Do your teeth look longer than they used to? Do you experience sensitivity when you eat ice cream or drink coffee? These are signs that you may have receding gums. Gum recession is a common oral health condition. It occurs when the soft tissues that support your teeth recess or lower down from their proper position on the tooth. This exposes the tooth root, which leaves the tooth more vulnerable to sensitivity and can also compromise the stability of the tooth in severe cases.
While it is sometimes harmless or caused by the natural aging process, gum recession can also be an indication of a more serious dental problem. It is important to see your dentist promptly if you notice signs of receding gums. Colgate lists the following most common causes of gum recession:
Aggressive brushing or flossing
Believe it or not, brusher harder does not equal brushing better. In fact, a gentle force with a soft-bristled toothbrush is all that is needed to dislodge food debris and plaque. If you are scrubbing your teeth aggressively or flossing harshly, you may be causing your gums to recede.
Some patients can blame their parents for their receding gums. Just like other parts of your body, the characteristics of your gums can be inherited.
Abnormal tooth positioning
Misalignment can cause abnormal pressure on the gums in certain areas, making them recede over time.
Grinding your teeth, or bruxism
If you notice gum recession along with morning headaches or a sore jaw, the culprit may be nighttime teeth grinding. A custom nightguard can protect your teeth, gums and jaw from this harmful habit.
Trauma to gum tissue
A direct injury to a tooth can also lead to gum recession around the affected tooth. Restoring the tooth is a primary concern.
Women and teenagers are more susceptible to gum recession due to surging and fluctuating hormones.
Poor oral health
Last but certainly not least, gum recession can be a warning sign of periodontal disease. At this stage, the infection needs to be treated promptly to prevent further recession, bone loss and tooth loss.
Need a trusted dentist to evaluate your receding gums? At Smiles by Seese, we can not only diagnose the cause of your gum recession, but we can recommend an effective treatment plan to restore your gums. Call today to learn your options!