What Causes Gum Recession
Gum recession is one of the most common dental problems that are often missed by a patient. The reason it often gets overlooked is that it can take decades before the effects are detected by a patient. If left untreated, bacteria can get in by the roots causing more damage and ultimately may result in the loss of the tooth.
There are many factors that contribute to gum recession.
- Over brushing your teeth/gums,
- Grinding your teeth,
- Hormonal changes
- Poor oral hygiene/health habits
They can all contribute to the likelihood of gum recession. There are some factors however, like genetics, that may make you predispose to gum recession. Regardless of the reason, there are some things you can do today to help to decrease its prevalence.
There’s an old saying that goes, “too much of a good thing, can be a bad thing.” The same holds true in your mouth. Excess or aggressive brushing or flossing can actually increase gum recession. It doesn’t take much force or effort to brush away plaque. Aggressive brushing not only leads to gum recession but you can also brush away enamel, making your teeth further susceptible to dental issues. An extra soft bristled toothbrush will suffice when trying to remove any plaque.
We’ve discussed in the past that grinding your teeth can lead to several dental problems. This is another example of one of those problems. The grinding action places additional force on the gums causing it to break down faster. Most people find that they grind their teeth at night. One possible solution to help stop nighttime grinding is a snore guard or mouth guard. This will help to minimize the damage to the gums, as well as damage to the teeth and jaw.
Hormonal changes from the pregnancy, diabetes, and some medications can all contribute to the increased chance of gum recession. While these may make it harder to control gum recession, with regular check-ups and monitoring it can be managed.
While You can’t change your genetics, there are some things you can do to help to decrease the likelihood of developing disease. Typically, twice a year we schedule each patient to come and have their teeth cleaned with a dental hygienist. The hygienist will clean your teeth and around the gums. This helps to remove any plaque or tartar that may be on the tooth. By doing so, it decreases the chance of bacterial growth which may result in receding gums. The hygienist and doctor also check to see if the gums are receding so that immediate action may be taken.
In between appointments with a hygienist, regular brushing and flossing will help to decrease the buildup of plaque and tartar. This will help cut down on any bacteria that may still be in the mouth after eating.
If you’re concerned that your gums may be receding, give Paris Family Dental a call. We’ll be glad to talk with you about things you can do to help to prevent any issues. There are some practices that we can do to help reverse some of the effects, and limit things from getting worse.