Receding gums is a common periodontal condition. Periodontal tissue, more commonly known as gum tissue, can gradually pull away from your teeth, leaving the roots of your teeth exposed. This can cause a variety of dental problems from increased sensitivity to loose teeth.
If you are experiencing gum recession, you may be wondering why your gums are receding and what can be done to correct it. Here’s how a dentist provides treatment for receding gums.
What Causes Receding Gums?
Gum tissue can recede for a variety of reasons:
- Plaque and calculus. When plaque, a sticky film of food residue and bacteria, builds up on the teeth it can cause the gums to recede. Plaque that is not removed eventually hardens into calculus, which can increase gum recession.
- Gum disease. The buildup of plaque and calculus can lead to gum disease, a bacterial infection of the gum tissue, which can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth.
- Age. As you age your gum tissue may gradually thin and pull away from the teeth.
- Overly vigorous brushing. If you brush your teeth too vigorously or aggressively you may cause the gum tissue to wear away from the teeth. This can also happen with aggressive flossing or lack of flossing.
- Smoking and/or chewing tobacco use. Smoking and chewing tobacco increase the chances that your gums will pull away from your teeth. These habits restrict the blood vessels and negatively impact circulation in your gums.
- Injury. A dental injury can occur that causes the gum tissue to be accidentally pulled away from the teeth.
- Lip or tongue piercings. A piercing in your tongue or lip can gradually wear away your gum tissue.
Can Gum Recession Be Stopped?
By addressing the cause of the recession, the process of gum loss can be stopped. Removing plaque and calculus to treat gum disease, careful brushing and flossing, stopping tobacco use, and removing piercings can prevent gum recession from getting any worse and preserve the remaining tissue.
Can Gum Recession Be Reversed?
In cases of severe gum recession, the lost gum tissue may need to be replaced. One way to reverse the effects of receding gums is through a procedure called gum grafting. During this procedure soft tissue is taken from another place in the mouth and placed over the teeth where the gum tissue is missing. It covers the exposed roots of the teeth that may be sensitive and susceptible to decay. Once the gum tissue heals it provides better support for the teeth.
How Can I Protect My Gums?
To prevent receding gums and to protect the new tissue after a gum graft procedure, there are some steps you can take:
- Brush your teeth carefully. It is important to brush your teeth twice a day with gentle pressure. You should brush hard enough to remove food and plaque, but not so hard that your gums feel irritated or bleed.
- Use the right toothbrush. Use a soft bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging your gums. A medium or hard brush is too harsh if you have receding gums.
- Avoid abrasive toothpaste. Toothpaste that contains baking soda or other abrasive ingredients may be too harsh for your gums.
- Be careful with teeth whitening treatments. If you have receding gums it is best to avoid home teeth whitening treatments. Have your teeth whitened professionally by your dentist to avoid damaging your gums.
Where Can I Get Treatment For Receding Gums?
If you have noticeable gum recession, South Florida Sedation Dentistry provides treatment. With gum grafting we can replace the lost gum tissue so that your teeth are less sensitive and better supported. Your smile may even be improved in the process. Our goal is to make your experience comfortable and relaxing while addressing your dental needs.