Dental Tips Blog

Aug
6

Are Your Gums Receding?

When the gum tissue surrounding your teeth begins to recede and expose more and more of your teeth, this is a condition referred to as gum recession.  Gum recession or receding gums is a common dental condition that can be cause by a variety of factors.  Gum disease is one of the primary causes of receding gums.  Bacteria that infects the gums can destroy gum tissue and cause the gums to recede.  Left untreated, gum disease can cause serious health problems and tooth loss.

Brushing too hard can also lead to receding gums.  Brushing twice a day is good for your oral health, but brushing hard only wears down the tooth enamel and gums.  There is no need to brush hard.  On the other hand, not brushing often enough can also lead to gum recession. The naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth will form plaque and tartar that will build up below the gums and cause gingivitis, gum disease, and gum recession. Brushing  gently with a soft bristle brush twice a day and flossing once a day will remove plaque and bacteria and help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and gum recession.  In addition, you should see your dentist regularly for a dental cleaning and checkup.   Some people don’t notice receding gums because it happens slowly, but your dentist will be able to identify it during an examination and treat it before it gets worse.

Other causes of receding gums include tongue or lip piercing, crooked teeth, hormonal changes, and teeth grinding.  Tobacco use, including smokeless tobacco and cigarettes, also contributes to gum recession.  In addition, some people are simply genetically predisposed to gum recession no matter how well they take care of their oral health.

Gum recession can and should be treated to avoid damage to your teeth, gums, and the supporting structures.  Without treatment, gum recession can result in the loss of your teeth.  If you notice your gums receding, consult with your dentist about treatment options.

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