Why Are My Gums Receding?
Have you noticed your teeth looking longer in appearance? Does it look like your gums are shrinking around the tooth? Do your teeth feel more sensitive to cold drinks or citrus foods? You could have receding gums, a condition caused from potentially numerous factors. Don’t worry, there are steps you can take to prevent and stop your gums from receding. The first step is to consult Dr. Sapna Amin DDS at Flower Mound Family Dentistry to find out whether your condition requires special attention.
There are numerous causes for gum recession, or gingival recession, and neglecting the issue can lead to further gum and bone loss and even eventual tooth loss.
Overly aggressive brushing– Make sure you are brushing and not scrubbing your teeth! Be sure to use a soft toothbrush or electric toothbrush to reduce the
Crowded teeth, teeth out of alignment- When teeth are crooked or not as straight as they could be, plaque and bacteria can more easily collect along the gum lines. This leads to plaque hardening and forming tarter, or calculus. This buildup can slowly push the gums down the tooth and lead to gum recession. Teeth that are straight and in a healthy alignment are much easier to keep clean and therefore helps prevent that tartar from forming. If your teeth are crooked or you noticed yellow to whitish buildup forming easily soon after your cleaning appointments, you may want to consider alignment correction. Dr. Amin offers Clear Correct (similar to Invisalign) which are clear aligners that straighten the teeth and put them into a healthy occlusion. This not only creates an aesthetic appearance to the teeth, but helps in overall hygiene and health of the mouth.
Genetics- Some people are genetically predisposed to periodontal disease that will lead to receding gums. If you have parents, grandparents, siblings or other close relatives that have lost their teeth early in life, you could be at risk for the same condition. It is important
Grinding Teeth (bruxing)-Grinding your teeth both during the day and at night puts excessive forces on your teeth that can cause receding gums. If you are aware or have been told that you clench or grind your teeth, you may benefit from a night guard. Dr. Amin will evaluate your symptoms to determine if you would benefit from a professionally made night guard.
Trauma to Teeth- Trauma can be caused from numerous factors including sports injuries and falls and even orthodontic treatment. Foreign objects such as toothpicks, paper clips and even fingernails, used aggressively or inappropriately, can wear away at the gums and even your enamel. This can lead to teeth that look longer or even discolored. If you notice any changes to your gums or the appearance of your teeth after bumping or hitting your tooth, let your dentist know.
Poor Oral Hygiene- Plaque and tartar on the teeth can cause inflammation of the gums and eventual gum disease. Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a chronic condition that causes deterioration of the gingiva and eventually the bone surrounding the teeth. As the bone levels get lower, the gums follow and this is the appearance of receding gums. If you have gums that bleed when you brush or floss, have an unpleasant odor coming from the mouth, or even are just noticing your teeth and gums feeling different, you should consult with your dentist.
Whitening Toothpastes- Whitening toothpastes are very abrasive and if used too often or improperly, can contribute to receding gums. Some toothpastes contain ingredients that are too abrasive or gritty for some patients’ teeth. This can lead to tooth sensitivity, especially to cold, and it is recommended that you switch toothpaste to a regular fluoride containing toothpaste without whitening.
Receding gums is a concern that you should take seriously. If the causes are not corrected, it could lead to bone loss and eventual tooth loss. Contact Dr. Sapna Amin at Flower Mound Family Dentistry for a consultation to evaluate the overall health of your mouth. Click here to learn about having a pain-free wisdom teeth recovery after surgery.