Gradual change can be difficult to notice. Changes along our gumline fall into this category, especially given that erosion occurs in small increments. How much erosion is normal, and what causes it? Let’s take a look.
Most patients believe gum recession is a natural part of aging. That’s certainly true among otherwise healthy mouths, but in many cases, it’s preventable. The biggest offenders:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Clenching or grinding your teeth
- Over-vigorous or improper brushing
- Aggressive flossing
- Exposure to acids in sports and energy drinks
- Tobacco use
- The frequent use of whitening products
Each item on this list causes gum loss, and each can be prevented. Poor oral hygiene is a key culprit behind periodontal disease, which is a frequent cause of gum recession. If you grind your teeth at night, we can help you with a mouth guard. If you’re over-enthusiastic about brushing or flossing, your hygienist can offer guidance for proper technique.
If you smoke, drink energy drinks frequently, or use tobacco products, cut back or stop altogether. As is so often the case, the things that are bad for your oral health are also bad for your overall health. And lastly, if you’re abusing whitening strips, your teeth are probably super-white already. If not, talk to our staff about whether you’re a candidate for longer-lasting whitening methods.
How can you tell if your gums are eroding? The most proactive step you can take is to visit your dentist. In fact, if you’re going regularly, the team at Future of Dentistry has already been monitoring your recession. We regularly measure the recession of your gums and the depths of your gum pockets.
The first symptom of gum recession is usually tooth sensitivity, so be on the lookout for this tell-tale sign. Reduce or eliminate the bad habits, and ask your dentist how you’re doing in terms of gum care.
There are certainly ways to address gum recession that’s already occurred, including gum surgery. If recession is due to periodontal disease, our team uses special techniques and tools to improve and maintain your smile. But the best solution is prevention.