Have your teeth become suspiciously sensitive recently? Have you become “long in the tooth”? This old saying used to be a way to describe an older adult, an adult whose gums had worn down with time. The fact of the matter is, gum recession can occur well before you would call yourself elderly. Also, regardless of your age or even how far your hairline may have receded, gum recession need not be the norm.
Here’s what happens when your gum tissue starts to wear away:
- You may experience pain when you drink a warm or cold beverage. You may even have trouble chewing foods that are either warm or cold. This is because the cementum that protects the tooth root has become exposed, and hidden tubules are more responsive.
- Roots become visible (hence the longer looking teeth). Exposed roots are also susceptible to decay.
- Bacteria can move beneath the gums, causing inflammation inside of the pockets where they hide.
- Hidden bacteria can cause chronic bad breath, or worse, tooth loss.
Why your Gums may Recede
We most often associate gum recession with gum disease. That’s because infection in these delicate tissues is one of the leading causes of the widespread problem dentist all across the globe are seeing. However, gum recession may also be the result of lifestyle habits such as:
- Using tobacco products. Smoking or chewing tobacco creates a high likelihood for unhealthy oral conditions. Chewing, in particular, causes irritation to the gingival lining which, over time, results in a diminished bond between gum tissue and teeth.
- Poor hygiene. It is recommended that we brush twice a day and that we use dental floss at night before bed. These two activities alone do a lot for gum health. If you skip either, especially on a regular basis, sticky plaque will build up around teeth. Like tobacco, the bacteria in plaque degrades gingival tissue, leading to recession.
- Too much hygiene. Trying to get teeth really clean, some people have a habit of brushing too hard. This can be just as damaging to gum tissue as not brushing at all! Abrasions to the gums can cause irritation and also invite infection.
Don’t let gum recession cost you a healthy, attractive smile. Schedule a visit with us to obtain treatment focused on your unique situation.