Why are my gums receding?

Have you noticed lately that you are seeing more tooth and less gums? It can be a bit of a shock to realize your gums are receding, but is this something you should be concerned about? Is it something you should see your dentist about right away? And how is gum recession treated?

Why do gums recede?

Gum recession is actually a fairly common problem. It can be the result of grinding or clenching teeth, a misaligned bite, years of using tobacco products, a lack of dental care, a lip or tongue piercing, periodontal disease, or years of brushing teeth too aggressively. Gum recession also runs in families.

Does it matter if I have gum recession?

When gum tissue wears away and the lower part of your teeth are exposed, “pockets” are formed between the teeth and the gums. These pockets are the perfect place for bacteria to collect, which can damage teeth, bone, and supporting tissue. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss. A scaling and planing (a deep-cleaning procedure that gets rid of bacteria beneath the gum line) may be recommended.

If your gum recession is very serious, your dentist may recommend a soft tissue graft – in this procedure, tissue is taken from the top of your mouth and then stitched over the area where the gums are receding.

How can I prevent gums from receding?

The best way to keep your gums from receding is to take care of your teeth! Floss often, and brush gently using a soft-bristled toothbrush. If you grind your teeth, a mouthguard that you wear at night can help to protect your teeth and gums and may also repair some gum damage. If you are concerned about gum recession, make sure you mention this to your dentist. He or she may want to see you more than twice a year to check on the recession and for any serious resulting issues.

Are you concerned about gum recession? Or are you just overdue for a cleaning and checkup? Call Lerner & Lemongello in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, for an appointment. Call (561) 627-9000 today!

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