Introduction to Gum Recession
Have you ever noticed discomfort when eating cold or sweet foods? Do you suffer from tooth sensitivity when getting a cleaning at the dentist? You might be experiencing gum recession.
Gum recession is a fairly common problem and is generally attributed to periodontal disease, though there are other causes. Gum recession is defined by a receding of the gums – meaning the gum line gradually disappears or fades which reveals the root of the tooth. This makes your teeth much more vulnerable to harmful bacteria, given that gums generally shield the roots of your teeth from harm. Left untreated, this could lead to cavities and decay.
Gum recession is caused by a number of factors including genetics and aging, periodontal disease, overly aggressive brushing, smoking or chewing tobacco, and teeth grinding.
How to Stop Gum Recession
With care and diligence, gum recession can be treated. It’s best to take action at the earliest sign of gum recession to prevent permanent damage. In more extreme untreated cases, gum disease can lead to tooth loss. Regardless of what is causing your gum recession, it’s best to get it resolved quickly.
Here are some of the best methods for keeping your gums healthy and stopping or preventing gum recession.
Proper Brushing/Flossing Technique
This might seem obvious, but most dental problems can be solved through good oral health practices! Brush your teeth twice a day, preferably with an electric toothbrush, and floss once per day. It also helps to rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash. These methods are simple, but they’re your best defense against the bacteria formation that leads to gum disease and recession.
If you’re someone who practices good oral hygiene techniques, it’s possible to experience gum recession from being overly aggressive in your brushing. Try adapting a good brushing technique with a soft tooth brush – especially if you have an electric toothbrush. Brushing too hard can scrape away at your gum line and your tooth enamel. Let the bristles do the work for you.
Stop Using Tobacco Products
It’s no secret that smoking and chewing tobacco is harmful for your teeth. Tobacco increases the bacteria production in your mouth while also inhibiting your body’s ability to flow oxygen through your bloodstream, thereby making it more difficult for your body to naturally clean away the bacteria. If you needed another reason to quit smoking or chewing, now you have one.
See the Dentist
If you’ve been visiting the dentist for twice-annual dental cleanings, they should be able to detect gum recession and any factors that might be causing it. Your dentist can also give you the most accurate diagnosis for what is causing your gum recession in the first place.
Remember, the earlier you catch it, the better your chances are of recovering from it. Regular deep cleanings also get rid of tough-to-remove bacteria that would otherwise stick around long enough to cause damage to your teeth and gums.
Treat Teeth Grinding
Not only does bruxism (teeth grinding) wear down your tooth enamel, it can also lead to gum recession. The excess pressure gradually grinds down your gums, leading to a fading of the gum line.
If you suffer from bruxism, talk to your dentist about getting fitted for a mouth guard or undergoing Invisalign treatment.
Diseased Gum Therapy
For more extreme cases of gum disease and gum recession, diseased gum therapy may be a necessary treatment. Gum therapy is also commonly referred to as scaling and root planing and is a non-surgical deep cleaning of the gums and teeth roots. This procedure helps to remove any bacteria underneath the gumline to prevent further damage and decay.
Loudoun Smile Center is a full-service dentistry in Ashburn, Virginia. We are highly trained experts in everything from standard cleanings to Invisalign treatment to Sleep Apnea treatment. Give us a call to learn more about how we can help you have your best smile yet!