Gum recession occurs when the gum tissue surrounding the teeth begin to pull away and expose more of the tooth or the tooth’s root. This can cause damage to the bones that support your teeth. First signs include increased tooth sensitivity and you may notice that your teeth look longer. Eventually recession can lead to tender gums, exposed roots, and loose teeth. Needless to say, the longer you wait to treat this issue, the worse things can get. If left unchecked, the buildup of plaque and bacteria that can go along with gum recession can lead to tooth loss.
Why does it happen?
Gum recession can be caused by many things. Here are just a few of the most common causes;
- Overly aggressive brushing
- Periodontal disease
- Grinding or clenching your teeth
- Piercings on the lips or tongue
- Poor nutrition
- Inadequate dental care
Whatever the cause, gum recession allows bacteria and plaque to build up between the teeth and gum and will continue to get worse over time.
How can I stop it?
While some causes (such as genetics) can’t be avoided, there are some steps you can take in the initial stages of gum recession to help keep it from getting worse. The best way to prevent gum recession is to take care of your teeth with an oral health routine that includes brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash. When brushing make sure that you’re gentle; you should be brushing, not scrubbing! You can also quit smoking, remove oral piercings, and improve your diet.
If these things don’t help, and if the recession is caused by periodontal disease, your periodontist can suggest alternative courses of action. Sometimes a good deep cleaning is enough. If the recession is serious, your periodontist may suggest gum grafting to replace and repair the missing gums.
It’s important to remember that periodontists, such as Dr. Kenzik in Ormond Beach, are essentially gum experts. They’ve received three years of additional training that the average dentist doesn’t get, so you can trust that they have the knowledge and expertise you need.