Gum recession is caused by numerous factors, such as gum disease, genetics, aggressive tooth brushing, bad dental hygiene, and teeth grinding. Gum recession is a common condition; approximately 50% of people between the ages of 18 and 64 experience gum recession, which increases to 88% in people over 65.
However, preventative measures can help stop gum recession and preserve your oral health.
Tobacco smoke can reduce saliva production, causing dry mouth (xerostomia). It also dries out your gum tissue causing them to recede. Tobacco use is also linked to a higher incidence of gum disease due to a buildup of tartar along the gum line.
If left untreated, mild gum disease (gingivitis) can progress to periodontitis, where bacteria build up in the gum pockets and cause the gum tissue to pull away from the teeth.
Ask your dentist for advice about quitting smoking or use one of the numerous online resources or hotlines available.
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
Plaque buildup causes tartar, a hard yellow calculus that can irritate gum tissue and lead to a receding gum line. Tartar cannot be removed by brushing alone; only a dentist or hygienist can remove the hard tartar buildup on your teeth using a manual or ultrasonic scaler.
Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft toothbrush and floss every day. Ensure you use the proper brushing technique; vigorous brushing can irritate gum tissue and contribute to recession.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush your teeth using small circular motions with the brush angled away from your gum line. Alternatively, invest in an electric toothbrush with a built-in pressure sensor that alerts you when you are brushing too hard.
Use antibacterial mouthwash twice a day to eliminate bacteria. A saline rinse can also be beneficial. Gargle one cup of warm water with one teaspoon of salt twice a day. The salt can ease inflammation and kill bacteria.
Wear a Night Guard
If you grind your teeth, ask your dentist for help to prevent wear and tear to your teeth. Teeth grinding can put excessive pressure on your gums due to the lateral tooth movement, which can then cause gum recession.
At Aurora Dental Group, we offer a custom night guard to protect your teeth and gums from bruxism. Our dentists take impressions to send to an off-site lab, where they are used to create a night guard that fits perfectly to the contours of your mouth for optimal comfort.
Gum Recession Surgery
If gum recession has progressed to a level where the roots of your teeth are showing or there is bone loss, surgical treatment may be needed. When gum recession exposes the roots, an air pocket can form between the gums and the teeth, where bacteria can thrive.
Some effective surgical procedures include:
- Flap surgery is a deep tissue cleaning of your gums. The dentist folds back your gums, cleans out bacteria and plaque underneath your gums, and then reattaches the gum tissue to your tooth.
- Tissue graft is when the dentist cuts tissue from the roof of your mouth and grafts it over your gum pockets to cover your tooth roots and promote soft tissue regeneration.
- LANAP is a painless laser treatment that does not involve stitches or cutting your mouth.
Restore Your Oral Health
With the proper dental hygiene and regular dental check-ups, you can manage gum recession and preserve your smile. Visit your dentist regularly for a cleaning to get plaque removed.
Dr. Glorioso at Aurora Dental Group will give you a thorough dental exam, discuss any oral health issues they find, and make treatment recommendations as necessary. Call us today in Aurora at (630) 896-7354.