The condition is worth taking seriously and not just for cosmetic reasons. The root of the tooth isn’t protected by enamel in the same way as the crown, so once it’s exposed it causes sensitivity and is more prone to decay. Treatments range from dealing with any tooth decay present, to crowns and even surgery, whereby tissue from another part of gum or the roof of the mouth is grafted onto the problem area.
So if you’re looking to buy a horse it might be worth their checking their teeth, but ageing is not a direct cause of receding gums. It’s simply that the damage accumulates and becomes more obvious over time.
You can hear more Medical Myths on Health Check on the BBC World Service.
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