If you see a few of your teeth have started to look longer or you frequently experience sensitivity to hot and cold, your gums could be receding, and a portion of your tooth’s root is exposed. Gum recession occurs gradually, and it may sneak up on you. Gum grafting treatment for receding gums can help prevent any further loss of gum tissue.
Causes of Gum Recession
Periodontal (gum) disease is a common cause of gum recession. Inadequate oral hygiene, genetic makeup, hormone changes, diabetes and other illnesses can all increase your risk of initial infection. However, smokers are four times more likely to develop gum disease compared to nonsmokers. Most kinds of tobacco products can increase your risk in this way.
Other reasons for gum recession include an aggressive or improper brushing technique, the extreme force put on your teeth from grinding or clenching and occasionally the unusual forces brought on by misaligned teeth. Also, keep in mind tongue and lip piercings can rub and irritate the gums, wearing the gum tissue away.
Treatment for Receding Gums
When receding gums are caused by heavy tartar buildup and gum disease. A professional cleaning is a first step in stopping the recession. Also called scaling and root planing, this procedure removes bacterial plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth and root surfaces, helping your gums heal and preventing any further recession.
If your recession is more extensive, however, consider gum graft surgery – which not only repairs the wounded area, but can also help prevent additional infection.
Benefits of Gum Grafts
In addition to stopping the process of gum recession and bone loss, gum grafts can reduce tooth sensitivity (especially to hot and cold foods) and protect the roots of your teeth from root decay. Gum grafts also result in a more even gumline, giving you the benefit of smiling and speaking without self-consciousness over the appearance of your teeth.
Good Oral Care for Prevention
Keeping your teeth clean and gums healthy is key in preventing gum recession. Brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day with a soft-bristled brush, using the correct tooth brushing technique. And don’t forget: Flossing daily cleans away bacteria and plaque that hide between your teeth. For even more protection, consider an antimicrobial mouthwash sto fight bacteria quickly during the day.
Your dentist or dental hygienist may be the first to notice an area of gum recession while examining your teeth, and a professional cleaning can remove the tartar that your toothbrush can’t clean off.
If you grind your teeth at night, ask your dentist about a mouthguard to help break the habit, and discuss tooth-straightening options for any misaligned teeth. Ultimately, keeping watch for the early signs of gum disease – such as red, swollen gums that bleed easily, or persistent bad breath – will help you catch the infection before it requires professional care.