Receding gums, like the gingivitis that generally causes it, are most likely to take place as people get older, although it can occur during puberty, pregnancy or menopause. It’s a fairly common dental condition that can lead to serious oral health problems if not addressed while in the early stages of gum disease.
While the inflammation that bacteria causes at the gum line is the most likely reason for recession, there are other reasons why your gums are pulling back from the teeth. If you brush your teeth too hard, for example, the gums may shift. Smoking and an unhealthy diet can aggravate the situation as well.
Bad dental hygiene is a major cause of receding gums. If plaque builds up on your teeth, it can lead to gum inflammation. If you grind your teeth, you may damage your teeth and your gums. Misaligned teeth can also place too much pressure on the gums and bones and cause recession.
Daily brushing and flossing is the best way to keep gum disease from developing and gums from receding. When good hygiene lapses, plaque builds up on your teeth and may require a deep cleaning called scaling, which removes the unseen plaque below the gum line. Sometimes, this is enough to stop gum recession from worsening.
When gum recession starts, it’s important to see your family dentist on a regular basis. That may be difficult for people who have no dental insurance, either because it isn’t offered through their jobs or because they can’t afford high-cost premiums to maintain a policy. For those people and others who want to save on their dental costs, signing on to a discount dental plan is an affordable alternative. Dental plans provide many dentistry services at significantly reduced prices.
When the gaps between the teeth and gum line become too deep to reverse, oral surgery may be necessary. Depending on the severity of the case, there are several methods of dental surgery used to rejuvenate the gum surface so that teeth will not loosen and eventually fall out.
The first method is called pocket depth reduction. By folding back the affected gum, bacteria that has taken root in the gaps between the teeth is easier to remove. Once the area is cleaned out, the gaps are reduced in size and sometimes eliminated.
In more serious cases, when bone disintegration has begun, the dentist can regenerate lost bone and tissue with a material such as a graft tissue or protein stimulant applied to the damaged area. The gum tissue is folded back to allow the procedure, then secured over the teeth once the regenerative material has been applied. Gum tissue grafting is done in only the most severe cases.
Even if you have to resort to gum surgery, the way to prevent your gums from receding again is to practice preventive dental care so new instances don’t develop. Stop smoking and chewing tobacco. Eat a balanced diet that’s good for overall good health, including strong dental structure.
Certain foods, such as carrots and apples, act as natural cleansers by scraping plaque from teeth while they are eaten. Cut down on the amount of sugar you eat and rinse your mouth with water throughout the day to prevent a sugary coating on the teeth and gums from creating new problems.
What tips do you have for keeping your gums healthy? Share with us below!