The Most Common Causes of Receding Gums and Effective Treatment Methods

ALL ABOUT YOUR GUMS
While your teeth are fundamental to how brilliant your smile is, your gums are just as important. This delicate tissue in your mouth is the foundation of your smile and performs the important purposes of holding your teeth in position and protecting their vulnerable tooth roots. Therefore, a receding gumline is more than just an aesthetic concern; it is a serious oral health condition. In order to keep your gums in good health, you need to learn the common precursors to gum recession. From there, you can adjust your habits and oral health routine to defend against receding gums. Plus, if you currently suffer from receding gums, you have many options for procedures that can help in the restoration of your gumline. At DentalWorks – Charlotte, our skilled staff of dental professionals offers both preventive care as well as multiple procedures for receding gums, each of which is selected depending on the reason behind your gum recession. Continue reading to learn more about receding gums, the causes, and common treatment methods. Area patients who have questions about their gum health should set up an oral health examination with their dental practitioner in Charlotte, NC.

ALL ABOUT RECEDING GUMS
Gum recession occurs when the delicate gum tissue starts to pull away from the teeth. An increasing amount of the enamel becomes exposed until, eventually, the sensitive tooth roots are also exposed. Gum recession typically won’t happen in one day; first, patients will notice symptoms such as inflamed and tender gums that bleed easily. Pus at your gumline and persistent foul-smelling breath (halitosis) are also symptoms that usually develop before receding gums. If you notice any of them, we urge you to set up an appointment with your dental practitioner in Charlotte, NC right away. If receding gums are left untreated, your teeth might become loose or fall out, since the gums aren’t strong enough to keep them in place.

REASONS BEHIND RECEDING GUMS
Unfortunately, receding gums are not an unusual dental problem, particularly for individuals past 40 years old. There are many causes of receding gums, which will help your dental practitioner in determining how to manage yours. Some of the most frequently seen are:

  • SMOKING OR CHEWING TOBACCO
    The toxins in any tobacco products can damage your gums. Further, while they don’t contain tobacco, the sticky components in vape pens and electronic cigarettes can also be harmful. Talk about quitting tobacco use with your general practitioner and then visit your dental practitioner to discuss your options to restore your oral health.
  • HORMONAL FLUCTUATIONS
    The fluctuating hormones that women experience during adolescence, pregnancy, and menopause can lead to increased gum swelling and redness as well as heightened tenderness. It is especially important to prevent pregnancy periodontal disease, because it might negatively impact the health of both the mother and the baby.
  • HEREDITY
    Hereditary factors may make you vulnerable to receding gums, which means it will be more important to take extra care of your teeth and gums. Find out whether any close relatives have had gum disease and let your dentist know if anyone says they have.
  • CLENCHING OR GRINDING TEETH
    Many people clench their jaws and/or grind their teeth if they are stressed at work or as they sleep (nocturnal bruxism). The pressure of grinding and clenching wears down your teeth and oral soft tissue.
  • POOR DENTAL HYGEINE
    Failing to floss and brush your teeth every day leaves food detritus and plaque to accumulate, which can cause gum disease. Gum disease is a leading reason that patients begin to experience receding gums. Flossing is especially important in removing this accumulation from your gums and boost blood circulation.
  • MALOCCLUSION AND CROOKED TEETH
    Similar to bruxism, crooked teeth and malocclusion (bite misalignment) can put extra pressure on your jaws, teeth, and gums. See your dental practitioner in Charlotte, NC to talk about orthodontic options like Invisalign to gently move your bite into the proper alignment.
  • BRUSHING TOO OFTEN
    While it might sound unusual, scrubbing your teeth too aggressively can also lead to gum recession. Over time, brushing too much or too harshly eats away at the soft tissue. Dentists all recommend using a brush with soft bristles when you clean your teeth and massage your gums.
  • PERIODONTAL DISEASE
    The top cause of receding gums is periodontitis, the most advanced phase of gum disease. This inflammation of your soft tissue might cause gum recession if not properly treated.

METHODS OF TREATMENT FOR GUM RECESSION
To determine the ideal treatment for your receding gums, your dental practitioner will first have to determine the cause. Receding gums caused by gum disease will be treated based on how serious your condition is. For those who present with the first stage of gum disease, referred to as gingivitis, dentists typically perform multiple scaling and root planing (SRP) sessions. A noninvasive deep cleaning method, SRP therapy removes the buildup inside your gum pockets and evens out the enamel to prevent future buildup. If SRP deep cleaning is not enough to elevate your gum health, or if you are experiencing the second stage of gum disease referred to as periodontitis, your dental practitioner may perform gum surgery, or they might refer you to a gum specialist or oral surgeon. During this procedure, tiny, precise cuts will be created in your gums to reach further into your gum pockets and clean on your tooth roots. Both SRP treatments and periodontal surgery are typically accompanied by a cycle of prescription antibiotics to clear any persistent bacteria. Following SRP treatment or gum surgery, your dentist will wait a bit for your gums to heal and regenerate on their own. If your gumline remains too high, gum graft surgery may be done. Gum grafts generally use tissue from different places in your mouth, for example, your roof palate, to increase tissue where needed along your gumline. Man-made and donor grafts may also be used for those who don’t have adequate tissue to build a healthy gumline. Once you have healed from gum grafting, it is vital that you practice a good home oral hygiene regimen and have regular appointments with your dental practitioner in Charlotte, NC for yearly dental check-ups and twice-yearly dental cleanings.

HEAL YOUR GUMS
Your gums are vital to the wellbeing of your teeth, so you need to maintain your gum health in order to attain a brilliant, healthy smile. Set up an oral health checkup with your dentist if you have questions about periodontal disease or gum recession. At DentalWorks – Charlotte, our experienced staff of dental professionals provides diagnoses and treatment options for gum recession, including SRP therapy, periodontal surgery, and gingival grafting. Call our practice in Charlotte, NC to schedule appointments for your family.