The gums are one of the most vital structures in the mouth. Not only do they protect the roots and surfaces of the teeth that are not visible above the gum line, but in doing so, they also help hold the teeth in place. Unfortunately many people don’t realize the importance of the gums until they suffer from gum recession.
Did you know that the gums require proper care, too? Without good oral hygiene and care habits that include the gums, gum tissue can begin pulling away from the teeth, exposing the roots underneath. Known as gum recession, this can lead to any number of problems, including gum disease and tooth loss.
The good news is, it’s never too late to start protecting your gums. With proper care today, gum recession is preventable. In this article, our periodontists in Mississauga will discuss how you can take care of your gums to prevent gum recession.
What is gum recession?
Gum recession occurs when the gum tissues pull away from the teeth. When this happens, the gums recede so much that they expose more surfaces of the teeth, as well as the roots. Gum recession can make the teeth appear longer and larger, and be more sensitive to heat and cold. When left untreated, it can cause pockets to form between the gums and teeth where bacteria can grow, and eventually lead to pain and tooth loss.
Causes of Gum Recession
Periodontists have identified a number of factors that cause gum recession—majority of which are related to oral hygiene and health habits. These include:
- Untreated gum disease that worsens and causes the gum tissues to pull away from the teeth and break down
- Aggressive or over-brushing, which damages the gum tissues and wears them down
- Genetic factors that influence the development of thin gums
- Developmental factors that cause the teeth to crowd and affect the size of the jawbone.
How to Prevent Gum Recession
As you’ve seen, gum recession is a serious periodontal concern that affects the appearance and health of your smile. And while it can be treated through gum grafting, it’s important to remember that receded gums cannot grow back. In addition, gum recession happens gradually, making it hard to notice until symptoms appear. These make it all the more important to prevent gum recession.
- Practice good oral hygiene habits
- But, don’t brush too hard
- Book regular cleanings
- Treat bruxism
- Get orthodontics
- Avoid mouth piercings
- Avoid tobacco
The easiest way to prevent gum recession is to take care of your teeth and gums. Regular brushing and flossing help prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. By keeping your mouth clean and healthy, you can prevent bacteria buildup that damages the gums and causes both gum disease and gum recession.
Brushing your teeth at least twice a day or after meals may be the easiest way to prevent gum recession—as long as you don’t overdo it. When brushing, pay attention to your strokes, as well as the toothbrush you use.
Aggressively brushing your teeth can damage the gums, causing them to pull away from the teeth. Instead, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle strokes. Brush thoroughly but without being abrasive towards the gums to keep them healthy.
The first of good oral hygiene and care happens at home; the second is with your periodontist. Make sure to book regular visits to your periodontist for check-ups and cleanings.
During these visits, your periodontist uses special instruments to remove plaque and tartar between the teeth and along the gum line. More importantly, they’ll inspect your gums closely and identify the earliest signs of gum recession. Early detection of gum recession will ensure prompt treatment and prevention of worsening recession.
Also known as teeth grinding, bruxism is an oral health condition wherein you grind or clench your teeth, often unconsciously. In many cases, this happens at night during sleep. Teeth grinding not only wears down the teeth, but also the gums.
If you’ve been told that you grind or clench your teeth while you’re asleep, visit a periodontist in Mississauga right away. They can prescribe a mouth guard to prevent unconscious teeth grinding, along with jaw pain and disorders, and most importantly, gum recession.
Did you know that orthodontics do more than correct the alignment of your teeth? In doing so, they fix crooked teeth that affect your gums and cause gum recession. A misaligned bite and crooked teeth exert additional force on the gums and the jawbone. To correct this problem, your periodontist may recommend orthodontic treatment, such as braces or aligners.
Of course, accessories are a great way to express yourself and personalize any look. But, keep in mind that some accessories can do more harm than good. Mouth piercings, for example, can impact your oral health. Piercings on your lips or tongue can quickly irritate the gums and wear down gum tissues, eventually leading to gum recession.
And lastly, keep in mind that smoking is an unhealthy habit. Cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, and even chewing tobacco all have negative effects not only on your lungs, but also on your oral health. This is because tobacco tends to leave a sticky layer of plaque on the enamel of your teeth. It’s difficult to remove, which can also affect the gums and lead to gum recession.
Prevent Gum Recession with the Help of Our Periodontists
As you’ve learned above, gum recession is preventable with proper care of your gums. A big part of this is seeking the help of one of our periodontists in Mississauga as early as possible. You shouldn’t have to wait for the irreversible onset of gum recession before a consultation.
At Periodontal Associates, our team of highly qualified periodontists in Mississauga provide both preventative periodontal care and gum recession treatment. We cater to all of your periodontal health needs, so you can keep your gums healthy and prevent problems from worsening. We’re big believers in prevention being the key to long-term good oral health.
Are you worried about gum recession, or do you think you’re experiencing symptoms? Book a visit with our periodontists in Mississauga to learn more about gum recession prevention and treatment.