Help! My Gums Are Wearing Away!

Have you noticed your teeth looking a little bit longer recently? Does it look like the gums are pulling away from the teeth? These symptoms are commonly caused by two very different reasons.

The most common reason for your gums to recede or “pull away” from your teeth is gum disease. Gum disease can be brought on by poor oral hygiene or neglect for your oral health. Infrequent brushing, flossing and dental visits can all lead to bacteria collecting at and below the gum tissue. This bacteria causes inflammation and deterioration of the supporting ligaments and bone that surround your teeth. As the bone level drops, more of your tooth begins to show. If you haven’t seen the dentist recently and noticed your gums are receding, get into the dentist right away. If left untreated, gum disease can lead your teeth to become loose and painful and has shown to be linked to heart disease and diabetes. If caught early, a dental cleaning or deep cleaning may be what you need to remove this harmful bacteria and get you on the right tract to keeping your teeth.

If however, you have impeccable oral hygiene, brushing twice and floss daily as well as maintain regular visits to the dentist, then you may be suffering gum recession for a different reason. Non-disease related gum recession is most often caused by…Brushing Your Teeth!!! What?!?!? How could that be? Most frequently people with mild gum recession bring it on themselves by scrubbing their teeth instead of brushing them. The abrasiveness of your toothbrush, toothpaste and a strong force combine to abuse your gums into “wearing” away. If you notice the recession is on the opposite side of the hand you hold the tooth brush, then you may have a problem with brushing too hard or with a very abrasive toothbrush. Brushing too hard? An easy fix is to hold the toothbrush with just your fingertips. This will limit the force you can put on your toothbrush being sure you don’t push too hard. Do you use a whitening toothpaste? If you notice mild recession, you should switch to a regular toothpaste. Whitening toothpastes tend to have a few more abrasives in them to allow you to better scrub away the staining. Keeping these things in mind will limit the wear you cause on your teeth and stop the recession from getting any worse.

While other things can cause gum recession, these are the two major reasons people will cause your gums to recede. As always, mention this to your dentist if this is a concern that you have and we will be able to point you in the right direction to keep your teeth the way you like them!

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