WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOUR GUMS
While your teeth are an important part of how brilliant your smile looks, your gums are equally as important. This delicate tissue in your mouth is the basis for your smile and performs the critical functions of securing your teeth in position and sheltering their sensitive roots. This is why gum recession is more pressing than an aesthetic concern. It is a serious oral health condition. If you want to keep your gums in good health, you must be aware of the leading contributing factors of gum recession. From there, you can adjust your habits and oral health routine to defend against gum recession. Plus, if you already have receding gums, you have numerous options for treatments that can aid in maintaining your gumline. At MINT dentistry in Lake Highlands, our experienced team of dental professionals provides preventive care and many treatments for gum recession, each of which is selected according to the cause of your gum recession. Read on to learn more about receding gums, the causes, and frequently used treatment options. Local individuals who have questions about their gum health and would like to keep their teeth and gums looking gorgeous can plan an oral health evaluation with their dental practitioner in Dallas, TX.
THE DANGERS OF RECEDING GUMS
Gum recession occurs when the delicate gum tissue starts to withdraw from the teeth. More and more of the tooth becomes exposed until, over time, the tooth roots are also bare. Gum recession generally does not occur in one day. Often, patients will begin to have symptoms like red, swollen, and sore gums that bleed for no reason. Secretions along your gumline and chronic bad breath (halitosis) are also symptoms that usually precede gum recession. If you have any of them, it's important that you set up a visit with your dental practitioner in Dallas, TX as soon as possible. If gum recession is ignored, your teeth might start to become loose and fall out, since the gums aren't healthy enough to hold them in place.
TOP CAUSES OF GUM RECESSION
Sadly, receding gums are not an unusual dental issue, particularly for people over 40 years old. There are multiple causes of gum recession, which will aid your dentist in deciding the best way to manage yours. Several of the most common causes of gum recession are:
- GUM DISEASE
The most common reason behind receding gums is periodontitis, the most advanced phase of gum disease. This disease in your soft tissue might lead to gum recession if not promptly treated.
- BRUSHING TOO AGGRESSIVELY
Even though it may sound counterintuitive, scrubbing your teeth too hard can also be a cause of gum recession. Brushing too often and too harshly eventually eats away at the gums. You should be using a brush with soft bristles when you clean your teeth and gums.
Hereditary factors might predispose you to receding gums, which will make it more important to take extra care of your teeth and gums. Find out if any family members have dealt with gum disease and then let your dentist know.
- CIGARETTES, CIGARS, AND VAPING
The poisonous toxins in any tobacco products can weaken your gums. In addition, while they don't include tobacco, the sticky formulas in vape pens and electronic cigarettes can also be dangerous. Talk about tobacco cessation with your doctor and then visit your dental practitioner to learn about your options to restore your oral health.
- HORMONAL CHANGES
The changing hormones that females go through during adolescence, pregnancy, and all the way through menopause can trigger worsening gum swelling and redness as well as heightened soreness. It is quite important to avoid gingivitis during pregnancy, since it can negatively impact the health of the expecting mom and the infant.
- MALOCCLUSION OR CROOKED TEETH
Like with tooth grinding, irregularly positioned teeth and malocclusion (bite misalignment) can impose unnecessary force on your jaws, teeth, and gums. Schedule an appointment with your dentist in Dallas, TX to discuss options like Invisalign to safely change your bite into the best alignment.
- POOR DENTAL CARE
Failing to brush and floss every day causes food remnants and plaque to build up between your teeth, which can lead to gum (periodontal) disease. Gum disease is a leading reason that men and women start to have receding gums. Flossing is especially important in removing this accumulation from your gums and encouraging blood circulation.
Many people clench their teeth and jaws if they are anxious during the day or as they sleep (nocturnal bruxism). The pressure of clenching and grinding can degrade your teeth and oral soft tissue.
YOUR CHOICES FOR TREATING GUM RECESSION
To decide on the proper treatment for your gum recession, your dentist will have to diagnose the cause. Gum deterioration caused by periodontal (gum) disease will be treated according to how advanced your condition is. For men and women who present with the first stage of periodontal disease, called gingivitis, dentists typically recommend multiple scaling and root planing (SRP) treatments. A noninvasive deep-cleaning method, SRP therapy removes the buildup from your gum pockets and evens out the enamel to prevent future accumulation. If SRP therapy is not sufficient to improve your oral health, or if you have the second stage of gum disease (periodontitis), your dentist can possibly perform gum surgery, or they might refer you to a gum specialist. During periodontal surgery, incisions will be created in your gums to penetrate deeper into your gum pockets and clean any accumulation along your tooth roots. SRP therapy and gum surgery are usually followed by a round of prescription antibiotics to clear any lingering bacteria. Following SRP therapy and gum surgery, your dental practitioner will allow some time for your gums to heal and regrow. In the event that your gumline is still too recessed, gingival graft surgery may be done. Periodontal plastic surgeries typically use tissue from different areas of your mouth, for example, your roof palate, to add coverage where required along your gumline. Man-made and donor grafts can also be used for patients who don't have adequate tissue to create a proper gumline. Once you have healed from periodontal plastic surgery, it is vital that you practice a good home oral hygiene routine and have regular appointments with your dental practitioner in Dallas, TX for yearly dental checkups and twice-yearly dental cleanings.
HEAL YOUR GUMLINE
Gum tissue is integral to your dental health, so you need to be careful with your gums to have a stunning, pristine smile. Set up an oral health analysis with your dentist if you have questions about gum disease or gum recession. At MINT dentistry in Lake Highlands, our experienced team of dental professionals offers diagnoses and many treatment options for gum recession, including scaling and root planing, gum surgery, and gingival grafting. Call or come by our practice in Dallas, TX to set up exams for your whole family.