Dental Tips Blog

Dec
19

6 Common Causes of Gum Recession

Posted in Gum Disease

You’re not sure when you first started noticing it, but now it’s impossible to ignore: your gums are creeping away from the teeth exposing sensitive yellow roots.

What’s going on here?

Gum recession can often be blamed on genetics and aging. But if you’re experiencing recession in just a few spots, then there’s a good chance you can identify the trigger that’s causing it.

Orthodontic Appliances

Plaque that collects on fixed brackets is often to blame for irritating gums, causing them to shrink back away from the appliances and the tooth.

Oral Appliances

Do you wear a partial denture or retainer? Even a sports mouth guard could be the culprit. If your prosthesis is damaged or needs an adjustment, one of the first signs could be gum recession.

Irritating Restorations

Excessive fillings and poor crown margins are known to cause some inflammation in gum tissue, especially if they’re old. You’ll need a dentist to examine the restoration for “overhangs” and repair or replace it so that the area doesn’t stay irritated.

Bruxism

Did you know that clenching your teeth can cause gum recession? Unconsciously biting hard when you’re stressed puts a lot of tension on those poor gums.

Tooth Brushing

If you’re in the habit of scrubbing too hard, you could be literally scrubbing your gums away!

Gum Disease

Gum recession is often an indicator that there’s a serious infection.

Your dentist will help you narrow down the possibilities if you aren’t sure. He or she will also let you know what you can do to prevent further recession and provide treatment options for your gum disease.

Call your dentist today to schedule a consultation.

Posted on behalf of:
Avalon Dental Group P.C.
2205 Williams Trace Blvd #108
Sugar Land, TX 77478
(281) 240-5559

Oct
16

How Can I Make My Teeth Shorter?

Shortening your teeth isn’t always easy to do. There’s only so much of your tooth your dentist can remove before it hurts and becomes totally useless! But there’s still hope.

Most likely, your teeth look a little on the long side due to gum recession.

That’s right – you might have more of a gum problem than a tooth one if your teeth look long.

Shrinking Gums Cause Long Teeth

Your teeth don’t usually keep growing. They stop when they meet opposing teeth. You may have one tooth that grows over the limit because it doesn’t have an opposite neighbor. In that case, you will need some corrective treatment to get the tooth back in place or totally replaced.

But in most cases, it’s gums creeping away from the crowns of teeth that make them look long. Receding gums expose the long yellow tooth roots and leaves gaps between teeth.

What causes gum recession? That could be a number of factors:

  • Gum disease
  • Rough brushing habits (like using a hard-bristled toothbrush)
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Age

At any rate, you don’t like the way your teeth look without sufficient gum coverage. Not to mention, those exposed roots might feel a little sensitive.

What Can Be Done About Long Teeth?

The first step is removing the irritant that’s causing the receding gums, if possible. If you don’t do that, your gums will never stay in place.

Your dentist may recommend minor gum surgery, grafting, or other clever procedures to restore your gum line to its rightful position. Find out more when you schedule a smile consultation.

Posted on behalf of:
Parklane Family Dentistry
1606 FM 423, Suite 200
Frisco, TX 75033
469-452-2998

Feb
6

Cosmetic Solutions for Long Yellow Teeth

You can’t remember exactly when it started. All you know is that you’ve gradually become ashamed of your smile. Whitening toothpastes and rinses just don’t work anymore. You wonder if anything can be done.

How Did Your Teeth Get Like This?

Teeth will look longer when the gums recede from them. As your tissue pulls away, the tooth root is revealed. Unlike the bright enamel covering on the crown of your tooth, roots are dark yellow in appearance. Gingival recession thus results in making your teeth look longer and more yellow.

Years of stain and wear will also darken the hue of your teeth. The enamel layer thins out as you age and this exposes more of the yellow inner layer of your tooth.

It’s an unfortunate side-effect of aging that teeth will get darker and look longer.

Prevent Gum Recession and Staining

You might be able to slow down the recession of your gums by changing the way you brush. A soft toothbrush and gentle hand will help you keep your teeth clean without irritating your gums. Try to cut back on dark staining foods and drinks such as coffee, tea, red wine, curries, and tomato sauces.

Repair the Damage That’s Done

In spite of your best efforts, there’s little you can do to actually erase the effects of aging on your teeth. Your best options for improving your smile’s appearance include:

  • Gum reshaping and crown lengthening
  • Bonding to cover and protect exposed roots
  • Veneers to even out the color
  • Professional whitening for a deep bleaching effect

Ask your dentist for help in designing a smile makeover to rejuvenate your aged enamel.

Posted on behalf of:
Montevallo Family Dentistry
711 Wadsworth St
Montevallo, AL 35115
(205) 665-2224

Nov
27

How Your Toothbrush Could Damage Your Smile

Soda, candy, grinding your teeth. You’re probably familiar with a lot of these ‘bad guys’ when it comes to tooth health. You also know that you should brush and floss regularly to keep your smile healthy. But it’s possible that your attempts to brush well could backfire.

