What can happen to my teeth if I have receding gums?

When teeth are healthy, gum tissue fits around each tooth like a shirt cuff fits around a wrist. In a tooth with gum recession, the gum tissue has pulled away from the tooth, like a shirt sleeve that is rolled up. This can leave the tooth root exposed. Since the root surface does not have an enamel covering and is softer than the crown (top) of the tooth, the tooth may become sensitive to hot and cold. Also, the exposed tooth root is more at risk for decay.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.