December 6, 2018
When it comes to periodontal therapy in River Oaks, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You can slash your risks for problems like receding gums by practicing good oral hygiene, avoiding tobacco, limiting consumption of alcohol, and eating a sensible diet.
What are Receding Gums?
Your gums, also known as gingivae, are the soft pink tissues in your mouth that are joined to the base of your teeth. They’re responsible for keeping your teeth well supplied with nutrients while protecting them from damage and disease. They’re especially important for safeguarding the roots of your teeth.
Receding gums, also known as gum recession, is when the tissues shrink away from your teeth, exposing the roots. This is more than a cosmetic problem. It can also lead to tooth loss and other serious problems.
What Are Some of the Common Risk Factors for Receding Gums?
Certain people are at heightened risk for receding gums due to one or more of the following factors:
- You’re more likely to suffer from gum recession if the condition runs in your family.
- Mouth trauma. For example, a blow to the mouth or teeth can damage the gum tissues, causing them to recede.
- Improper brushing technique. Brushing too vigorously or using a hard bristled toothbrush can inflame the gums, contributing to recession.
- Miscellaneous physical causes. These can include misaligned teeth, tongue or lip piercings, and side effects of certain dental therapies.
- Inadequate dental hygiene. Failing to brush and floss regularly can lead to infected and receding gums.
- Lifestyle factors. For example, tobacco or illicit drug use can make gum recession more likely, as can excessive alcohol consumption.
What Are the Symptoms of Receding Gums?
The most obvious symptom is a change to your physical appearance. Other typical symptoms include:
- Increased sensitivity to hot or cold beverages. This is due to the roots of the teeth being exposed.
- Pain or discomfort. This usually starts out as mild, becoming more pronounced as the condition progresses.
- Bad breath. Of course, all of us experience this problem from time to time. But, when it persists, gum recession is a likely cause.
- Bleeding gums. This may either occur on its own or after brushing or flossing.
What Can My Dentist Do to Treat Receding Gums?
Your dentist in River Oaks can offer a number of treatment options for gum recession. These include:
- Cosmetic resins. These are used to cover the root of the tooth, restoring a more natural appearance and helping to protect the teeth from harm.
- Removable gum veneers. Crafted from silicone or acrylic, these are another common cosmetic solution.
- Orthodontic therapy. This approach works by gently repositioning the teeth over a period of time.
- Skin grafts. This is an advanced form of therapy in which a dental surgeon uses tissue from another part of the mouth to re-create the recessed gums.
Maintaining the benefits from corrective therapy requires committing to proper oral hygiene and lifestyle habits going forward. The patient should brush at least twice daily, floss at least once daily, and eat a nutritious diet low in sugars and starches. Your dentist may offer additional tips at the time of your appointment.
Receding gums can cause not only embarrassment but ongoing dental health issues as well. The best way to treat this problem is by taking care of your teeth and gums and seeing your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. When it comes to gum recession, an ounce of prevention truly is like a pound of cure.
About the Author
Dr. John Krell has been practicing dentistry for over 30 years. His advanced training and experience makes him the ideal source for information on receding gums and other oral health conditions. You can reach his office online or by calling (713) 877-1775.
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