Maybe your first sign of the problem was tooth sensitivity. Maybe you noticed a tooth looks longer than normal. Most people are unaware the issue even exists because it occurs so gradually. But gum recession is not something you want to ignore.
Gum recession is the process in which the gum tissue surrounding your teeth wears away, or pulls back, exposing more of the tooth and/or its root. When gum recession occurs, a notch can be felt near the gum line. These pockets, or gaps, increase the risk for the build-up of disease-causing bacteria. If left untreated, severe damage can occur to the supporting tissue and bone structures of the teeth and may ultimately result in the need for surgical procedures or tooth loss.
What Causes Gums to Recede
Genetics – According to studies, 30% of the population can be predisposed to gum disease due to family history, regardless of how well they care for their teeth.
Gum Disease – This is the #1 cause of gum recession. Bacterial gum infections like gingivitis can destroy gum tissue and the supporting bones that hold your teeth in place.
Misaligned Teeth – When teeth aren’t positioned to come together evenly, a greater amount of force can be placed on the gums and bone, causing gums to recede.
Tobacco Products – As if tobacco users don’t have enough reason to quit, tobacco’s stickiness – whether smoked or chewed – increases risk for plaque to gather on teeth.
Brushing Too Hard – Make sure you brush your teeth and gumline gently. Aggressive brushing can cause the enamel on your teeth to wear away and your gums to recede.
How You Can Prevent Gum Recession
Take Care of Your Mouth – Brushing, flossing, and rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash can prevent plaque turning into tartar, the hard substance that accumulates between and on teeth and can lead to gum recession. Brush and floss your teeth every day.
Work With The Right Tools – A soft-bristled toothbrush is recommended. Make sure you brush gently, with up and down motions rather than side to side. If you have a misaligned bite or you grind your teeth, ask your dentist about how to correct the problem, such as with a nightguard.
Work With A Pro – See your dentist or periodontist at least twice a year, or as recommended. If you have gum recession, your dentist may want to see you more often.
Don’t like the idea of additional visits to the dentist or the need for corrective surgery for your gums? You’ll like it even less if you don’t have dental insurance. Get a Dental Plan through your association and AMBA at www.AMBAdentalvision.com or call 877-556-4578.