One day you’re brushing your teeth, and you happen to notice that you are seeing more tooth and less gums than you used to. It doesn’t look quite right, but is gum recession something to worry about? Should you rush to see your dentist or is this something harmless?
The causes of gum recession
Gum recession is actually fairly common. It can be the result of years of a lack of dental care, or it can just be something you inherited from your parents. It can also be caused by years of tobacco product use, a misaligned bite, periodontal disease, or a history of grinding or clenching teeth. People who brush their teeth too aggressively may also see gum recession.
Is gum recession dangerous?
As gum tissue wears away, “pockets” form in between teeth and gums. These pockets collect bacteria, which can cause infection and can eventually lead to damage to your teeth, gums, and even your jaw bone. If left untreated for a long time, it can lead to tooth loss.
What can be done about gum recession?
If your gum recession is very serious, surgery such as a soft tissue graft may be recommended. In this procedure, tissue is taken from the top of your mouth and then grafted over the area of recession. If your recession isn’t serious, a scaling and planing – a deep cleaning of those pockets in your gums – may be all that is needed.
As always, taking good care of your teeth can help to prevent problems with your oral health. Brushing (gently and with a soft bristled toothbrush) and flossing regularly can keep gums from receding, and it can also help to keep you healthy if you are noticing some gum recession. If your gum recession is caused by teeth grinding, your dentist may suggest a mouthguard.
If you have been noticing gum recession, there is probably no need to rush to your dentist – but do mention your concern at your next cleaning appointment. You can count on Pound Ridge Cosmetic Dentistry to help you keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy! Call 914-468-4759 for an appointment today!