Retirement Weekly: Are your gums receding? Here are your options now—and if you wait.

by | Mar 10, 2023 | Stock Market

​Getting old often means getting gum recession. But even preretirees are at risk. About 71% of people in their 50s have some form of receding gums. For ages 80 to 90, the odds go up to 90%. The real question isn’t whether you’re going to experience gum tissue pulling away from the tooth and exposing the root. The tougher issue is what to do about it.

Your dentist may refer you to a periodontist. It’s unlikely that a periodontist who confirms your gum recession will say, “Oh, it’s nothing. Leave it be. Wait a decade and we’ll go from there.” It’s far more likely that you’ll hear alarming information about how your receding gums create a nesting area for harmful bacteria to thrive. This can promote decay and other problems that can lead to loss of teeth. You may also hear that once recession starts, it’s hard to predict the rate of decline​. ​ (​B​race for scary phrases such as “deteriorate rapidly” and “risk of full arch restoration.”) Read: A 63-year-old woman had a heart attack. Her advice could save your life. The periodontist may propose a gum tissue graft. This procedure aims to cover exposed root and thicken your gum line, thus reducing your risk of gum disease. In some cases, however, the bone loss that accompanies gum recession can mean that a tissue graft is no longer viable. It’s too late. Then the question arises: If and when the tooth becomes wiggly, should you plan to have it extracted …

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