Are you suddenly experiencing teeth sensitivity? Do your teeth look longer than you remember? What about bleeding gums? All of these signs and symptoms could indicate that your gums are receding. Gum recession is an alarming condition, especially if your teeth are abnormally sensitive or your appearance has changed. Gum recession has several causes, but it also has several treatments. Many times you can take care to prevent gum recession at home. So why is gum recession happening, and what can you do about it?
Causes of Gum Recession
Gum recession could be happening for a variety of reasons, some of which could be out of your control. For example, genes largely determine your gum health, so if your parents have recessing gums, you could be at risk too! However, here are some things you could be doing to cause gum recession:
Brushing too hard. Brushing too hard is so damaging to your tooth’s enamel. You should always be using a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently. Hard brushing simply isn’t necessary to get that plaque off! Also, remember to floss gently as well.
Not seeking orthodontic treatment. If you have overcrowded teeth, this could influence gum recession.
Teeth grinding. Grinding your teeth can cause inflammation in your tooth’s root and fractures in your teeth. If you suspect you’re a grinder, get to the dentist as soon as possible to learn how you can stop doing this!
Injury or trauma. If you’ve had an injury or trauma to your mouth such as from an accident, this could cause gum recession.
Poor oral hygiene habits. Skip brushing on most days? Don’t remember the last time you flossed? Drink soda and alcohol frequently? You’re setting your mouth up for some serious problems in the future. Poor oral hygiene habits can lead to gum recession! Now that we know some of the things that can cause gum recession, let’s learn what we can do once it starts happening.
Treatment for Gum Recession
Treatment for gum recession will depend on the root cause of your gum recession. Like many other medical conditions, the earlier you catch it, the better. This is why it’s important to pay attention to the symptoms of gum recession and changes in your mouth. If hard brushing is found to be the culprit, you’ll simply need to adopt better brushing habits and switch to a softer toothbrush. It can take practice to learn to brush your teeth gently, especially if you’ve been brushing your teeth too aggressively for years!
If you’re grinding your teeth, you and your dentist can discuss how to prevent this habit and what you can do about it, such as wear a custom mouth guard while sleeping. If you have poor oral hygiene, your dentist may recommend a deep cleaning in order to help restore your gums’ health and encourage healing. If you have severe gum recession, you may need gum grafts.
Gum recession isn’t pleasant, but you can prevent damage by seeking orthodontic treatment if needed, brushing gently, and as always, getting regular checkups with your dentist. Your dentist can spot gum recession before it causes you unpleasant symptoms!