ALL ABOUT YOUR GUMS
While your teeth are integral to how healthy your smile looks, your gums are just as important. This soft tissue is the foundation of your smile and serves the important functions of holding your teeth in place and protecting their sensitive roots. This is why a receding gumline is more than just a cosmetic concern; it is a serious dental condition. In order to keep your gums healthy, you need to know the common causes of gum recession. From there, you can adjust your lifestyle and oral health routine to prevent receding gums. Further, if you already have receding gums, there are many options for treatments that can help in restoring your gumline. At Park Lakes Dental Care, our skilled team of dental professionals offers preventive care and many treatments for receding gums, each of which is chosen depending on the cause of your gum recession. Read on to learn more about gum recession, the causes, and common treatment options. Local patients who are concerned about the health of their gums should schedule an oral health examination with a dentist in Humble, TX.
ALL ABOUT GUM RECESSION
A receding gumline occurs when the soft tissue begins to pull away from the teeth. More and more of the enamel is visible until, eventually, the roots are also exposed. Gum recession typically does not happen quickly; first, you'll notice symptoms like red, swollen, and tender gums that bleed easily. Pus along your gumline and persistent bad breath (halitosis) are also symptoms that can precede gum recession. If you notice any of these, it's important that you schedule an appointment with your dentist in Humble, TX as soon as possible. If gum recession is left untreated, your teeth can loosen and fall out, because the gum tissue aren't able to hold them in place.
CAUSES OF GUM RECESSION
Unfortunately, gum recession is a common dental issue, especially for people over the age of 40. There are many causes of gum recession, which will help your dentist in determining how to treat yours. Some of the most common are:
- SMOKING OR CHEWING TOBACCO
The chemicals in all tobacco products can damage your gums. Further, though they don't contain tobacco, the sticky substances in e-cigarettes and vaping liquid are also dangerous. Talk about tobacco cessation with your primary care physician and then visit your dentist to discuss ways to restore your oral health.
- MISALIGNED BITES OR CROOKED TEETH
Similar to bruxism, crooked teeth and a misaligned bite (dental malocclusion) can put unnecessary pressure on your teeth, gums, and jawbone. See your dentist in Humble, TX to talk about orthodontic treatments like Invisalign to gently move your teeth into the proper position.
- CLENCHING OR GRINDING TEETH
Many people clench their jaws and/or grind their teeth when they are stressed during the day or while sleeping (nocturnal bruxism). The pressure of clenching and grinding wears down your teeth and gums.
Hereditary factors may predispose you to gum recession, which will make it more important to take extra care of your oral health. Ask if any family members have had gum disease and let your dentist know if anyone answers yes.
- GUM DISEASE
The leading cause of gum recession is periodontitis, the most advanced stage of gum disease. This inflammation in your soft tissue will likely lead to gum recession if not properly treated.
- BRUSHING TOO HARSHLY
Though it may sound counterintuitive, brushing your teeth too hard can also be a cause of receding gums. Over time, brushing too hard and too often wears down the gums. Dentists all recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush your teeth and gums.
- POOR DENTAL CARE
Neglecting to brush and floss daily leaves food particles and plaque to build up, which can cause gum disease. Gum disease is a leading reason that people start to experience gum recession. Flossing is particularly important in removing buildup from your gumline and promoting blood circulation.
- HORMONE CHANGES
The fluctuating hormones that females experience during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause can cause increased gum inflammation and elevated sensitivity. It is especially important to avoid pregnancy gingivitis, since this could affect the health of the mother and the baby.
METHODS OF TREATMENT FOR RECEDING GUMS
To choose the best treatment for your receding gums, your dentist will need to determine the cause. Gum recession caused by periodontal (gum) disease will be treated based on how advanced your condition is. For people who have the first stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, dentists typically recommend multiple scaling and root planing (SRP) treatments. A noninvasive procedure, SRP therapy removes the buildup from your gum pockets and smoothes the enamel to prevent future accumulation. If SRP therapy is not enough to improve your gum health, or if you have the second stage of gum disease (periodontitis), your dentist may perform periodontal surgery, or he or she might refer you to a periodontist or oral surgeon. During this procedure, incisions will be made in your gum tissue to reach deeper into your gum pockets and clean along your tooth roots. SRP therapy and gum surgery are frequently followed by a round of antibiotics to clear any remaining bacteria. After SRP therapy and periodontal surgery, your dental practitioner will allow some time for your gums to heal and regrow. If your gumline is still too high, gum graft surgery may be performed. Gum grafts usually use tissue from other areas of your mouth, for example, the roof of your mouth, to add coverage where needed on your gumline. Synthetic and donor grafts may also be used for those who don't have adequate tissue to create a healthy gumline. After you have recovered from gum grafting, it is important to follow a good home oral hygiene routine and have regular visits with your dentist in Humble, TX for annual dental examinations and bi-annual professional cleanings.
REHABILITATE YOUR GUMLINE
Your gums are central to the health of your teeth, so you need to maintain your gum health have a beautiful smile. Schedule an oral health assessment with a dentist if you are concerned about gum disease or receding gums. At Park Lakes Dental Care, our experienced team of dental professionals offers diagnoses and treatment for receding gums, including scaling and root planing, gum surgery, and gum grafting. Contact our practice in Humble, TX to set up appointments for your family.