What causes receding gums?

by | Jan 18, 2023 | FAQs

There are a few factors that can contribute to gum recession, including poor oral health and aggressive brushing.

If you have noticed that your teeth appear longer than before, you may be suffering from gum recession. The issue occurs when the gumline gradually pulls away from the teeth over time, eventually exposing the roots. Gum recession, also known as gingival recession, can be triggered by a few different factors. Read on to find out what can cause the problem and what you should do if you are concerned about the condition of your smile.

What happens during gum recession?

To understand what happens during gum recession, it is important to understand the function of the gums. The gums help to protect the teeth in a few different ways. Soft tissue, known as gingiva, connects the teeth to the connective tissue that protects the teeth and bone. The gingival mucosa, which is an elastic gum tissue, helps to protect the inside of the cheeks and gums, while the gingival margin, which is located at the edge of the gum line, protects the teeth.

When the gums recede, the gingival margin moves away from the teeth. Over time, the roots become exposed. Exposed roots are highly vulnerable to issues like decay and sensitivity because the nerve endings are unprotected.

What causes gum recession?

Gum recession is a relatively common problem, and many people don’t even know that they have the issue — this is because it usually occurs gradually over time. Usually, the first sign of the problem is tooth sensitivity, although you might also notice that a tooth looks longer than usual.

There are a few factors that can contribute to gum recession. One of the leading causes of the issue is poor oral health. When plaque is left to build up between the teeth and gums, gum inflammation can occur. Gum inflammation can lead to some issues, including gum recession and even tooth loss.

Overly aggressive brushing and flossing can also cause serious damage to the teeth and gums. To avoid damaging your gums, it’s best to use a soft-bristled toothbrush. When flossing your teeth, do so gently but thoroughly — you should not experience any pain or bleeding.

Other factors that can cause gum recession include genetics — some people are simply more susceptible to certain oral health issues than others; a misaligned bite; grinding and clenching the teeth; tobacco use; and trauma that results in a dental injury.

Hormonal changes in women, such as those that occur during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, can cause the gums to become more sensitive than usual, which can make them prone to gum recession.

Can gum recession be treated?

 

Unfortunately, receding gums will never grow back. But the good news is that it’s possible to address the issue and improve your overall oral health. If you suspect that you have receding gums, you should see your dentist as soon as possible. They will let you know what course of treatment is best suited to your needs. Receding gums should not be ignored — early treatment can often help to prevent further damage.

Your dentist might recommend that you undergo a deep cleaning, which involves scaling and root planing. During the deep cleaning process, your dentist will use special tools to get rid of plaque and tartar in the affected areas.

Another possible treatment for gum recession is gum contouring. During this procedure, your dentist will use a laser or scalpel to construct a straighter gumline.

In severe cases of gum recession, gum grafting may be recommended. This surgical procedure involves the removal of tissue from one area of the mouth so that it can be applied to the exposed root.

How do you prevent gum recession?

prevent gum recession

When it comes to preventing gum recession, the best thing you can do is establish and commit to a proper oral hygiene routine. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and flossing once a day.

It’s also advisable that you see your dentist every six months for a check-up, or more often if recommended for you. If you need guidance on brushing your teeth thoroughly, your dentist will be able to help.

If you suspect that a misaligned bite or a habit like teeth grinding could be causing your gum recession, it’s a good idea to consult with your dentist. They will recommend the best possible treatment for your particular needs.

Other steps you can take to reduce your risk of gum recession include eating a balanced diet, quitting smoking, and dealing with any changes that you notice in your mouth as quickly as possible.

How can we help?

At Access Dental Care, we encourage all of our patients to come and see us for regular check-ups so that we can identify issues like gum recession in their early stages. We offer a comprehensive range of general and restorative dental treatments and will tailor a plan based on your unique needs.

If you are concerned about the condition of your smile, please don’t hesitate to come in and see us so that we can discuss your options in detail. We will do our best to repair any damage and improve your overall oral health.

We also offer a range of other dental services, including general, cosmetic, restorative, children’s, and emergency dentistry. To see the full scope of treatments that we offer, please have a look here. 

To book an appointment, please contact us here or give us a call at (08) 9485 0600. We look forward to welcoming you to one of our three practices in Perth CBD, Bull Creek, and East Perth.

All surgical procedures carry risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

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