If you’ve noticed that your gum tissues have begun to pull back from the teeth or your tooth roots are exposed, you might have receding gums. Gum recession happens when gaps or pockets form between the teeth and gums. Mainly, receding gums are caused by plaque and bacteria buildup under the gum line. If not treated timely, gum recession can lead to loose teeth, tooth loss, and bone damage.
Typically, gum recession happens gradually, making it difficult to self-diagnose until it’s too late. Still, there are signs you can watch out for, including unexplainable bad breath, mouth sores, red or swollen gums, gum and teeth sensitivity, and bleeding gums when eating or brushing. If you have these signs, visit a dentist near you or contact our Clovis dental office for treatment.
In addition, having regular dental checkups and cleanings can help prevent and identify receding gums promptly. The earlier the condition is identified, the easier and quicker the treatment. Let’s look at the causes of gum recession and what you can do to stop it.
Generally, gum recession is avoidable. Here are possible causes of gum recession.
Unfortunately, many people think that abrasive brushing is necessary to eliminate bacteria and other debris in the mouth. However, you should know that aggressive brushing can injure your gum tissue, eventually leading to gum recession. Flossing and brushing properly only requires a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle massaging pressure to remove plaque.
When you fail to brush and floss correctly, food leftovers mix with bacteria in the mouth, forming plaque and tartar on the teeth and along the gum line. Over time, these deposits attack your gum tissues, causing them to recede. As the gums pull back, more plaque and tartar get under the gums, creating deeper pockets.
Gum recession is commonly a symptom of periodontal or gum disease, an inflammation of the gum tissue. Gum disease weakens your gum tissues, causing them to recede. Good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups can help prevent gum disease.
Bruxism is a condition where a person grinds or clenches their teeth unconsciously, either during sleep or daytime hours. Besides leading to dental and jawbone damage, regular teeth grinding can cause gum recession. The act of grinding puts excessive stress on the gums, resulting in inflammation. If left untreated, this develops into gum disease, leading to receding gums, tooth loss, and bone loss.
Tobacco products affect normal blood flow and weaken your body’s ability to fight off infection and illnesses. Smokers are at a higher risk of developing gum disease, permanently damaging their gums. Smoking can delay or prevent healing if you’re treating gum disease.
People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing gum disease and receding gums. For instance, diabetes leads to high blood sugar in the mouth, promoting bacterial attacks and gum recession.
Regardless of what causes gum recession, action should be taken to prevent it from developing or advancing. Use these tips to manage receding gums:
If you already have gum recession, your dentist will help you treat it. Common treatments options include good at-home dental hygiene, root planing and scaling, and surgeries like bone regeneration and tissue grafting.
For more information about gum recession and general dentistry in Clovis, contact Valley Dental & Orthodontics.