Are you noticing that your teeth appear longer than usual? Do you feel like your gums are pulling away from your teeth? If so, you may be experiencing gum recession. This dental condition affects many people and can lead to serious oral health problems if left untreated.
Gum recession is a dental condition in which the gums pull away from the teeth, exposing more of the tooth's root. This can lead to sensitivity and discomfort when eating or drinking hot or cold substances.
The gum tissue acts as a protective barrier for teeth by holding them securely in place and covering their roots. When this tissue starts to recede, it leaves gaps between the tooth and gum line, making it easier for bacteria to accumulate and cause infection.
Causes of Gum Recession
Gum recession is a common dental problem that affects many people. The causes of gum recession can vary and are not always related to poor oral hygiene. One of the most common causes is periodontal disease, which occurs when bacteria infect and inflame the gums.
Other factors that can contribute to gum recession include genetics, brushing too hard or aggressively, grinding or clenching teeth, and hormonal changes such as those experienced during pregnancy or menopause.
In addition to these factors, certain lifestyle choices can also increase your risk of developing gum recession. Smoking tobacco products has been shown to have a significant impact on the health of your gums and can increase your chances of developing gum disease.
Poor nutrition can also play a role in the development of gum disease and subsequent gum recession. A diet lacking essential vitamins and minerals may weaken the immune system's ability to fight off infections that lead to inflammation in the mouth.
Symptoms of Gum Recession
Symptoms of gum recession can vary from person to person, and some people may not even realize they have it until they visit a dentist. However, there are common signs that you should be aware of.
The most obvious symptom is when your teeth start to look longer than usual. This happens because the gums around the teeth start to pull back or recede. You may also notice a notch or groove at the base of your tooth where the gum used to be.
Another symptom is increased sensitivity in your teeth, particularly when eating hot or cold foods. This occurs because as the gums recede, more of your tooth's root becomes exposed, which is much more sensitive than enamel.
Bad breath and bleeding gums are also symptoms of gum recession. When bacteria accumulate in pockets around exposed roots, this can cause bad breath. Bleeding gums occur because bacteria irritate and inflame the gum tissue.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it's important to see a dentist right away for proper diagnosis and treatment options before it worsens into periodontitis which could cause severe damage to both soft tissues (gums) and hard tissues (tooth bone).
Treatments for Gum Recession
Treatments for gum recession depend on the severity of the condition. If your gum recession is mild, then your dentist may recommend using a desensitizing toothpaste or mouthwash to help relieve any sensitivity you're experiencing. In addition to this, you may also be advised to improve your oral hygiene routine by brushing and flossing more frequently.
If your gum recession is more severe, however, then other treatments may need to be considered. One option is scaling and root planing, which involves removing plaque from beneath the gums and smoothing out rough spots on the roots of teeth to help prevent further damage.
In some cases, surgery may also be necessary. Gum grafting involves taking tissue from another area of your mouth and attaching it to the affected area to cover exposed roots. Another option is pocket reduction surgery which helps reduce pockets between teeth where bacteria can accumulate, causing damage.
How to Prevent Gum Recession
Preventing gum recession is essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Here are some tips to help you prevent gum recession:
- Practice good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, and use mouthwash regularly. This helps remove plaque and bacteria from your mouth that can cause gum disease.
- Quit smoking: Smoking increases the risk of gum disease, which can lead to gum recession.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush: A hard-bristled brush can be too abrasive on your gums and lead to irritation or damage.
- Be gentle when brushing: Brushing too hard or using an improper technique can also irritate or damage your gums.
- Wear a nightguard if you grind your teeth: Grinding puts excess pressure on your teeth and jaw, which can lead to receding gums over time.
- Eat a balanced diet: Proper nutrition supports healthy bones and tissues in the body, including those in the mouth.
By following these tips, you will reduce the risk of developing gum recession as well as other dental problems such as cavities or periodontitis (gum disease).
To learn more, you can get in touch with us through online consultation or by calling us, and we'll guide you further. Call (516) 336-4902 to book an appointment at our Hicksville office and (516) 756-0111 for the Farmingdale office.