ALL ABOUT YOUR GUMS
While your teeth are an important part of 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 avoid receding gums. However, if you already have receding gums, there are many options for treatments that can help in restoring your gumline. At DentalWorks - Northville, our skilled team of dental professionals offers preventive care and several 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 Northville, MI.
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 overnight; 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 often precede gum recession. If you notice any of these, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist in Northville, MI as soon as possible. If gum recession is left untreated, your teeth may loosen and fall out, because the gum tissue can no longer hold them in place.
CAUSES OF GUM RECESSION
Unfortunately, gum recession is not an uncommon dental issue, especially for men and women 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:
- BRUSHING TOO AGGRESSIVELY
Though it may sound strange, brushing your teeth too much 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.
- 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 can affect the health of the mother and the baby.
- 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.
- 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 Northville, MI to talk about orthodontic treatments like Invisalign to gently move your teeth into the proper position.
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.
- POOR DENTAL CARE
Neglecting to brush and floss daily leaves food debris and plaque to build up, which can cause gum disease. Gum disease is a leading reason that individuals start to experience gum recession. Flossing is particularly important in removing buildup from your gumline and stimulating blood circulation.
- GUM DISEASE
The most common cause of gum recession is periodontitis, the most advanced stage of gum disease. This inflammation in your soft tissue can lead to gum recession if not properly treated.
- 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.
METHODS OF TREATMENT FOR RECEDING GUMS
To choose the correct 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 patients 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 often followed by a round of antibiotics to clear any lingering 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 typically 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 Northville, MI for annual dental examinations and bi-annual professional cleanings.
RESTORE YOUR GUMLINE
Your gums are the foundation of the health of your teeth, so you need to maintain your gum health have a beautiful smile. Schedule an oral health exam with a dentist if you are concerned about gum disease or receding gums. At DentalWorks - Northville, 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 Northville, MI to set up appointments for your family.