When gums start to recede, you have a significant risk of developing infections and losing teeth. If you want to maintain strong, healthy gums, you need to be aware of the causes of receding gums. This knowledge will help you take steps to prevent gum recession and maintain your healthy, bright smile.
The Main Causes of Receding Gums
Gums can recede in any situation where they undergo damage of some kind. Overall, the leading cause of recession is periodontal disease. Also called gum disease, this is a condition where bacterial buildup causes the gums to become inflamed and infected. You may have gum disease if your gums are sore, reddened, or bleed easily.
When left without periodontal disease treatment, the infection can start damaging the tissue underneath gums, further causing the recession. Bacteria on the teeth can also affect gum health. If you have plaque buildup on your teeth, it can damage the gum line.
There is also a genetic component to gum recession. Some people have thinner gums or are more prone to inflammation, so even small bacterial infections can cause problems.
Certain lifestyle habits may also lead to gum recession. Using tobacco products can damage your gums in multiple ways. Nicotine impairs circulatory health, so gums cannot get enough oxygen and nutrients in the bloodstream. Some types of tobacco products can also increase plaque production, causing more buildup on the teeth.
Another potential issue is over-brushing. Using a toothbrush with stiff bristles can physically wear away at the gums until they recede. Ask your general dentist about what toothbrush is best to reduce gum recession.
Activities that put stress on the teeth, like tooth grinding or not correcting a misaligned tooth, can cause gum recession.
How to Treat Receding Gums
If your gums are currently receding, there are a few different treatments available. In cases of a very mild recession, your dentist may recommend a deep teeth cleaning. This cleaning clears away plaque and pockets of bacteria, giving gums a chance to reattach to the teeth.
There are also cosmetic dentistry procedures that can use gum-colored resin to cover and protect your tooth roots. If all the inflammation has caused deep pockets to form in your gums, you may need a minor procedure to remove excess tissue and secure the gums. During this treatment, your dentist may also perform regenerative treatments. These treatments involve placing grafts or tissue-stimulating proteins beneath the gums. These materials will then encourage your body to replace missing gum or bone in the region.
Ways of Preventing Gum Recession
If you want to keep your gums as healthy as possible, it is essential to be proactive. It is vital to practice good oral hygiene. Make sure to brush twice a day, using a soft-bristled toothbrush. You may want to invest in an electric model with pressure sensors so that you get an alert when you push down on your gums too hard.
It is also important to floss daily and use mouthwash to clean spots your toothbrush cannot reach. Be sure to make time for regular dental cleanings. They can clear away plaque buildup and help catch early signs of gum disease.
If you deal with any other dental problems, like crooked teeth or tooth grinding, talk to your dentist. They can recommend dental braces, aligners, mouthguards, and other treatments to protect your teeth and gums.
Lovett Dental Webster is here to assist with all your dental needs. We offer thorough cleanings and checkups, and we also assist with specialty services like periodontal surgery and tooth implantation. Schedule your next appointment by giving us a call at 832.909.1469 or contacting us online.