
  • Limit Sugary Foods and Drinks: Reduce your intake of sugary foods and drinks to prevent bacteria buildup in your mouth.
  • Quit Smoking or Chewing Tobacco: Avoid tobacco products to prevent gum problems.
  • Eat Healthy Foods: To strengthen your gums, include fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins C and E in your diet.
  • Reduce Stress: Lower your stress levels with exercise or relaxation techniques like yoga to improve gum health.

Wrapping Up

People with gingivitis often wonder,” How far can gums recede before teeth fall out?” It depends on the progression of the gum disease. Recession is measured by the distance between the margin of your crown, where the enamel ends (called the cemento-enamel junction), and the level of the gums.

Visit our board-certified periodontist, Dr. Bader Abdeen, at Cypress Periodontics and Dental Implants. Our doctor holds the esteemed designation of Diplomat of the American Board of Periodontology. Dial (281) 677-0222 for an appointment.

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