You’ve probably heard the phrase “getting a bit long in the tooth” when describing the aging process. The reason for this is that as you get older, you become more susceptible to gum recession. This is when your gum line that surrounds your teeth draws back or wears away, exposing more of your tooth’s enamel.
This can happen for several reasons. It could be a result of brushing too hard, grinding your teeth, or a build-up of bacteria caused by poor dental hygiene. But it can just be down to simple genetics or aging.
Receding gums can cause your teeth to look less aesthetically pleasing, and can make you feel less confident in your appearance. If untreated, it can cause gaps between your gums and teeth in which bacteria can build up. This can lead to infections and gum disease, otherwise known as gingivitis. In the worst case, it can expose the roots of your teeth and damage the supporting bone structure, potentially resulting in periodontal disease and tooth loss.
Gum recession is irreversible. Once your gums start to recede, there is no getting them back to their original state. This is why it’s so important to tackle the recession as soon as you notice it. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to slow and prevent the recession, to stop it from getting any worse.
Change your brushing technique
One of the most common reasons for gum recession is brushing your teeth too aggressively. Using too much force or a toothbrush with hard bristles can wear away the gumline much more quickly. Although you may think you’re doing a thorough job of cleaning them, you’re doing a lot more damage than good. Be more gentle with your brushing, letting the bristles do the work rather than your arm muscles. Try switching to a toothbrush with softer bristles that will be gentler on your sensitive gums.
Stop grinding your teeth at night
Some people grind their teeth at night without realizing it, and this can put a great deal of pressure on your teeth and gums. Grinding, or bruxism, is often the result of stress or anxiety, so take steps to remove any worry from your life if possible. There are several solutions to prevent grinding, such as muscle relaxation exercises or mouth guards.
Everyone knows that smoking cigarettes is bad for your overall health, but it is particularly bad for your mouth. One of its many harmful effects is that it can lead to bacteria and worsen gum recession. If you have noticed your gum line changing, then quitting the tobacco should be your first move.
If your receding gum problem becomes more severe, you may have to resort to periodontics. Periodontics is dentistry that pertains to the gums and bone that support your teeth. In the case of gum recession, it may be necessary to mitigate the effects and prevent potential tooth loss. It could include such procedures as pocket reduction, soft tissue grafts, or bone regeneration.
At Dolive DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we carry out periodontal work for any patient in the Longview, Texas area. Get in touch now to find out more.