We all know that caring for our teeth is important, but sometimes our gums can pay the price for our determination to have healthy teeth. Gum recession is not an uncommon issue, but it’s often hard to detect in its early stages because the physical symptoms are subtle and generally painless. However the health of your gums is directly tied into the health of your teeth, so here’s what you need to know if you suspect your gums may be receding.
What Causes Your Gums to Recede?
The most common culprit of gum recession is poor oral health. If you aren’t brushing your teeth as often as you need to, bacteria and plaque will build up, infecting and destroying the gum tissue. If left untreated too long, even the bone can become infected. Other things that can cause your gums to recede are: brushing too hard, or brushing improperly, tobacco products, grinding your teeth, hormones, and genetics. Ask your dentist to do a thorough check on your gums if your family has a history of periodontal disease.
Prevention and Treatments
The best way to ensure you have healthy gums is to brush twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush for two minutes and floss once a day. When brushing, make sure you are taking the time to brush every surface of each tooth, and also make sure to pay some gentle attention to your gums and gumline. Your dentist can also treat mild cases of gum recession with deep cleanings of the affected areas, and cleaning and smoothing over the root area if necessary. If the recession is advanced enough to have infected the bone, your dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon to correct the issue. Cease using all tobacco products if you are experiencing signs of gum recession, and if you grind your teeth, speak to your dentist about possibly getting a mouth guard for when you sleep.
Receding gums can be a painful condition, but with diligent upkeep on your side, and professional care on your dentist’s side, it can be prevented or treated before it becomes debilitating. If you would like to make an appointment to have your gums checked, or if you have questions about how to prevent periodontal disease, please call Dr. Bruce Silva for more information.