Have you noticed lately that your gums are receding, or has your dentist pointed it out to you? If you are someone who works hard to have good oral health, it can be a bit worrisome. But is it something you should worry about? Read on for some information about gum recession, why it happens, and what you can do about it.
What causes gum recession?
Gum recession is when gum tissue wears away, exposing the lower part of the tooth. This forms gaps in between the teeth and the gums, which can collect bacteria. Between the bacteria and the teeth being exposed, teeth, bone, and supporting tissue can be damaged and, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss.
This condition, which is fairly common, runs in families. It can also be caused by periodontal disease, lack of dental care, or aggressive tooth brushing. Use of tobacco products, a misaligned bite, a lip or tongue piercing, or the habit of grinding or clenching your teeth can also contribute to gum recession.
How is gum recession treated?
It is important that bacteria is cleaned out of the “pockets” that gum recession can cause. Your dentist may want to do a deep cleaning of these pockets, also known as a “scaling and planning.”
He or she may also recommend surgery. There are different types of surgery to treat gum recession – soft tissue graft is just one kind. In this procedure, tissue is taken from the top of your mouth and then stitched to the area where gums are receding.
How can you prevent gum recession?
Taking care of your teeth can help to prevent gum recession. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, and brush and floss often. Your dentist may want to see you more than twice a year to check on your gum recession and the problems that can come with it.
Soft Touch Dentistry can help you to have great oral health and can answer any questions you have about gum recession. Contact them today, at the Brighton office at (617) 782-9250 or the Newton office at (617) 332-8146.