When it comes to oral care, most people focus their attention primarily on their teeth — and for good reason. Your smile is one of the first things that others notice about you. However, without a strong foundation, even if your smile looks good, it might not be healthy. Unfortunately, there are many causes of receding gums that could negatively affect the health of your teeth. By learning these causes and talking to your general dentist about proper care, you can help heal your gums.
The Importance of Your Gums
Although others might not see your gums, they play a crucial role in the health of your teeth, mouth, and entire body. Gums are soft tissue that is supposed to cover the roots of your teeth. They are also designed to form a tight seal that supports the bones, which helps prevent bacteria from gaining access to your teeth. Bacteria can cause tooth decay and infection, which can lead to more complicated health problems.
What Are Some Causes of Receding Gums?
There are numerous causes of receding gums. Some of these you can control while others you cannot. For example, as you age, your gums typically start to recede.
Other causes of receding gums include:
1. Brushing too hard: Though it’s easy to think otherwise, brushing your teeth hard doesn’t mean that you’re doing a more effective job at removing plaque. Instead, brushing too hard can irritate your gums. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and soft back-and-forth motions to protect your gums.
2. Poor oral health: Brushing twice a day and flossing daily keeps plaque from forming and reduces the growth of bacteria. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, you could be setting yourself up for gingivitis and other gum problems. Neglecting your dental cleanings by your dentist can also result in problems with your gums.
3. Genetics: Like other conditions, the likelihood of you having receding gums could be due to your genetic makeup. If you are more prone to gum disease, it is vital to schedule regular dental visits to stay on top of potential issues.
4. Periodontal disease: Bacteria that cause gum infections can result in the loss of gum tissue. In untreated cases, the bone could also be affected.
5. Hormones: Over a woman’s lifetime, the changes in her hormones due to pregnancy, puberty, and menopause could make her gums more likely to recede.
What To Do If You Suspect You Have Receding Gums
One of the best ways to determine if you have receding gums is to visit your dentist regularly. If you think that your gums are receding, it is important to make an appointment with your dentist.
During that appointment, your dentist will thoroughly assess your oral health. Even if your gums are receding due to causes beyond your control, there are ways to address the issue and slow its progression.
Unfortunately, once you have lost gum tissue, there is no way for it to grow back. There are, however, ways to help your gums stay healthy, reduce the likelihood of infection, and give you the smile you want.
Choosing a dental team is an important step in helping your teeth and gums stay healthy. Lovett Dentistry Heights offers multidisciplinary dentistry with six forms of specialty dental services including:
- Orthodontist – Fixes issues with the teeth and jaws through braces or other orthodontic devices
- Maxillofacial surgeon – Performs necessary surgeries to fix issues with the jaw or face
- Pediatric dentist – Provides dental care for children and infants
- Endodontist – Specialists who fix issues with the nerves of your teeth and can perform root canals
- Periodontist – Specialists who provide treatment for gum disease and other issues related to the gums