Common Causes Of Receding Gums And What To Do

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Gum recession is a common type of gum disease that occurs when gum tissue shrinks away from teeth, eventually exposing the roots beneath. This condition can cause teeth to loosen and even fall out when left untreated. 

While gum recession is a fairly common complaint, as several different things can cause it, there are effective treatments that can help you restore your smile and gum health. Receding gums are usually treated with antibiotics and antimicrobial mouthwash products. Dentists sometimes recommend surgery where gum grafts are used to rebuild gum tissue. The grafts are usually taken from the roof of the mouth. 

If you’re worried about your gum health after noticing the early signs of gum recession, it’s essential to know what receding gums look like. This kind of gum disease can manifest as pain and discomfort on the gum line, gum sensitivity, and teeth that appear longer and thinner. 

Whether you need to book a consultation with your dentist for treatment or hope to avoid this form of gum disease, understanding the causes is the best way to prevent it. 

Here are seven of the most common causes of gum recession. 

Brushing Too Hard

Aggressive brushing with a hard bristle toothbrush is possibly one of the most harmful things you can do to your teeth. Brushing too hard will scratch the surface layer of enamel off your teeth to eventually expose a yellow layer beneath. 

Brushing harder won’t clean your teeth better; unfortunately, it will have quite the opposite consequence. Beyond enamel wear, brushing too hard will also cause gum recession and even gum injury, worsening gum recession even more. 

Use a quality soft bristle toothbrush and brush lightly in circular motions for a couple of minutes before rinsing your mouth. If you change this habit soon enough, you can reverse the recession. However, if this change does not provide relief within roughly a week, it’s crucial to consult your dentist for treatment. 

Plaque And Tartar Buildup

Another common cause of gum recession is plaque and tartar buildup. When plaque hardens and forms tartar, it builds up over time and pushes gum tissue down. At the same time, the bacteria in plaque can infect the gum tissue and cause pain and inflammation.

The best way to prevent plaque and tartar buildup is to brush and floss regularly. In addition to this, you must visit your dentist once a year to clean your teeth and remove tartar thoroughly.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a relatively common condition that’s pretty easy to treat. More often than not, periodontal disease is caused by poor dental hygiene. 

The symptoms range from swollen, tender gums to redness and sensitivity. Fortunately, treatment is as simple as visiting the dentist for a general checkup and cleaning. If necessary, your dentist will recommend a suitable oral hygiene routine and antibiotic treatments.

Misaligned Teeth

Misaligned and crooked teeth that do not fit evenly will leave space for gums to recede as the pressure from skewing teeth applies more pressure to gums and bones. 

You will need to visit your dentist and consider treatments like traditional or Invisalign braces to realign teeth and prevent gum recession. 

Smoking And Tobacco Products

Smoking cigarettes and using other harmful tobacco products is a devestating choice for your oral health. Beyond the other impacts of smoking and tobacco use, gum disease, gum recession, cavities, tooth loss, and even oral cancer are common complaints among smokers. 

While you must visit your dentist for treatment in this case, it’s crucial to kick the habit to maintain oral and overall health. Quitting smoking and tobacco use can be challenging, to say the least. However, there are tons of tips and tricks out there that will help you give up the harmful habit.

Lip And Tongue Piercings

Lip and tongue piercings might be trendy, but they’re not the best accessory to choose when considering oral health. Unfortunately, the piercings will likely scrape and bother gum and lip tissue, inflicting just enough injury over time to cause gum recession. 

In this case, the solution is simply to remove your piercings and rinse your mouth with a saltwater solution twice daily to prevent infections.

Gum recession is a lot more common than most might think. Because there are so many causes of this type of gum disease, it’s always best to visit the dentist if you notice the early warning signs. Even if you feel sure of the cause, your dentist can confirm the underlying issue to determine the most effective treatment plan.