Gums help stabilize your teeth and hold them in place, so having receding gums can be very concerning. Fortunately, this problem is both preventable and treatable through general dentistry services. By learning about the causes of receding gums, you can get proper treatment or stop your gums from receding further.
Causes for Receding Gums
One of the most common causes of receding gums is infections. If too much bacteria live on or beneath your gums, your gums can become inflamed and periodontal disease can set in. Over time, this damages the tissues of the gums, causing them to pull back from the teeth. Poor oral hygiene can also cause tartar and plaque to build upon your teeth. This hardened plaque can then irritate the gum line and make it hard for the gums to stay attached to the teeth.
Your gums may also recede if you take part in activities that damage gums. Good dental hygiene is always important, but you can brush your teeth so hard that your gums start receding. Continuous clenching or grinding your teeth also puts a lot of stress on the structures of the mouth, causing gums to pull back. Another way you may hurt your gums is by using tobacco products. The nicotine in tobacco products can leave a sticky plaque on teeth, which can also affect gum health and harm your circulatory health.
Unavoidable Causes of Receding Gums
You can do everything right and still end up with receding gums. There are risk factors for receding gums that you cannot avoid. The main risk factor is genetics. Research suggests that up to 30% of the population is more likely to have gum disease regardless of how well they maintain their oral hygiene. Furthermore, some people are born with misaligned teeth, and an improper bite position can stress teeth and harm gums over time. Hormonal changes can also play a role in gum recession. Women have a higher risk of gum disease during pregnancy or menopause.
Preventing Receding Gums
The most important way of avoiding receding gums is taking good care of your teeth. By maintaining proper oral hygiene, you can do a lot to lower your periodontal disease risks. Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day, and getting regular dental cleanings can help keep your gums healthy. Make sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid brushing too hard. If you have a misaligned bite or grind your teeth, talk to your dentist about fixing the problem as soon as possible. You can further improve gum health by avoiding tobacco usage and eating a balanced diet. Sugary or acidic foods can lead to bacteria and plaque buildup on your teeth and under your gums, which can cause gum disease.
Treating Receding Gums
If your gums are already receding, there are a few potential ways of treating the problem. When the cause is a mild infection and plaque buildup, a deep cleaning may help. Also called root planing or tooth scaling, this treatment cleans tooth surfaces so the gum can reattach. For more severe cases of gum recession, periodontic surgery can help. There are various procedures such as open-flap scaling and tissue grafts that can help rebuild and reposition receding gums.
At Lovett Dental of Jersey Village, our trained periodontists know all about creating strong, healthy gums. We can help treat receding gums, or we can discuss preventative dental services with you. Besides helping patients with gum issues, we can also assist with routine dental cleanings, root canals, tooth veneers, and more. Contact us at 832.501.2565 to find out more about our services and treatments and to schedule an appointment today.