Receding gums can be a puzzling issue. Often, people try different things — toothpaste for sensitive teeth, wearing nightguards, even increasing their dental cleanings — but their gums keep receding. Sometimes it helps to know what is really causing the problem before trying to come up with the solution.
Also known as gingival recession, gum recession occurs when the gums pull away from the teeth. This oral health problem can affect people of all ages but is quite common among the elderly. Treatment for gum recession will generally depend on the specific underlying cause. Therefore, a thorough assessment by your oral health team is crucial.
Here are some of the causes of receding gums:
- Poor oral hygiene — A buildup of plaque due to inconsistencies in your brushing and flossing habits can potentially lead to infection, which in turn will lead to jawbone erosion when left unattended.
- Overzealous brushing — Brushing too hard is as dangerous as not brushing at all. Too much pressure placed on the gums can gradually destroy the enamel (the tooth’s outermost protective layer) down to the gum line and irritate the gums.
- Tobacco use — Chewing tobacco can specifically irritate and erode the gingival lining of the gums and consequently cause gum recession.
- Existing gum disease — This is the most serious concern, obviously. When gum disease begins to take hold, the first sign is receding gums.
Other possible causes include genetics, history of mouth trauma or injury, and ill-fitting dentures.
Worried about your gums? Call us at 732-329-3113 to schedule a checkup.