It a very common dental complaint that gums have moved away from teeth. As a result of this gum recession (dental term for this shying away of gums), patient starts feeling a lot of problems like food impaction, sensitivity to hot and cold and in some cases when this recession involves front teeth, aesthetics is compromised.
Gum recession is an important sign of periodontal disease. The tragedy with most of populations is that there is hardly any concept of regular periodic dental check-up. They almost always go to a dentist when in pain. This is a typical Indian scenario— pyorrhea (layman’s term for periodontal disease) keep on progressing, gum recession continues unchecked, teeth keep on getting shaky and when all this becomes unmanageable (by the patient) , then dental extractions are done. And this goes on till the mouth is got rid of all those teeth.
In this photograph you can see the upper teeth of a 50+ lady who has come to me with complaint of dental pain in a upper molar tooth (back tooth) which is shaky. Otherwise she says she does not have any dental problem. For such conditions generally patients indulge in self-medication and take all those antibiotics and painkillers with the hope that it would solve their problem. However, these medicines have little effect on the clinical course of such dental conditions.
In this photograph you can see the upper left teeth of the same patient. The molars are afflicted with advanced gum disease (“pyorrhea”). There is marked gum recession as a result of which the roots of affected teeth get exposed. Very thin layer of cementum (outer covering of roots) gets exposed and is soon gets abraded thereby exposing the sensitive portion of root. It leads to dental sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet, and sour. As this gum recession invites food impaction, it leads to plethora of other problems. If left untreated, such teeth meet the same fate —just extraction. It is the most common treatment for such shaky teeth.
The tragedy with dental diseases is that most of these are symptomless to begin me and even in later stages the symptoms are so much vague/mild that people just indulge in self-medication. However, the final outcome almost always is tooth loss. It underlines the importance of regular periodic check up after six months.
Don’t be surprised to know that many patients seek fillings for all these gaps developing due to gum recession. The dental quacks are ever willing to “manage”such cases.
Is there treatment for pyorrhea? –yes, there is definitive treatment for periodontal disease (“pyorrhea”) which can be undertaken by qualified dentists. Howsoever perfect the treatment might be, the long-term success depends upon patient’s compliance with respect to daily meticulous dental home care.