Gum recession is a common oral health problem. In fact, over 75 percent of Americans may have some type of gum disease that can lead to this issue, but only 60% are aware of this problem. When you have gingival recession, which is more frequently referred to as receding gums, you'll likely notice that the gum tissue that once surrounded your teeth starts to pull back. More of your teeth are exposed, and the gum recession may continue. With gum recession, significant gaps may develop between the teeth and gums, which further escalates bacterial issues because the gap provides hospitable places for bacteria to remain. Tooth loss can ultimately occur when the bone structures and gum tissue is damaged too much.
Going to see a periodontist, like Cumberland Periodontal Associate, can help you determine which of the following causes of receding gums is the culprit behind your problem.
Having Periodontal Disease
The most common issue behind a receding gum line is gum disease; oral care professionals aptly refer to this as periodontal disease, and something as simple as not brushing your teeth often enough can cause it. Luckily, the treatment for gum disease is rather simple if it is not too far advanced. Your dentist will explain exactly what you should do to heal it, but it typically involves changing your diet, avoiding tobacco, brushing your teeth for two minutes at least twice per day, flossing at least once per day, and swishing with a dentist-approved mouthwash.
Being Overly Aggressive in Your Dental Care
If you are too aggressive in the way that you brush your teeth, the enamel where your teeth meet your gums may wear off a bit with each successive brushing. It's especially bad to brush your teeth aggressively with a hard bristled toothbrush. Also, when you are too rough with the way that you floss, you can cut the gums. Both of these behaviors can result in receding gums. Going forward, be sure to use a soft bristle toothbrush and gently brush for a few minutes at a time. Flossing does need to be completed daily, but it can be done gently without cutting into the gums.
Keep in mind that these are not the only causes of receding gums, but they are the most common. If you take certain medications or suffer from other health issues, like an eating disorder, keep in mind that your oral health can also be affected.
See a periodontist if you start to notice your gums receding or see anything unusual about your gum health. The earlier you get a diagnosis, the earlier you can get on your way to a clean bill of oral health again.