Gum recession is a serious dental issue that affects up to 88% of people over 65. However, it’s not just a problem for seniors—anyone can experience it due to poor oral hygiene, aggressive brushing, or genetics. The good news is that there are effective ways to prevent and treat gum recession, ensuring your smile stays healthy and bright.

What is Gum Recession?

Gum recession occurs when the soft gingival tissue around teeth wears down, pulling back and exposing more of the tooth or its root. This can lead to increased tooth sensitivity and make teeth more vulnerable to decay and damage.

Some common causes of gum recession include aggressive brushing, poor oral hygiene, smoking, genetic predisposition, and periodontal disease. Symptoms to watch for include longer-looking teeth, exposed roots, sensitivity to hot and cold, and swollen, red, or bleeding gums. Recognizing these signs early can help you take steps to address gum recession and protect your dental health.

How to Prevent Gum Recession

Preventing gum recession is essential for maintaining a healthy smile and avoiding serious dental issues. Some simple ways to support your gums include:

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

Maintaining good oral hygiene is the foundation of preventing gum recession. This means brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging your gums, and brush gently along the gum line, angling the brush 45° away from the gums to remove plaque without causing harm.

Avoid Tobacco Products

Tobacco products can contribute to gum disease. The chemicals in tobacco reduce blood flow to the gums, depriving them of oxygen and essential nutrients. This weakens the immune system’s ability to fight off infections and heal properly.

Advanced gum disease can quickly lead to gum recession. Quitting smoking or chewing tobacco can help maintain your oral health and prevent your gums from receding.

Regular Dental Check-ups

Visiting your dentist regularly for cleanings and check-ups is vital. Your dentist can identify and treat early signs of gum disease before they lead to gum recession. They can also provide a deep cleaning to remove any plaque or tartar buildup you might have missed at home.

Use Proper Brushing Techniques

Incorrect brushing techniques can cause your gums to recede. Avoid aggressive brushing and use gentle, circular motions with a soft-bristled toothbrush instead. This helps protect your gums while cleaning your teeth.

Treating Gum Recession

From professional dental procedures to at-home care, taking action can help reverse the effects of gum recession and keep your smile healthy. Some of the best ways to treat gum recession and regain your dental health include:

Scaling and Root Planing

Your dentist may recommend a deep cleaning procedure known as scaling and root planing for mild gum recession. This treatment removes plaque and tartar from the tooth surface and beneath the gums, smoothing the roots to help the gums reattach to the teeth.

Gum Grafting

In more severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary. A gum graft involves taking tissue from another part of your mouth and attaching it to the affected area to cover the exposed roots. This not only improves the appearance of your gums but also protects the roots of your teeth.

Desensitizing Agents

If you experience sensitivity due to exposed roots, your dentist may apply desensitizing agents to help reduce discomfort. These agents can help block the sensation of sensitivity and make it easier to manage daily activities.

Addressing Underlying Conditions

Treating any underlying conditions contributing to gum recession, such as bruxism (teeth grinding) or misaligned teeth, is crucial. Your dentist might recommend a night guard to protect your teeth or orthodontic treatment to correct alignment issues.

Protect Your Smile with Regular Care at A Dental Place

Preventing and treating gum recession requires a proactive approach to oral hygiene and regular dental visits. Schedule your next appointment with A Dental Place for a cleaning and dental exam to ensure your teeth and gums stay in good condition. Our experienced dental team can help you maintain a beautiful, healthy smile.