When you hear the word “receding,” what comes to mind?
The first thing many of us will think of is a receding hairline. As someone goes bald, his hairline creeps further away from his forehead.
In dentistry, we often think of receding gums, which is usually a symptom of another oral health problem.
Today, we want to discuss the causes of gum recession and the treatments that we offer at Dental Implants and Periodontology Of Arizona.
If you are concerned that you may be experiencing gum recession, make an appointment with our dentist. We see patients from Phoenix, Maricopa County, and the surrounding area.
The Causes Of Gum Recession
Receding gums are never a good thing.
When this happens, your gums are pulling away from your teeth. You may notice that your teeth look longer than they once did.
If your gums recede too far, it may expose parts of the roots of your teeth, too.
Any one of the following or a combination of them could be causing your gum recession:
This is one of the most common causes of receding gums.
Gum disease starts with the bacteria that live in your mouth. Daily brushing and flossing can remove a lot of this bacteria.
If the bacteria are allowed to grow, they will form plaque and tartar. This can cause the infections, which lead to gum disease.
Gingivitis is the milder form of gum disease. It often can be treated and even reversed with basic oral hygiene.
However, if left untreated, it can turn into periodontitis, which is a more advanced form of gum disease. Gum recession is a symptom of periodontitis.
The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. You should use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste.
When you brush, the important thing is that you scrub your teeth on all sides. This is what removes bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth.
However, if you are using a hard-bristled toothbrush or you are brushing so hard that the soft bristles bend when you press them into your teeth, then you may be doing damage as well.
You can wear down the protective enamel on your teeth, and you can harm the soft tissues of your gums. Both of these things can cause gum recession.
We all know that life is not fair, and this may be another example of that. Hormones change make women, in particular, vulnerable to gum problems.
Puberty, pregnancy, and menopause are all times when women may be more susceptible to gum disease and receding gums.
Many things that affect us are tied to our genes. If you have a family history of gum disease, then you may be more likely to have receding gums, too.
If you are aware of your family history, this is a good reason to pay particular attention to your oral care.
How We Treat Gum Disease
As we pointed out earlier, gum recession can expose the roots of your teeth.
The crowns of your teeth are covered with enamel, which is the hardest substance on the human body. This helps to protect your teeth from tooth decay.
The roots of your teeth are covered with cementum. This is softer and can become worn away more easily than your enamel. This is also why it is important to prevent gum recession whenever possible and to treat it as soon as you are able.
For patients who have gum recession, we need to remove any infected tissue, and we will try to restore your gums to their original position.
If you have gum disease, the first step is to remove the infection. At our office, we use perioscopy in this process. Using small cameras, we are able to more accurately target the infected tissue, remove plaque and tartar buildup, and close pockets that may have formed in your gums.
In some cases, gum grafting may be necessary. During this procedure, we remove healthy gum tissue from one part of your mouth. Then, we place this into the parts of your mouth where it is needed.
However, there is an alternative method using donated gum tissue. For many patients, this is less painful than removing gum tissue from their own mouths.
Recession Can Be Reversed
Gum tissue is important for your overall oral health. Caring for your teeth requires brushing, flossing, and routine cleanings and examinations.
Nevertheless, gum disease and other problems can cause gum recession. There is good news for patients who live in or near Phoenix or Maricopa County. You can get help at Dental Implants and Periodontology Of Arizona.
To schedule an examination, use our online form or call 602-842-6841.
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