When the gum tissue begins to pull away from the tooth, exposing more of each tooth or even the root, this is what is referred to as receding gums. And while this may not seem like the end of the world, gum recession is actually a very serious condition and one of the first warning signs of gum disease. And if left untreated, the supporting tissue and bone structures of the teeth can be severely damaged, which could result in tooth loss.
What Causes Gums to Recede?
Receding gums can be caused by a number of factors, including:
- Periodontal Disease: This bacterial gum infection destroys gum tissue and the supporting bone that holds teeth in their place.
- Brushing your Teeth: Wait, what? Yup, sometimes brushing your teeth can be a bad thing…but only if you are doing it improperly. If you brush your teeth too vigorously or improperly, it can actually wear away the tooth enamel and cause your gums to recede.
- Genes: Studies show that 30% of the population may be predisposed to gum disease.
- Hormonal Changes: Fluctuations in one’s hormones can make the gums increasingly sensitive and more vulnerable to gum recession.
- Smoking: Tobacco products lead to a buildup of plaque, which can cause gum recession.
- Grinding your Teeth: This can put a lot of force on the teeth, causing the gums to recede.
- Misaligned Teeth: Similar to grinding your teeth, when teeth do not properly align, excess pressure can be placed on the gums and bones, resulting in receding gums.
- Poor Oral Hygiene: The best way to ensure that you are doing everything you can to keep your teeth healthy is to visit the dentist regularly. We recommend every 6 months.
How are Receding Gums Treated?
- Mild Gum Recession: If not too severe, your dentist may be able to treat your receding gums by deep cleaning the affected area. Sometimes, antibiotics are used in conjunction with deep cleaning to treat any remaining bacteria.
- Severe Gum Recession: If too severe for deep cleaning to have any effect, gum surgery may be required.
How can One Prevent Receding Gums?
- Take good care of your teeth and mouth.
- Brush and floss regularly.
- Quit smoking.
- Eat healthy.
- Pay close attention to your oral health and changes in your mouth.
- Visit your dentist at least twice a year.
If you have any questions about Receding Gums, or wish to schedule an appointment, please contact Leikin & Baylin Dental Care of Catonsville, Maryland by calling 410-747-1115 or visit CatonsvilleDentalCare.com.
Dr. Leikin and Dr. Baylin of Leikin & Baylin Dental Care of Catonsville offer high quality, comprehensive dental care.