Do your teeth seem more sensitive than normal? Do they look longer or feel loose? Receding gums may be to blame. Fortunately, there are ways to fight back. Exploring receding gums causes and treatments can provide you with the facts that you need to protect your oral health.
Causes of Gum Recession
When gums recede, the gum tissue that surrounds the tooth erodes or pulls away. This exposes more of the tooth’s root, which can increase sensitivity. Sometimes, a gap or pocket forms between the tooth and gum tissue, creating a cozy nest for bacteria.
What causes gums to draw back?
There are several factors that can contribute to this destructive issue:
- Periodontal disease. Also called gum disease. This is the leading cause of receding gums. Triggered by bacterial infections, periodontal disease can damage both gum and bone tissues. To avoid serious health problems, anyone with chronic bad breath or gums that are bleeding, tender or swollen should seek a dentist for proper gum disease treatment.
- Poor dental care. An inadequate oral health care routine can allow plaque and bacteria to flourish. This sets the stage for issues like periodontal disease and receding gums.
- Overly enthusiastic brushing. Brushing your teeth too aggressively can injure the gum tissue and prompt gum recession. Brushing your teeth too much may also erode the enamel.
- Genetics. Some unlucky folks have genes that predispose them to gum disease. This can also make them more vulnerable to receding gums.
- Crooked teeth. A misaligned bite or crooked teeth can produce an excessive force on the gums or bones, increasing the chance of receding gums.
- Tooth grinding. Habitually clenching the jaw or grinding the teeth can generate excessive pressure, which may contribute to receding gums.
- Piercings of the tongue or lip. By causing gum irritation, jewelry can trigger recession of gum tissue.
Receding Gum Treatment
If allowed to progress, receding gums can contribute to discomfort, increased tooth decay and tooth loss. Thankfully, there are several receding gum treatment options:
- Professional deep cleaning. For a mild recession, your dentist or dental hygienist can use professional tools to thoroughly clean the affected area and smooth the tooth’s exposed surface to make it harder for bacteria to cling to it in the future. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to clear any active gum infection.
- Soft tissue grafting. When gum recession is more severe, your dentist may suggest a surgical procedure that harvests gum tissue from the roof of the mouth or the gum line. This soft tissue graft is stitched into place over the exposed tooth root.
- Regeneration. If the bone supporting the tooth has been destroyed, a surgical procedure to place regenerative material in that area may be required. Once the material is in place, the gum is secured around the tooth.
At Wekiva Dental, we understand that a healthy, beautiful smile can enhance your appearance, improve your self-image and enrich your quality of life. Don’t let receding gums or other issues damage your smile or your general oral health. If you have any concerns about your oral health, contact us today at 407-869-7333 to schedule a consultation.