Effects of Rough Brushing on Teeth

A toothbrush seems harmless enough, but add heavy pressure over a long period of time, and the bristles can wear down tooth enamel. This easily happens when you’re using a toothbrush that’s too hard.

You could also abrade your teeth if you roughly scrub back-and-forth for years on end.

Are You Causing Gum Recession?

It’s not just your teeth that suffer from vigorous brushing. Your gums are very sensitive and will quickly shrink away from months of rubbing at them with rough toothbrush bristles. Gum recession can be caused by anything from genetics to crowns to gum disease, but it will definitely get worse if you chafe your gums with over-zealous brushing.

How to Lighten Up

So what’s the right way to brush your teeth? Start by selecting a brush labeled “soft.” This means that the bristles will be more flexible and gentle. Less is more when it comes to cleaning your teeth.

A tight grip while brushing is a tricky habit to break. Try these tips:

  • Hold the toothbrush between only the index finger and thumb instead of your fist
  • Switch to your non-dominant hand
  • Use a powered toothbrush with an indicator so that you know when you’re brushing too hard

Ask your dentist to look for signs on your teeth and gums that your brushing is a little too rough.

Posted on behalf of:
Dona W. Prince, DDS
4220 Sergeant Rd #100
Sioux City, IA 51106
(712) 274-2228

Jun
26

Is Your Toothbrushing Causing Gum Recession?

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum recession can be a real pain! It not only looks bad, but it can lead to other problems such as:

  • Cavities on tooth roots
  • Sensitivity
  • Loss of support for teeth

In some cases, recession is inevitable. Did you know that your toothbrushing technique could make a difference?

What Causes Recession

Your gums play an important role. They are part of a complex network that nourishes, supports, and protects your teeth. They help to keep your teeth clean and secure in your mouth.

Your gums are easily affected by inflammation and the presence of an object or force that stresses them.

Some examples include:

  • The rough edge on a crown or filling
  • Gum disease
  • Oral piercings
  • Braces and orthodontic appliances

Not to be forgotten is toothbrushing! That’s right, the way you brush your teeth could be irritating your gums. Brushing too aggressively can abrade the gum line and lead to recession. Using a toothbrush that’s too hard can also cause this problem.

Correcting Your Gum Recession

Unfortunately, once gums have receded, they don’t grow back. Your surest way to prevent further recession is to stop the action that’s causing it! If you experience recession on just one side of your mouth, that’s a good sign that perhaps you brush with a heavy hand in just that area. Try switching to your non-dominant hand when you brush.

Make sure you use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Keep your brushing motions light and small. Ask your dental hygienist for more toothbrushing tips!

If recession is advanced, your dentist can explain to you your options for gingival grafting. Minor gum reconstruction can replace the support and protection that was lost. Call your dentist today for more information.

Posted on behalf of:
Hudson Oaks Family Dentistry
200 S Oakridge Dr #106
Hudson Oaks, TX 76087
(817) 857-6790

 

Sep
10

The Causes and Treatment of Gum Recession

Posted in Periodontics

Gum recession is an unsightly and uncomfortable condition that can pop up from a number of causes. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Aggressive brushing or flossing–rough motions over the gums will irritate and shrink them.
  • Grinding or clenching your teeth–increased pressure on the teeth will strain the surrounding ligaments and gums.
  • Crooked teeth–teeth which are out of proper alignment will experience an unequal distribution of the bite force, stressing the surrounding gum tissue.
  • Tobacco use–tobacco products alter the mouth’s chemical elements. Plaque becomes even more destructive to the gums.
  • Braces/oral piercings–metal in the mouth can rub against gums and harbor bacteria, causing irritation and recession.
  • Periodontal disease–gum disease causes gum inflammation and reduction in tooth-supporting structures.
  • Aged fillings and crowns–old restorations shift over time, providing ledges and cracks which irritate the gums and harbor bacteria.
  • Poor oral hygiene–the buildup of dental plaque and tartar provide bacteria that irritate and inflame the gums. Without regular dental cleanings and a routine of brushing and flossing, such buildup will cause the gums to pull away from the teeth.

What Can Be Done to Reverse the Effects of Recession?

Since gum recession leads to increased tooth sensitivity and a greater risk of cavities, you likely do not want to waste any time in addressing it. If gum disease is at the heart of the issue, then having that treated is the first step. In some advanced cases, a specialist can surgically alter the gum tissue and/or bone levels to rebuild the support that has been lost.

In some cases of advanced recession, gum grafting can be done to protect those sensitive spots. Gum tissue is carefully selected from a healthy site in the mouth and positioned over exposed teeth.

