Gums that don't ooze blood when you brush or eat aren't always healthy. Periodontal disease can strike at any moment without us noticing until it's too late. One such disease that we ignore way too often is a receding gum line.
Receding gums occur when the gum line starts to pull away from the tooth due to bacteria. This exposes the roots of teeth and thus increases your chance of tooth sensitivity. Enamel below the gum line can also erode as a result and leave you vulnerable to tooth decay. As a result, bacteria can form and multiply in tiny open pockets between the tooth and gum line.
Untreated receding gums can result in a serious loss of teeth if left untreated for far too long. It's not only elderly people in their 70's and 80's that are at risk of losing their teeth, after all.Studieshave shown that even adults in their 40's are at risk of losing permanent teeth due to oral health problems. Don't fret too much, though.Practicing proper oral hygiene and seeking treatment as early as possible can keep your gums healthy and intact.
What Causes Receding Gums?
Receding gums are often a result of excessive plaque build-up. Bacteria in plaque left along the gum line can cause healthy gums to bleed and become swollen. This can recede gums and weaken supporting bones and tissues, thus leading to lost teeth.
Genetics can also make someone more susceptible to receding gums. You can be more prone to either gum recession or pocket formation depending on the type of gum tissue you have. People with thinner gum tissue are often more susceptible to gum recession.On the other hand, those with thicker gum tissue are more likely to develop periodontal pocketing.
Aggressive dental hygiene can also play a huge role in gum recession. When you brush with products that are too abrasive, you can end up doing way more harm than good. Hard toothbrushes and abrasive toothpaste melt away protective enamel and irritate the gums. The longer you use them on your teeth, the more likely it is for your gums to become infected and recede.
Inattentive oral hygiene is also as bad as aggressive brushing. When you don't brush or floss as long or as often as you should, your gums can become infected and recede. Plaque left behind on the gum line can even worsen into dental calculus and cause further damage.
Engaging in dangerous physical activities can make you more prone to gum recession. Gum tissues that endure trauma can swell and cause the gums to recede. If you don't want your gums to become swollen and injured, it's best to use a mouth guard or other protective gear.
Can You Reverse Receding Gums?
Receded gums can’t grow back on their own, unfortunately. Your best chance is to undergo a procedure called a gum graft.During this procedure, your dentist first removes a piece of healthy tissue either from the roof of your mouth or healthier parts of your gums. After that, he then transplants it onto areas where your gums have receded. You don't need to rest up for too long afterward since this procedure is quite quick and painless.
How Do I Prevent Gum Recession?
Prevention is much better than cure when it comes to gum disease. The best way to keep your gums from receding is to always practice proper oral hygiene.Brushing and flossing three times a day with gentle products can keep bacteria and plaque from spreading all over your teeth and gum line.Using soft-bristle toothbrushes and non-abrasive toothpaste can also ensure that you don’taccidentally damage your teeth while brushing.It’s also best not to take any chances with frayed or old toothbrushes since they can become riddled with nasty oral and airborne bacteria.
Avoiding tobacco and oral piercings can also lower your chances of gum recession.It's also best to avoid food and drinks that are too acidic since they can melt away enamel and increase the spread of oral bacteria. If you can’t limit the food you eat every day, it’s best to brush and floss as soon as possible to stave off plaque and bacteria.