Gum Recession: When To Worry
Have you noticed that your teeth look longer than they used to? Are you suffering from worsening tooth sensitivity? Receding gums may be the culprit. While there are many harmless causes to gum recession, it always needs to be addressed with your dentist. Your gums represent the foundational support system for your teeth. If they recede or pull away from the tooth root, your teeth can lose stability. Depending on the reason for your gum recession and the severity of your condition, there are varying levels of treatment. As with most any oral health condition, the earlier that it is addressed, the more conservatively it can be treated.
Here are some possible reasons that your gums are receding:
Too hard or overly aggressive brushing. You may think you are doing a better job at cleaning your teeth by using more force. However, scrubbing instead of brushing can do more harm than good. Plaque can be effectively removed with a soft-bristled brush and gentle, yet thorough brushing.
Genetics. Just like the rest of your body, the traits of your gums can be genetic. If your parents suffered from gum recession, there’s a greater chance you will too. In such cases, talk to your dentist about a preventative approach.
Misalignment. If your teeth are in not proper position, the natural support system between your gums and your teeth can be disrupted and gum recession can develop.
Teeth Grinding. Bruxism or nighttime teeth grinding can be an unsuspecting culprit to gum recession. This is a habit that can bring a number of consequences to your dental health. However, if teeth grinding is causing your gums to recede, it can be treated easily and comfortably with a custom mouth guard.
Trauma. If you have suffered from a mouth or tooth injury, the surrounding gum tissue may also be affected and cause recession.
Gum Disease. Last but certainly not least, receding gums can be a telltale sign of gum disease or periodontitis. This is brought on by poor oral hygiene habits that allow plaque and bacteria to build up beneath the gum line, causing destruction within these soft tissues. If gum disease is the cause of your gum recession, it needs to be treated immediately before serious consequences result. Untreated gum disease can lead to tooth loss as well as impact your overall health.
At Gilreath Dental Associates, we offer a full menu of options to treat gum recession, whether it is more of a cosmetic issue or a warning sign of serious gum disease. Depending on your unique situation, gum recession can be treated by simply changing your brushing habits or coming in for a deep cleaning. In more severe cases, gum grafting can be used to restore the gums to an appropriate height. Don’t ignore your receding gums!
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV, Gilreath Dental Associates