Lowering Your Risk of Developing Gum Recession and Gum Disease
Gum recession is one of the most common oral health conditions seen by dentists, and it’s one which can be caused by numerous factors. Whilst it is true that many older people suffer from gum recession, the fact is every age group is at risk. People who show early signs of gum recession are at risk of developing gum disease, due to the presence of disease-causing bacteria which penetrates the root of the tooth which sits beneath the gum line. Over time, this may lead to tooth loss.
The good news is that with careful care, good hygiene practices and management by your dentist, your risk of gum recession can be reduced. In this blog post Care Dental Cashmere will be shedding some light on gum recession and gum disease, and how you can reduce your risk.
What Causes Gum Recession?
Good question! There are many factors which can lead to gum recession, some of which are genetic and others which are attributable to lifestyle choices and/or poor brushing techniques. Below you will find a brief overview of the 3 main causes.
Some individuals have naturally weak or fragile gum tissue, and therefore are genetically predisposed to developing gum recession. If your parent’s have gum recession, you too will be at a higher risk. The first signs of gum recession normally include sensitive or loose teeth.
Some people are also born with teeth which are out of alignment or show gaps, which is another contributing factor. However cosmetic and orthodontic treatments are available, and we’d be more than happy to take you through your options.
- Poor Dental Hygiene
We all know that it is important to brush and floss twice per day, but you shouldn’t exceed this frequency as it may lead to enamel erosion and contribute to you developing gum recession. It will also make it more difficult for you to brush your teeth as they will be a lot more sensitive.
Dentists recommend that you use a soft bristle toothbrush which is gentle on gums and tooth enamel. You should brush for around 2 minutes morning and night, following up with dental floss and mouthwash. This will provide you with a great clean without irritating the gums.
- Cigarettes and Smokeless Tobacco
The tar and chemicals found in cigarette smoke create a sticky layer of plaque and tartar which coats your teeth. It’s very difficult to remove, and research has shown that smokers are at a 3-6 times higher risk of developing gum recession and gum disease. Smokeless tobacco also irritate your gums and contribute to the development of gum disease, and it often contains sugar which can also raise your risk of tooth decay. We recommend quitting or at least reducing your consumption as much as possible, in addition to regular visits to the dentist so that we can identify any issues early.
- Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
If your someone who is prone to grinding your teeth, you’ll want to put a stop to it as soon as possible. Sometimes this is due to an abnormal alignment of the jaw, and others grind their teeth when they feel stressed or anxious. Many people don’t even realise they are grinding their teeth until a close partner or friend informs them, or they start to experience other side effects such as persistent headache, jaw pain and tooth sensitivity.
Bruxism is a major contributing factor for a number of conditions – including gum recession. It’s worth speaking to your dentist about treatment options, with a special mouthguard being just one of several options.
Treating Gum Recession and Gum Disease
It’s important that gum recession is caught early, as this will allow for the best outcomes using straightforward treatment options. We may recommend the following:
- Scaling and Root Planing – this involves a thorough clean of the affected area which removes plaque/tartar, followed by smoothing out the exposed root. This treatment can be used as a preventative measure, but it is also used for those suffering from advanced gum disease.
- Professional Advice – Following a thorough examination of your mouth, we will provide you with professional advice on how to go about addressing the issue. It could be as simple as changing your brushing technique or type of toothbrush used, or flossing more regularly to remove caught debris.
- Gum Graft – this treatment is performed by a periodontist and is usually only required in the advanced stages of gum disease.
If you believe you may be experiencing gum recession or gum disease, you should book an appointment with us immediately. Without proper monitoring and professional removal of plaque, your condition will continue to worsen.
Care Dental Cashmere – Committed to Quality Dental Care
Care Dental is your local dentist in Cashmere, and we hope this blog post has provided you with some further insight on the causes and treatment of gum recession.
It’s easy to miss the warning signs of receding gums and gum disease, so if you haven’t visited the dentist in the last 6-12 months we invite you to schedule an appointment with our friendly and experienced team today. Call now on 07 3882 6666, or make a booking through our website.