Although inconsistent oral hygiene and periodontal disease can contribute to gum recession, it can also happen to people who do a good job taking care of their teeth. Receding gums are gums that have pulled away from a tooth, leaving the delicate root exposed. It then creates small spaces where plaquecan collect. This can often lead to more recession. Left untreated, it can eventually cause bone and tooth loss because gum tissue doesn’t regenerate the way other types of tissue does. Vigorous tooth brushing or the use of hard bristles instead of soft is a further, common cause of receding gums. Even if your dental hygiene is good, over-brushing your teeth can still cause receding gums.

Physical wear of your gums and inflamed tissues are the main reasons for recession.

Gum recession often affects the left side of the mouth more because most people use a toothbrush in their right hand and put more pressure on the left gums. The pattern also tends to affect the side gums more than the front area.
Other physical factors that can cause recession are: lip or tongue piercings, misaligned teeth, and damage from dental treatment. Unfortunately, some people are also more prone to the inflammatory causes of receding gums because their tissue is more delicate.

Risk Factors

Age is a key risk factor for receding gums. Approximately 88% of people older than 65 years have a receding gum in at least one tooth. Smokers and People who smoke and use tobacco products also have an increased risk of receding gums. Genetics are another factor. People who have thin or weak gums can pass these characteristics on thru their genes. People with health conditions, such as diabetes, also have an increased risk of receding gums.

What to do about Receding Gums

The first step is to make an appointment with your dentist. They can measure how far your gums have receded to determine how severe it is and what the most effective next steps are. They will most likely start with a deep cleaning procedure to clear out the bacteria in the small spaces created by receding gums. This is called scaling and root planning, which involves scraping away tartar from your teeth and under your gum line. Your dentist might also apply a slow-release antibacterial gel under your gum line or prescribe an antibiotic mouthwash.

This also helps remove bacteria at the gumline. To maintain the results, youneed to follow up with a good oral hygiene plan to avoid more build-up. This involves: using a soft bristle or electric toothbrush twice a day, flossing daily before brushing, and going to your dentist regularly for cleanings.

Gum Surgery

For more severe cases of receding gums, your dentist might suggest surgery. There are a few types to consider. Flap surgery is to prevent eventual bone loss. It is when your dentistmakes a small incision in your gum tissue to lift it up and remove any plaque they couldn’t get to during the scaling and root planing. After the rest of the bacteria is removed, your gum tissue will be secured in place. Gum Graft is when an oral surgeontakes gum tissue from another part of your mouth and surgically places it around the receding area. This reduces the appearance of receding gums and protect your tooth and bone from future damage. Bonding is gum-colored resin that is placed over the roots of your affected teeth to reduce the appearance of receding gums and protectthe sensitive roots of your teeth.

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