Ask your dentist at your next appointment how he can help you determine the cause of and appropriate treatment for your gum recession.

Posted on behalf of:
Crabapple Dental
12670 Crabapple Rd #110
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(678) 319-0123

Apr
8

3 Types of Tooth Wear and What They Mean

If you thought tooth wear only happened when you had a bad clenching habit, it’s time to think again! There are several types of tooth wear that can be visible inside of your mouth, and each of them means something different to your dentist.

Divots in the Cusps of Back Teeth

Have you ever battled chronic heartburn or acid reflux disease? Your dentist can tell if you have! People with acid reflux disease typically have small, shallow divots on the very tips of the cusps of back teeth. This symptom is a classic sign of a history of unmanaged acid reflux. If you didn’t know that you had acid reflux and your dentist finds one of these areas, it’s important to seek care from your primary care physician. 

Abfractions Along the Gumlines of the Teeth

Are there sharp, pointed areas of wear along the gumlines of your teeth? You could be grinding and clenching them too much. This severe pressure causes the tooth to flex along the gumlines, slowly chipping away thin layers of enamel. Your dentist may recommend a bite guard along with patching the areas with a composite restoration to prevent continued damage. 

Smooth Wear with Gum Recession

If you’re brushing your teeth too aggressively or using a medium to hard bristled toothbrush, you could actually be wearing away your tooth enamel. Not only that, but the excessive pressure also causes irreversible gum recession, exposing the roots of your teeth. Always use a soft bristled brush with very gentle pressure to prevent tissue damage.

There are many other types of tooth wear in addition to these! If your teeth don’t look whole like they used to, ask your dentist why.

Posted on behalf of:
Carolina Comfort Dental
5511 Raeford Rd #255
Fayetteville, NC 28304
(910) 485-0023

Sep
27

Gingival Grafting Can Save Your Smile

Posted in Gum Disease

What is gingival grafting and why is it so important when it comes to saving the life (and appearance) of your smile? 

Gingival grafting is a procedure that is used to help cover the exposed root surfaces of teeth that have experienced moderate to severe gum recession. When gum recession takes place it can: 

  • Compromise the appearance of your smile
  • Predispose teeth to mobility or tooth loss
  • Allow sensitivity or tooth decay to affect the weaker root surfaces 

What causes gum recession? Although it can be a variety of different factors, some of the most common causes include: 

  • Aggressive toothbrushing
  • Gum disease
  • Tobacco use
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Grinding/Bruxism
  • Aggressive orthodontic therapy 

Covering the exposed root surfaces with host, or donor gingival tissue, the patient can prevent complications caused by gum recession. The new tissue fuses directly with the tissues in the surrounding area, and “blanket” the tooth so that it is no longer exposed to external stimuli. 

The procedure usually takes just one appointment. As mentioned, the patient can have gingival tissue used from another part of their mouth or from a host. Depending on the type of graft needed, sutures may not even be required. Over the next several weeks the tissue will begin to fuse in the area so that it becomes one with your existing gum tissue. 

It’s not worth the risk to lose your healthy tooth to gum recession. Your gums are an important part of a healthy mouth and keeping your teeth for a lifetime. Thankfully, gingival grafting is an excellent way to preserve your smile and avoid some of the common pitfalls that people find themselves in due to severe tissue loss. 

Posted on behalf of Find Local Dentists

Jun
10

Gum Recession Treatments

Posted in Gum Disease

Recession of the gums is the condition that involves loss of attached gum tissue at healthy levels along the smile. Rather, the gum tissue begins to creep slowly down the root of the tooth, exposing areas of the tooth that were not designed to withstand outside environment as well as compromise the stability of the tooth. As a result, areas of recession can result in tooth mobility, sensitivity, and tooth decay.

Gum recession can occur for a variety of reasons. Some of the main causes include gum disease, orthodontics, aggressive toothbrushing, use of smokeless tobacco, and oral piercings. Basically, disease, irritation, or accelerated movement can cause the gums to creep further down.

There are a few ways dentists approach care for areas of recession. If recession is mild, the area may be treated with a fluoride varnish to prevent sensitivity as well as deter tooth decay. More moderate areas can present an aesthetic concern as well, which is why composite bonding is often used to cover those areas along the gumline. Severe recession can jeopardize the life of the tooth (and your smile), which is why grafting is often recommended. Gum grafting uses gingival tissue from another area of your mouth to cover the exposed roots of your teeth as it is re-attached in another location. Synthetic grafting material can also be used, eliminating the need for additional surgical steps to be taken.

Gum recession is not something to be taken lightly. It can cost you one tooth, or your entire smile, not to mention make your teeth extremely sensitive. If you’ve battled recession or noticed new areas developing, contact your dentist as soon as possible.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Virginia Kirkland, North Point Periodontics

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