Receding gums lead to a number of severe issues like bone loss, inflammation, and other complications. Poor oral hygiene often leads to gum recession. The wrong technique when brushing your teeth and chronic teeth grinding are also possible triggers.
Dr. Juan M. Carrillo, at Soothing Dental Care in Richmond, Virginia, is an expert on teeth and gums. Dr. Carrillo and his team are fluent in English and Spanish, and our care extends from pediatric to geriatric patients. No matter your age or background, we can help with all your dental needs.
Gum recession might make you feel self-conscious and afraid to smile. More than that, though, it might be an indication of something more serious like a vitamin deficiency or gum disease.
Do I have receding gums?
A few signs can help you tell if your gums are receding. A first clue is an increased sensitivity due to the gums retreating from your teeth. This exposes fragile tooth roots, causing pain and making teeth appear longer.
Regular checkups with Dr. Carrillo are essential, as he can identify and treat gum problems promptly. Seeking fast treatment is especially important with receding gums, because quick care prevents the situation from worsening.
7 causes of gum recession
You could be harming your gums and not even know it. Here are a few ways you might be injuring yourself and causing gum recession.
1. Improper brushing
Injuries from the toothbrush, foods, or piercings can cause gum recession. When the root surfaces are exposed, bacteria can penetrate under the gums, causing pain. Foods can damage soft gum tissue, piercings can rub against the gums too frequently, or you could be causing harm by brushing aggressively. Toothbrushing requires only soft, gentle massaging pressure to remove plaque.
2. Poor oral hygiene
Once plaque has built up on your gums and teeth, it begins damaging your gums, causing them to recede. As your gums pull back from your teeth, new pockets are created, giving plaque and bacteria more space to grow.
3. Teeth grinding
If you grind your teeth excessively during sleep or daytime hours, you might cause gum recession. The continuous stress on the gums from unconscious teeth grinding can lead to receding gums. The resulting inflammation of the gums then puts additional strain on your teeth and gums. If left untreated, this develops into periodontal disease, promoting loosening of the teeth, tooth loss, or even bone loss.
4. Gum disease
Gum disease, or gingivitis, is caused by the buildup of plaque and bacteria around, on, and between teeth. Gingivitis manifests itself as swelling and redness, toothache, bleeding gums, and receding gums. Without treatment, the condition worsens and leads to tooth loss.
Smoking can lead to gum disease. Because smoking weakens the body's resistance to illness, fighting infections like gum disease becomes more difficult. Smoking also makes the healing process more complicated if the gums are already damaged.
People with diabetes are at higher risk for gum disease because the condition impairs the flow of nutrients and weakens your gums and the bones that hold teeth in place. Plus, poorly controlled diabetes leads to high blood sugar in saliva, promoting bacterial growth and leading to gum recession.
7. Vitamin C deficiency
Vitamin C is important for everyone because it’s the nutrient that creates collagen, grows and repairs cells, keeps your immune system strong, and reduces blood sugar. Many studies demonstrate that vitamin C deficiency leads to periodontal disease. Science also proves that smokers and those exposed to secondhand smoke have lower vitamin C levels in their bodies.
How to prevent receding gums
Good oral hygiene at home is crucial for healthy gums and beautiful teeth. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and use dental floss. You should also have your teeth checked by a dentist at regular intervals and have your teeth professionally cleaned two to four times a year, depending on individual and periodontal risk.
Dr. Carrillo can help if you already suffer from gum inflammation with receding gums or even periodontal disease. If gum recession is holding you back, call Soothing Dental Care at 804-201-9459 to make an appointment with our highly skilled team for a comprehensive dental exam. You can also reach out by sending us a secure message online.