Receding Gums: What Causes It & How to Prevent It
Gum recession is a painful, but often preventable condition. It occurs when gum tissue recedes, exposing the roots of teeth. This leave roots vulnerable to tooth decay and other complications.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of gum recession as well as available treatments if recession is already occurring.
Causes of Gum Recession
Aggressive brushing and flossing – Brushing and flossing to the point where your gums hurt or bleed is never a good idea. Using a brush with soft bristles is one way to help prevent exerting too much pressure on your teeth.
Grinding Teeth (bruxism) – Excessive clenching and grinding of teeth will start to take a toll on your gums if left untreated. Simple remedies such as consciously making an effort not to grind or purchasing a mouth guard can prevent recession related to grinding.
Periodontitis – If your gums are red, swollen and tender, you may be suffering from an infection known as periodontitis. This is a serious condition, often caused be poor oral hygiene, and can damage tissue and destroy bone. However, similar to other causes of gum recession, periodontitis can be treated. Make an appointment with one of your trusted dentists in Brooklyn if you are experiencing pain related to swollen gums.
While some causes of receding gums are in your control, there are some cases where it is out of your hands. If you experienced an injured that caused physical damage to your mouth, your gum tissue may recede as a result. In another case, your teeth may grow in out of alignment and cause gum recession because of abnormal positioning. Or if your parents had gum recession, the chances of you developing gum recession are higher.
Preventing Gum Recession
You may be able to prevent gum recession from worsening by making changes to your oral hygiene and setting up an appointment for a deep cleaning. Sometimes simply changing your brushing habits and reducing teeth grinding will curb recession. However, your dentist may recommend a more serious line of treatment. Your diagnosis may require deep cleaning, gum grafting or regeneration. The level of treatment will depend on the severity of your diagnosis.
Keep your gums healthy by brushing twice a day (with a soft brush), flossing gently and making sure not to skip regular dental cleanings. If you start to experience pain at the roots or your teeth or sensitivity to hot or cold, you may be experiencing the beginning stages of gum recession.