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The Importance of Your Gums

While your teeth are a huge factor in how healthy your smile looks, your gums are just as important. This soft tissue supporting your teeth is the foundation of your smile and serves the crucial functions of securing your teeth in position and guarding their sensitive roots. This is why a receding gumline is not simply an aesthetic concern; it is a serious oral health condition. To keep your gums healthy, you need to know the top contributing factors of gum recession. From there, you can change your lifestyle and oral health practices to defend against receding gums.

Also, if you already suffer from receding gums, there are several options for treatments that can assist in the restoration of your gumline. At DC Perio & Implants, our skilled team of dental professionals provides preventive care as well as several interventions for gum recession, each of which is chosen depending on the reason behind your gum recession. Read on to find out more about gum recession, the causes, and common treatment methods. Area men and women who want to ensure their gum health and would like to keep their teeth and gums looking health can set up an oral health evaluation with their periodontist in Washington, DC.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT RECEDING GUMS

Did you know that more than half of all American adults have periodontal disease, one of the leading causes of gum recession? This is quite serious when you take into consideration how serious gum recession can be. Gum recession occurs when the soft gumline starts to slowly disappear along the teeth. An increasing amount of the tooth is exposed until, eventually, the tooth roots are also exposed. Gum recession usually does not develop quickly; first, you’ll begin to have symptoms like red, swollen, and tender gums that bleed for no reason. Discharge at your gumline and persistent bad breath (halitosis) are also symptoms that can precede receding gums. Additionally, receding gums make your roots more exposed and more prone to cavities as well.

Leaving receding gums untreated can lead to serious dental problems, so you’ll want to get the problem checked out sooner rather than later. At the offices of DC Perio & Implants your dental health is our greatest priority, and that’s why we have compiled this list to help you better understand the dangers of gum recession.

LEADING REASONS BEHIND RECEDING GUMS

Regrettably, receding gums are not an uncommon dental issue, particularly for men and women over the age of 40. There are multiple causes of receding gums, which can assist your dental practitioner in choosing how to manage yours. Some of the most common causes of gum recession are:

  • HORMONE FLUCTUATIONS
    The variations in hormones that females experience during puberty, while pregnant, and throughout menopause can cause intensified gum swelling and redness and elevated sensitivity. It is quite important to protect yourself from gingivitis during pregnancy, since it has the potential to negatively impact the health of both the mother and the infant.
  • MALOCCLUSION OR CROOKED TEETH
    As with tooth grinding, irregularly positioned teeth and malocclusion (bite misalignment) can put extra weight on your jaws, teeth, and gums. Plan a visit with your periodontist at DC Perio & Implants in Washington, DC to discuss treatment options to safely adjust your bite into the proper position.
  • PERIODONTAL DISEASE
    The most common reason behind receding gums is periodontitis, the most advanced stage of periodontal disease. This inflammation in your soft tissue could cause gum recession if not properly treated.
  • USING TOBACCO
    The dangerous chemicals in tobacco products can damage your gums. Further, while they don’t have tobacco, the sticky components in e-cigarettes and vaping liquid can also be dangerous. Get help with quitting tobacco with your general practitioner and then make an appointment with your dentist to discuss ways to restore your oral health.
  • CLENCHING OR GRINDING TEETH
    Numerous people grind their teeth and clench their jaws if they are tense during the day or while sleeping (nocturnal bruxism). The intensity of clenching and grinding erodes your teeth and gums.
  • INSUFFICIENT DENTAL CARE
    Failing to brush and floss daily causes food remnants and plaque to build up between your teeth, which can promote gum (periodontal) disease. Periodontal disease is a very common reason that people begin to experience gum recession. Flossing is particularly crucial to eliminating this accumulation from your gums and boosting blood circulation.
  • GENETICS
    Your DNA can predispose you to receding gums, which means it will be more critical to pay attention to your oral health. Find out whether any close relatives have dealt with periodontitis and then tell your periodontist.
  • BRUSHING YOUR TEETH TOO HARD
    While it might seem odd, scrubbing your teeth too much can also be a cause of receding gums. Brushing too much and too hard gradually eats away at the soft tissue. You should be using a soft-bristled toothbrush when you brush your teeth and massage your gums.

YOUR CHOICES FOR MANAGING RECEDING GUMS

To figure out the correct treatment for your gum recession, your periodontist will need to identify the cause. Gum erosion caused by periodontal (gum) disease will be treated based on how advanced your condition is. For patients who present with the early stage of gum disease, referred to as gingivitis, dentists typically conduct several scaling and root planing (SRP) treatments. A noninvasive procedure, SRP therapy scrapes away the buildup inside your gum pockets and evens out the enamel to help avoid future accumulation. If SRP deep cleaning is not able to improve your oral health, or if you have the next stage of gum disease referred to as periodontitis, your dental practitioner will make a referral to a gum specialist (periodontist).

During periodontal examination your periodontist will determine if a gum grafting procedure is needed and determine the proper and applicable gum grafting procedure for you. Gum grafts usually use tissue from different areas of your mouth, such as the roof of your mouth, to increase coverage where required on your gumline. Man-made and donor grafts may also be used for patients who don’t have enough tissue to build a proper gumline. After you have healed from periodontal plastic surgery, it is important to follow a careful home oral hygiene regimen and have regular visits with your periodontist for yearly dental examinations and twice-yearly dental cleanings.

RESTORE YOUR GUMS

Your gums are the basis for your overall oral health, so you have to be vigilant about your gums to attain a stunning, pristine smile. Unfortunately, receding gums don’t grow back, which is a great reason to have the concern treated sooner rather than later. Set up a tooth and gum checkup with your periodontist if you are concerned about periodontal disease or receding gums. At DC Perio & Implants in Washington, DC, our knowledgeable team of dental professionals provides diagnoses and effective treatment options for gum recession, including scaling and root planing, gum surgery, and gingival grafting.

Give us a call today at (202) 659-3500 to schedule an appointment or a consultation.

Armin Abron, DDS, MS

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