Gum recession is a common dental condition that often goes unnoticed because it occurs gradually. With gum recession, the gums pull back from the tooth, exposing more of the tooth and, at times, the root. Gum recession results in gaps between the teeth where bacteria can build up. The first signs that your gums are receding are longer than normal teeth, increased tooth sensitivity or lose teeth. If left untreated, gum recession can lead to teeth loss.
What Causes Receding Gums
Your body characteristics are determined to a large extent by your genes. If anyone of your parents has gum recession, chances are you may also inherit the condition. This happens regardless of how well you take care of your teeth.
- Brushing Aggressively
Oral hygiene is important, but ensure that you use the right brushing techniques. Flossing or scrubbing too hard causes the enamel to wear away, making the gum recede. Always use a soft toothbrush
- Grinding Your Teeth
Bruxism has also shown to be a causative agent for receding gums and other dental issues. This can easily be treated by using a mouthguard.
- Periodontal Diseases
Periodontal diseases refer to infections that affect the gum tissue and bones that keep your teeth in place. Gum recession creates breeding pockets for bacteria that damage your oral health even more.
Treatment of Receding Gums
If you catch the disease early, you won't need professional treatment. Your dentist will only have to advise on better oral habits. However, if it's severe, the dentist might suggest deep cleaning or surgery.
- Deep Cleaning
Also known as root scaling, deep cleaning involves cleaning below the gum line to remove and prevent reattachment of bacteria.
If the receding gum is too severe and deep cleaning is not sufficient, surgery may be required. Open flap scaling and regeneration are two surgical procedures that can be undertaken out to correct the anomaly. With flap scaling, a periodontist cleans underneath the gums, removing harmful bacteria and tartar buildup. Regeneration, also known as grafting, involves placing a regenerative material along the gum or bone tissue that requires growth.
Preventing Receding Gums
With oral health, prevention is always better than cure. Treating gum recession can be a hassle, and it's always advised to observe good oral hygiene and go for regular dental checkups. Brushing and flossing do a lot to eliminate bacteria and plaque, and a biannual cleaning is recommended. For more information, speak with a dentist.