THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR GUMS
Even though your teeth are an essential part of how gorgeous your smile is, your gums are also important. This pink tissue supporting your teeth is the foundation of your smile and serves the critical purposes of keeping your teeth in position and shielding their sensitive roots. Therefore, a receding gumline is not simply a cosmetic issue. It is a significant dental condition. To keep your gums in good health, you have to learn the top causes of gum recession. From there, you can adapt your habits and oral health practices to stave off receding gums. Plus, if you already have receding gums, there are many options for treatments that can help in healing your gumline. At MINT dentistry in South Houston, our knowledgeable team of dental professionals offers both preventive care and the most effective interventions for gum recession, which are chosen based on the reason behind your gum recession. Continue reading to find out more about receding gums, the causes, and effective treatment methods. Local patients who want to ensure their gum health and wish to keep their smiles looking great are invited to schedule an oral health evaluation with a dentist in Houston, TX.
WHY YOU SHOULD WORRY ABOUT RECEDING GUMS
Gum recession develops when the delicate gumline starts to slowly disappear along the teeth. An increasing amount of the tooth is visible until, gradually, the sensitive roots are also uncovered. Gum recession usually does not occur abruptly; first, you'll start to develop symptoms such as red, swollen, and painful gums that bleed while brushing and/or flossing. Secretions at your gumline and persistent foul-smelling breath (halitosis) are also indicators that are likely to develop before receding gums. If you have any of them, it's important that you schedule a consultation with your dental practitioner in Houston, TX right away. If receding gums are ignored, your teeth could begin to become loose or fall out, since the gum tissues aren't healthy enough to keep them in position.
COMMON CAUSES OF RECEDING GUMS
Regrettably, receding gums are a common dental issue, particularly for those past the age of 40. There are several causes of gum recession, which will help your dentist in determining how to manage yours. A few of the most common causes of receding gums are:
Hereditary factors could predispose you to gum recession, which means it will be more critical to take extra care of your oral health. Ask if any close relatives have developed periodontal disease and then inform your dentist.
- CIGARETTES, CIGARS, AND VAPING
The dangerous chemicals in any tobacco products can weaken your gums. Further, though they don't contain tobacco, the viscous substances in vape pens and electronic cigarettes are also dangerous. Talk about tobacco cessation with your general practitioner and then make an appointment with your dentist to discuss your options to enhance your oral health.
- BRUSHING YOUR TEETH TOO HARSHLY
Though it might strike you as odd, brushing your teeth too aggressively can also be a cause of receding gums. Brushing too often or too aggressively gradually wears down the gums. You should be using a soft-bristled toothbrush when you clean your teeth and massage your gums.
- INSUFFICIENT DENTAL HYGIENE
Failing to brush and floss every day allows food debris and plaque to accumulate between your teeth, which can promote gum (periodontal) disease. Gum disease is a leading reason that patients start to develop receding gums. Flossing is particularly crucial to eliminating buildup from your gums and promoting blood circulation.
- PERIODONTAL DISEASE
The top reason behind gum recession is periodontitis, the most advanced stage of periodontal disease. This disease in your soft tissue might lead to gum recession if not correctly treated.
- HORMONE FLUCTUATIONS
The variations in hormones that women have during adolescence, pregnancy, and all the way through menopause can lead to worsening gum swelling and redness as well as heightened soreness. It is quite important to prevent gingivitis during pregnancy, since it can affect the health of the expecting mom and the child.
- MALOCCLUSION AND UNEVEN TEETH
As with bruxism, irregularly positioned teeth and a misaligned bite (dental malocclusion) can place extra weight on your teeth, gums, and jawbone. Schedule an appointment with your dental practitioner in Houston, TX to talk about treatments like Invisalign to gently move your teeth into the correct position.
- GRINDING AND CLENCHING YOUR TEETH
Many people clench their jaws and/or grind their teeth when they are worried during the day or while sleeping (nocturnal bruxism). The force of grinding and clenching eats away at your teeth and gums.
METHODS OF MANAGING RECEDING GUMS
To choose the best treatment for your receding gums, your dentist will first have to identify the cause. Gum erosion caused by periodontal (gum) disease will be treated in relation to how advanced your gum disease is. For individuals who present with the initial stage of gum disease, commonly known as gingivitis, dentists often do multiple scaling and root planing (SRP) sessions. A noninvasive procedure, SRP therapy eliminates the buildup from your gum pockets and evens out the enamel to prevent future buildup. If SRP therapy is not sufficient to improve your oral health, or if you have the second stage of gum disease (periodontitis), your dental practitioner can possibly perform periodontal surgery, or they may refer you to a periodontist. During periodontal surgery, tiny, precise cuts will be created in your gum tissue to penetrate farther into your gum pockets and clean any accumulation along your tooth roots. Both SRP therapy and periodontal surgery are frequently followed by a cycle of antibiotics to kill any lingering bacteria. Following SRP treatment and gum surgery, your dental practitioner will wait a bit for your gums to heal and regenerate. In the event that your gumline remains too recessed, gum graft surgery can be done. Gingival grafts often take tissue from different places in your mouth, for example, your roof palate, to supplement the tissue where required on your gumline. Man-made and donor grafts might also be used for those who don't have sufficient tissue to build a proper gumline. Once you have recovered from periodontal plastic surgery, it is vital that you practice a good home oral hygiene regimen and have regular visits with your dentist in Houston, TX for yearly dental checkups and twice-yearly dental cleanings.
HEAL YOUR GUMLINE
Your gums are the basis for your overall oral health, so it's necessary to maintain your gums to achieve a beautiful smile. Schedule a comprehensive oral evaluation with your dentist if you are concerned about periodontal disease or gum recession. At MINT dentistry in South Houston, our skilled staff of dental professionals offers diagnoses and multiple treatment options for receding gums, including SRP therapy, gum surgery, and gum grafting. Reach out to our office in Houston, TX to set up appointments for your whole family.