Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter, Florida
Gum recession is an inevitable part of the natural aging process, even in people with healthy mouths. Some contributing factors can cause gum recession or make the problem worse. Here’s what you need to know about gum recession and how to stop it in its tracks.
To begin, let’s look at why our gums are essential for our oral health. Gums function similar to a gasket in a car engine, by creating a seal to keep the inside safe from the outside. Gums keep food and bacteria from reaching the roots of your teeth and the jaw bone. When the seal “breaks,” there is no more protection. Teeth become more sensitive to cold, sugar, and brushing. Plus, your teeth are more susceptible to tooth decay (cavities).
For patients who grind their teeth, brush incorrectly (or with a cheaply made toothbrush), or who suffer from gum disease are increasing their chances of gum recession. It is thought that genetics also play a role in one’s likelihood of developing gum recession. You may notice that you have gum recession if your teeth begin to look “longer,” although they are not actually growing, your gums are shrinking instead. Also, gum recession often results in tooth sensitivity that may be felt at random or when you eat or drink foods, and some patients report sensitivity that occurs all of the time.
If this sounds like you, here is how to combat gum recession.
Brush with a good toothbrush
Be sure that you are using a good toothbrush with soft bristles. Going the cheap route may save you a few bucks, but you will pay the price in the long run when your gums begin to suffer. Also, be sure to change out your manual toothbrush every four weeks (three months for an electric toothbrush head). Most importantly, be sure you are brushing correctly – holding brush at a slight angle, and move it in tiny circular motions (not back and forth).
Get a nightguard
If you clench and grind your teeth while you sleep, you are causing irreversible damage to your oral health. The constant pressure adds stress to the teeth and gums, causing gum recession. Be sure to get a custom made night guard from the dentist to prevent further damage to your teeth and gums. These handcrafted mouth guards are easy to wear and will save you money in costly dental repairs. Prevention is key!
Avoid acidic foods and drinks
Acids will speed up the gum recession process. When gum recession occurs, the dentin layer of the tooth is exposed, which is where the tooth sensitivity occurs. Try to avoid acidic foods and beverages, or drink water to rinse your mouth when you do have to indulge.
Prevent gum disease
Gum disease causes gum recession, and the longer the disease goes untreated, the worse it will become. Be sure that you are brushing and flossing regularly, and correctly. If you are not sure how to, ask the dentist or dental hygienist. Also, be sure that you visit the dentist every six months to have your oral health documented and monitored for any changes in your gum levels. If you smoke or use chewing tobacco, it is time to quit and save your gums and teeth!
PGA Smiles invites you to visit our Palm Beach Gardens, FL office to explore your teeth whitening options. To schedule an appointment, please call (561) 627-7090. We welcome patients of Jupiter and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.