Why are your Gums Receding?

Gum recession can be a very worrisome problem.  Many people experience varying levels of gum recession during their lives.  As our gums recess the root structure of the tooth is exposed making the tooth more prone to temperature sensitivity, cavities and bone loss.  With this being said, we want to make sure we do what we can do prevent gum recession.  The best way to do this is to first look at what caused recession in the first place.

Causes of Recession:

1. Brushing your teeth to aggressively can cause the gums to recede.  

2. A habit of clenching or grinding your teeth can cause gum recession along with other serious issues.  If you are waking up with frequent headaches, sore teeth or have a spouse/partner who is telling you they hear you grinding your teeth, contact Magnolia Dental at (864) 242-2848 to be evaluated.

3. Poor home care habits - If plaque and tartar are left on the gums and teeth for an extended period of time, you may be at risk for developing periodontal disease.  This oral disease causes bone loss around the teeth.  The teeth will become loose if periodontal disease is not treated and will eventually lead to tooth loss.  Due to the fact that gums follow the position of the bone around the teeth the gums will recede.  They will also lose their attachment to the teeth due to inflammation caused by the plaque and tartar.

4. Genetics can be a factor.  There are different types of gums.  Some are thinner than others.  Thin gum types are more prone to recession that the thicker ones.  

5. Trauma to the teeth can result in gum recession.

6. Misalignment of teeth - If teeth have crowding or displacement gum tissue can recede. 

Treatments of Recession:

It is very important to brush you teeth gently with a soft or super soft bristle toothbrush at least twice a day.  Do not scrub your teeth but instead give your gums a gentle massage.  Harder brushing does not equal cleaner teeth.  In fact, if you have an electric toothbrush, you only want to slowly guide the brush around your mouth  (no back and forth motion) and let the brush do the work for you.  New advancements in electric toothbrushes have now included indicators to let you know if you are brushing too hard.  Flossing and/or the use of a Waterpik is recommended daily to remove plaque from between the teeth aiding in the prevention of cavities and periodontal disease.

It is very important to visit your dentist for regular cleanings and check ups.  If clenching and/or grinding is detected an occlusal guard may be prescribed. If misalignment (crooked or crowded) teeth are diagnosed braces can be a great option for correction. In mild to moderate stages of periodontal disease a deep cleaning may be performed. 

In more severe cases of recession, the dentist will work with a periodontist (gum specialist) to correct the problem with surgery.

If you are noticing gum recession in your mouth please contact Magnolia Dental at (864) 242-2848 to consult with the dentist.