If you have noticed changes in your grin, it’s time to check in with your dentist. If you have noticed that your smile is a bit toothier than it usually is, your gums may be receding. If this is the case, your teeth could be endangered by these new developments.
The biggest problem with receding gums is that, as your gums recede, they expose the sensitive roots of your teeth, making them more prone to bacteria. This means that your teeth could become infected, decay more quickly, or you could even lose some of your teeth.
Gum recession is the process in which your gums pull away or are worn away from your teeth. When your gums recede, your teeth will look larger as the gums pull away from the tooth and pockets or gaps will appear at your gum line. The problem with receding gums is that bacteria can build up in these pockets, threatening the integrity of your teeth and the bone structure beneath them.
Gum recession is a fairly common dental issue. Most people are not even aware that their gums are receding because the process is gradual. If you notice that your teeth look more prominent than they once did, or you can clearly see the pockets or gaps at your gum-line, you should make an appointment with your dentist.
There are a few different potential causes of gum recession. Here are a few:
- Genetics: You may be genetically predisposed to gum disease, which causes gum recession. Regardless of your dental health regimen, one-third of the population is at risk for gum disease and thus gum recession.
- Periodontal disease: These are infections caused by bacteria that destroy the tissue of your gums and the supporting bone structure.
- Brushing too hard: If you are brushing your teeth wrong or too aggressively, this can cause the enamel to wear away and your gums to recede. Ask your dentist about the best methods to brush your teeth, or invest in an electric toothbrush that will help remind you of proper brushing form.
- Hormones: Hormonal fluctuations at certain times in a person’s life can make their gums more sensitive and prone to recession. If you’re experiencing puberty, pregnancy, perimenopause, or menopause, you might be more susceptible to gum recession.
- Inadequate dental care: When plaque turns into tartar, it can build up between your teeth and cause gum recession. Don’t let plaque and tartar get the best of you, adhere to the highest standards in your daily dental health regimen.
- Tobacco use: Some tobacco products leave a sticky residue on your teeth, which can be difficult to remove and can eventually cause gum recession. For the best dental health, avoid tobacco products altogether.
- Grinding or clenching teeth: These practices, whether done consciously or not, can put too much pressure on your teeth, which can then lead to gum recession.
If your gum recession is mild, your dentist may be able to treat it by deep-cleaning the area. Your dentist will deep clean the area, ridding it of any plaque or tartar build-up. Your dentist will then plane the area just below the gum line, making it more difficult for bacteria to adhere to the tooth’s surface.
In some instances, gum recession has gone too far. These are some treatments your dentist may suggest if deep-cleaning won‘t do the trick.
- Desensitizing or dentin bonding agents: These treatments reduce the sensitivity of the exposed tooth or root. This helps when brushing overly sensitive teeth.
- Composites: Your dentist will use a tooth-colored composite to cover the exposed area.
- Orthodontics: Over a long period of time, your dentist will move the position of the affected tooth. This will make it easier to keep your teeth bacteria-free.
- Surgery: For this option, your dentist will graft tissue from another area over the recessed area in the hopes that the tissue will heal over it. This is only necessary for instances of extreme gum recession.
For answers to all your questions about gum recession and tips on how to prevent it from happening in the future, contact professionals like those at Beach City Dental. Their staff’s expertise will help you to healthier gums and teeth.