Gum recession is not only a cosmetic issue. It can also be painful and lead to tooth sensitivity. If you have receding gums, it is important that you understand the causes and available treatments.
What Causes Gum Recession?
Gum recession is essentially your gums receding to the point that your roots begin to show. There are a number of reasons that it can occur, including genetics. If you have a family history of gum recession, there is a good chance that you could develop it.
It can also be caused by aggressive brushing and flossing. When you scrub at your gum line, you can force the gums to start to recede. Alternatively, not taking good care of your dental health could lead to gum recession.
In addition to these causes, you can also suffer gum recession from bruxism. Bruxism is grinding your teeth. Teeth grinding typically happens while sleeping or during high-stress moments.
How Is It Treated?
The treatment options recommended by your dentist depends largely on the severity of your condition. If you have a mild case of gum recession, your dentist might focus on deep cleaning the area that has been impacted.
Sometimes the bacteria that builds up along the gum line can worsen the condition. By deep cleaning and smoothing the gum surface, your dentist can help to keep the bacteria down in that area and slow or stop the condition from progressing.
If you have a more severe case of gum recession, surgical procedures might be necessary. One procedure is a gum graft. The graft would require taking a small piece of gum from another area of your mouth and transplanting it to the affected area. The grafted area serves to protect the roots so that you do not experience pain from the exposure.
What Can You Do?
If you have not developed gum recession or are in danger of doing so, there are some steps you can take to reduce the chances that it occurs or progresses.
For instance, good dental hygiene can help to protect your gum line. When brushing and flossing, it is important that you do not use too much pressure. If you are unclear on how much pressure should be used during cleaning, talk to your dentist. He or she can demonstrate proper cleaning habits.
If you suffer from bruxism, talk to your dentist about using a mouth guard. A custom-fitted mouth guard can help prevent tooth grinding. If the grinding is triggered by stress, you should also explore techniques to relieve stress, including talking to a therapist.
For more information on this or other dental issues, consider contacting a family and cosmetic dentistry professional in your area.