Discovering you have receding gum lines can be a disturbing ordeal. But there is something that can be done about gum recession. Several things you can do in the comfort of your home can be an effective remedy to receding gums, depending on how severe the problem is. Naturally, the first thing to do is schedule an appointment with your dental professional to get an idea of the severity of the issue and what steps need to be taken.
What Causes Gum Recession?
Gum recession is when the gum tissue recedes and lowers its position on the tooth, exposing the root. Many bad oral hygiene habits and genetics can contribute to gum recession. The treatment method will depend on the cause as each is unique as far as the form of treatment required.
Below are just a few of the most common reasons gums recede:
- Brushing too hard: While it is good to be on top of your oral hygiene, you can overdo it. Use only toothbrushes marked as “soft” and brush gently. The rule of dental care is, “If it hurts, you are doing too much.” Diligence is better than aggressiveness.
- Genetics: The characteristics of your teeth and gums are just like everything else in your body; they are determined by your genetics. If your parents, either one or both, have healthy teeth and gums, you will most likely have healthy teeth and gums as well. Some people can go to the dentist regularly and still have some gum or teeth issues. Some go infrequently and have few problems.
- Tooth Position Abnormalities: Crossbites, overbites, and underbites can cause gum recession. Orthodontics can often correct misalignments. Depending on the severity, oral surgery may be required.
- Grinding Teeth: If you often wake up with a headache or jaw pain, you may grind your teeth in your sleep. This subconscious habit can cause a lot of dental problems. This issue is easily treated, however, with a mouth guard or other treatments.
- Gum Tissue Trauma: If you have some kind of accident or blunt force around the mouth area, gum tissue can recede as a result.
- Bad Oral Health: Poor habits such as infrequent brushing, avoiding dental checkups, and eating sugary foods/drinks can contribute to gum recession.
The good news is, regardless of the reason for your gum recession, there is a treatment available.
Treating Gum Recession
It is typically best to detect gum recession as early as possible. Diagnosing gum recession early on means you can usually correct it without professional treatments. Your dentist will go over the things you can do at home to correct the problem and prevent it from recurring in the future. It could be anything from changing brushing and flossing techniques to using a mouth guard.
If you do require professional treatment, your dentist will work in tandem with a periodontist (gum specialist) to determine the proper treatment plan for you. Some additional treatments such as scaling or root planning may be necessary.
If your case is severe, you may need to have corrective oral surgery by a periodontist. This option, while not common, is needed in extreme cases.
All things considered, keeping up with your oral health is very important and is an indication of your overall wellness. An oral infection can wreak havoc on your entire body. Visit your dentist regularly and keep up good oral hygiene habits as much as possible.
If the appearance of your smile has suffered due to receding gums, stained teeth, or chipped or missing teeth, give us a call at Uptown Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry. We focus on restorative dentistry to get your smile looking the best that it can be.