Have you noticed more of your teeth are exposed when smiling? Are you more sensitive to hot and cold foods or beverages?
Gum recession is a common dental problem and one that can occur very slowly as we age. While minor gum recession may not pose a threat to dental health, significant or ongoing recession is detrimental to your oral health. Treating gum recession is important to ensure that you don’t develop gum disease and to minimize the impact on your teeth.
What Causes Receding Gums?
There is a range of causes for receding gums and the best way to determine this is a dental exam. Common causes of gum recession include:
- Agressive tooth brushing: we recommend that our patients use a soft-bristled toothbrush when brushing. Our dental hygienists can also demonstrate how to brush the teeth and along the gum line without being too aggressive and damaging soft tissue. Over time, brushing with too much force can damage the gums and lead to erosion of tissue around the teeth.
- Genetics: some people or predisposed to gum recession and need to be aware of changes in the appearance of the gums to avoid complex issues related to exposed tooth roots.
- Periodontitis: as gum disease advances, the gum tissue around the tooth roots will begin to erode and pull away from the teeth. The exposed pockets left behind allow bacteria to affect more than just gum tissue and can lead to tooth loss.
Teeth grinding: the continual pressure that teeth grinding can place on the teeth can also lead to gum recession. If your teeth appear worn or flat and you notice changes in the appearance of the gums or new sensitivity, discuss this with our team at your next dental care visit.
Treating Gum Recession
The best treatment for receding gums is one that is designed to address the underlying cause. A thorough dental exam and discussion of your oral health and habits will help our team determine the best solution for your needs. Mild recession can often be halted with periodontal therapy and the use of anti-bacterial rinses to keep bacteria at bay. For more advanced cases, oral surgery may be necessary to restore tissue and cover tooth roots.
It is important that oral habits such as teeth grinding also be addressed as a part of your treatment to avoid a recurrence of recession and further damage. Comprehensive dental care will help you restore oral health and minimize future problems. Gum health is vital to overall oral health and wellness.