Gum recession is an extremely common dental problem that develops when your gums start to pull away from your teeth. Receding gums expose more of your tooth roots, and if the condition is left untreated, it can lead to tooth decay, tooth loss, and other serious oral health problems.
If you’re worried about gum recession, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans have receding gums, including an astonishing 88% of people over age 65. The good news? We can treat it.
- Paul Fuentes, DDS, DABP, Andrew Peterson, DMD, MS, and our team at Arcadia Perio specialize in periodontal disease and gum recession. We offer a variety of treatments to improve your oral health, and we’re here to help you understand why your gums are receding and how you can stop the damage.
Common causes of gum recession
Your gums play an essential role in your oral health. They protect your teeth from bacteria, plaque, and decay, and they help hold your teeth securely in place. If your gums start receding, they can’t protect your teeth as well as they should.
A few of the most common reasons your gums might be receding are:
Poor oral hygiene (and periodontal disease)
Poor oral hygiene is one of the top causes of gum recession. When you don't brush and floss regularly, excessive plaque buildup can lead to periodontal disease and gum recession.
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an infection that develops in your gums. It causes inflammation and damage, eventually making your gums pull away from your teeth and recede.
Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day are among the most effective ways to reduce your risk of periodontal disease and gum recession. If you notice swollen or bleeding gums, make a dentist appointment right away.
Brushing too hard
We mentioned that regular brushing can help you avoid gum recession, but the way you brush matters. Unfortunately, brushing too hard can also contribute to gum recession.
When you brush too aggressively, you can wear down the enamel on your teeth and wear away gum tissue. To avoid this type of recession, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a gentle brushing motion to protect your gums.
Smoking and other types of tobacco use also increases your risk of periodontal disease and gum recession. Using tobacco reduces blood flow to your teeth and gums, making them more vulnerable to infection and damage. If you smoke or use tobacco, quitting can help protect your oral health.
Teeth grinding, or bruxism, could also be contributing to your gum recession. When you grind your teeth, the constant pressure can wear down tooth enamel and damage your gum tissue. If you grind your teeth, seek treatment to prevent further damage.
Last but not least, your genetics may also play a role in gum recession. A family history of periodontal disease or gum recession could put you at higher risk of experiencing issues yourself, even if you have good oral hygiene habits.
How to treat receding gums
If you think your gums are receding, make an appointment with our team at Arcadia Perio. We can help you understand what’s causing your symptoms and develop a treatment plan to improve your health.
The best treatment for you depends on the severity of your case. In mild cases, we may recommend better oral hygiene practices or a professional cleaning to remove the buildup of plaque and tartar.
If your gum recession is more severe, we may recommend a few different procedures: scaling and root planing, laser treatment, or gum grafting.
Scaling and root planing is a more advanced dental cleaning to remove plaque buildup. Laser treatment can destroy bacteria and stop gum recession. Finally, gum grafting is a surgical procedure that involves taking tissue from another part of your mouth or using a donor tissue to cover the exposed root and prevent further recession.
To stop gum recession in its tracks and take control of your oral health, book an appointment at Arcadia Perio in Arcadia, California. Call us at 626-600-2009 or request your appointment online now.