Our gums anchor and hold our teeth in place. They also protect the roots of our teeth from damage, infection, and disease. So it is a concern if our gums shrink back from our teeth. Exposed teeth tend to be sensitive to heat and cold and are more likely to decay. Keep reading to learn more about what causes receding gums and how you can prevent this condition.
The Top Causes of Receding Gums – 4 Known Causes
Plaque, Tartar, and Gum Disease
The main reason why our gums recede is a condition called periodontal disease or gum disease. This is a bacterial infection caused by plaque and tartar build-up on the teeth and gums. Plaque is the thin film of bacteria, food particles, and acids that accumulate over a day and give our teeth a furry feeling. Brushing our teeth twice a day and flossing once a day easily gets rid of plaque. You can also use sugar-free gum and high pH mouthwash to keep plaque under control.
If you don’t get rid of plaque daily, it forms a hard-to-remove substance called tartar. Tartar forms on the gum line and pushes the gums away from the teeth. Although tartar is hard to remove, your dentist can get rid of it during your annual or bi-annual checkups.
Another reason why you may experience receding gums is if you have inherited thin gums from your parents. Many people that have receding gums were born with thinner gum tissues. For such people, abrasion caused by brushing or flossing can easily cause receding gums. Plaque and tartar also wear down thinner gum tissue faster. Maintaining a proper oral hygiene routine can help reduce the effects of genetics and slow down the shrinkage of gums.
Crooked Tooth Eruption
Receding gums can also result from teeth that erupt outside of the bony housing they should grow from. The bony housing protects the root of the tooth. Teeth that erupt away from this area have unprotected roots. To correct this, dentists can move the incorrectly erupted teeth back to their right position. This allows the gum tissue around the tooth to grow back, hence protecting the roots from abrasion and infection.
Gums also recede if we brush our teeth too aggressively. Too much brushing or the use of hard brushes can damage your gums and wear out your teeth. It is healthier to use a soft brush gently on the teeth to remove food particles. Also, remember to floss daily to remove food stuck between teeth.
How You Can Prevent Receding Gums
The best way to prevent receding gums is by following a standard oral hygiene routine. Doing so will prevent plaque, tartar, and gum disease – the main cause of receding gums. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, in the morning and evening, using a soft brush and fluoride toothpaste. On top of daily brushing, you should also floss your teeth every evening after your last meal and before brushing.
Finally, visit your dentist at least twice a year for a general check-up and professional cleaning. The dentist will clean out any tartar and check your teeth for potential problems like receding gums. If you already have receding gums, you can get gum disease treatment grafting surgery from your dentist. For more information on how to properly care for your teeth, grab a free copy of ‘Why Me’.