Every tooth consists of three parts. We see only one of them (the crown), while other two parts (the neck and the root) are invisible to us. Sometimes we can see the neck of the tooth with the naked eye, because the gum tissue recedes from it. The patient feels uncomfortable about different things – from esthetic defects to constant aching. Moreover, if one can see the gum receding from one tooth, it is a sign of serious diseases which are affecting the oral cavity.
The abfraction of the basal neck (which is a theoretical name for this phenomenon) looks like a receding gum line on only one tooth crown. Normally, a tooth has smooth, rounded edges, but in such a case not only the crown is visible, but also the neck, which hid in the gum. It is yellow and differs from the color of natural tooth enamel, so one can’t but notice this defect, especially if it appeared on the front teeth. The symptoms of abfraction lesions are given in the order of their appearance with the illness development:
- the person feels pain in all the teeth at once while drinking cold or eating hot, spicy and especially sour products, or when he brushes his teeth or just opens his mouth outdoors in cold weather;
- there are blood marks after brushing teeth and biting something hard (a carrot, an apple);
- the colour of the tooth changes visually because of the contrast between tooth enamel and the colour of the neck;
- the gum swells up and becomes succulent and sore;
- if you touch the place where the gum meets the tooth, you will feel a bump, as if it were a step of a staircase;
- teeth get breakable, roots are affected by caries;
- the tooth seems to be longer, due to the gum receding one tooth, and the gaps between teeth seem larger;
- due to the increase of inflammation, gingival pockets appear, where pus accumulates;
- the rot from the mouth can be smelt;
- teeth weaken, hardly hold in the gums and can sometimes fall out.
Reasons which lead to the atrophy of the gums are the following:
- insufficient care of the oral cavity, which provokes rising in the activity of bacteria and development of gingivitis and periodontitis, together with painful gum receding one tooth only;
- too intensive cleaning with hard toothbrushes, toothpicks and gingival stimulators;
- piercing of the tongue and lips can damage the oral cavity, which also results in the neck of the tooth being exposed;
- anatomical features of the oral cavity structure can lead to the gums alteration. For example, a short frenulum strains the gums, which recede the invisible parts of teeth. Or if the gingival tissue is naturally very thin, it moves towards the root at the slightest injury. Short roots of teeth is another peculiar feature which can trigger the disease;
- congenital or acquired malocclusion, being corrected by braces, burdens teeth with extra devices;
- mobile teeth make gums thinner, which results in gums receding teeth (it is a typical problem of elderly people);
- hormonal imbalance (pregnancy, diabetes, thyroid problems) and diseases of the digestive system.
Depending on the cause of the decrease of gingival tissue, the disease can develop at different rates and have definite consequences.
If there are first symptoms of the disease, changes in oral care will help. Use special desensitizing toothpaste; replace the usual toothbrush with a professional one. Clean the oral cavity regularly, doing your best to remove plaque. Use anti-inflammatory solutions to rinse the mouth. If abfraction is severe, the dentist will apply a number of therapeutic measures:
- remineralization with a special paste put on the sick tooth or all of them;
- deep fluoridation of the enamel;
- root filling;
- laser removing of calculus from enamel and affected gum tissue;
- installation of a veneer or a dental crown.
Folk remedies can be used only in addition to clinical medicine. The following variants can be helpful in this situation:
- gingival massage with the use of antibacterial oils (peppermint, citrus, eucalyptus, cloves, lemon);
- compresses to the gums with coniferous trees extracts;
- mouthwash with hypericum, infused with vodka (50 drops to half a glass of water);
- other infusions for rinsing, which can be made from chamomile, calendula, sage, yarrow;
- rubbing gums with hydrogen peroxide (diluted in a proportion of 15 drops to 15 ml of water);
- chewing common plantain leaves and rinsing the mouth with its decoction.