THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR GUMS
Although your teeth are integral to how healthy your smile looks, your gums are just as important. This remarkable tissue in your mouth is the foundation of your smile and performs the critical purposes of securing your teeth in place and guarding their vulnerable roots. This is why gum erosion is not simply a cosmetic problem. It is a significant oral health condition. To keep your gums in good health, you have to be aware of the typical contributing factors of gum recession. From there, you can alter your lifestyle and oral health practices to prevent receding gums. In addition, if you already suffer from receding gums, you have many options for procedures that can aid in restoring your gumline. At MINT dentistry in Houston Greenway, our experienced staff of dental professionals performs both preventive care and many treatments for receding gums, which are selected depending on the reason behind your gum erosion. Read on to find out more about receding gums, the causes, and common treatment methods. Local individuals who want to maintain the health of their gums and would like to keep their teeth and gums looking great can set up an oral health assessment with their dentist in Houston, TX.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT RECEDING GUMS
Gum erosion happens when the compromised gumline begins to withdraw from the teeth. An increasing amount of the tooth becomes visible until, gradually, the tooth roots are also bare. Gum recession typically does not develop in one day; first, patients will start to develop symptoms such as red, swollen, and painful gums that bleed while brushing and/or flossing. Secretions at your gumline and consistent bad breath (halitosis) are also symptoms that usually precede receding gums. When you see any of them, it's important that you set up an appointment with your dental practitioner in Houston, TX as soon as possible. If gum recession is neglected, your teeth can start to become loose and fall out, since the gum tissues can't keep them in position.
TOP CAUSES OF RECEDING GUMS
Sadly, receding gums are not an uncommon dental problem, particularly for those over 40 years old. There are many causes of receding gums, which will aid your dental practitioner in choosing how to manage yours. Some of the most common reasons behind receding gums are:
- HORMONAL CHANGES
The changing hormones that women have during puberty, pregnancy, and throughout menopause can lead to intensified gum swelling and redness and heightened soreness. It is quite important to be aware of periodontal disease during pregnancy, since it has the potential to negatively impact the health of both the mother and the baby.
- GRINDING AND CLENCHING YOUR TEETH
Many people clench their jaws and/or grind their teeth when they are stressed at work or while sleeping (nocturnal bruxism). The intensity of clenching and grinding wears down your teeth and gums.
- GUM DISEASE
The top reason behind gum recession is periodontitis, the worst stage of gum disease. This infection in your gum tissue might lead to gum recession if not promptly treated.
- CIGARETTES, CIGARS, AND VAPING
The poisonous toxins in all tobacco products can hurt your gums. In addition, though they don't include tobacco, the sticky formulas in vape pens and electronic cigarettes can also be dangerous. Get help with quitting tobacco with your primary care physician and then make an appointment with your dentist to discuss your options to bring back your oral health.
- MALOCCLUSION OR IRREGULARLY POSITIONED TEETH
As with bruxism, irregularly positioned teeth and malocclusion (bite misalignment) can put unnecessary pressure on your jaws, teeth, and gums. Set up a visit with your dental practitioner in Houston, TX to discuss treatments like Invisalign to gently move your teeth into the correct position.
Your DNA may predispose you to receding gums, which will make it more necessary to be vigilant about your teeth and gums. Ask if any family members have dealt with periodontal disease and then inform your dentist.
- INCONSISTENT DENTAL HYGIENE
Choosing not to floss and brush daily allows food particles and plaque to accumulate between your teeth, which can promote periodontal (gum) disease. Gum disease is a top reason that individuals begin to have eroding gums. Flossing is especially important in removing this accumulation from your gumline and helping blood circulation.
- BRUSHING YOUR TEETH TOO MUCH
Even though it might strike you as illogical, scrubbing your teeth too aggressively can also lead to gum recession. Brushing too often and too harshly slowly eats away at the gums. All dentists recommend using a brush with soft bristles to brush your teeth and gums.
YOUR CHOICES FOR TREATING RECEDING GUMS
To figure out the proper treatment for your receding gums, your dentist will first have to locate the cause. Gum erosion caused by periodontal (gum) disease will be treated based on how serious your condition is. For patients who have the initial stage of gum disease, referred to as gingivitis, dentists often do several scaling and root planing (SRP) sessions. A noninvasive procedure, SRP therapy removes the buildup inside your gum pockets and polishes away pits in the enamel to protect against future buildup. If SRP therapy is not sufficient to restore the health of your gums, or if you are experiencing the next stage of gum disease referred to as periodontitis, your dentist can possibly perform periodontal surgery, or he or she might refer you to a periodontist. During this procedure, incisions will be made in your gum tissue to penetrate deeper into your gum pockets and remove buildup on your tooth roots. Both SRP treatments and gum surgery are frequently accompanied by a cycle of prescription antibiotics to destroy any leftover bacteria. After SRP treatment and periodontal surgery, your dentist will allow some time for your gums to get better and regenerate. In cases where your gumline is still too high, gum graft surgery may be done. Gum grafts frequently use tissue from other areas of your mouth, such as the roof of your mouth, to supplement the tissue where necessary along your gumline. Synthetic and donor grafts could also be used for individuals who don't have enough tissue to create a healthy gumline. After you have recovered from gingival grafting, it is vital that you practice a good home oral hygiene routine and attend regular appointments with your dental practitioner in Houston, TX for yearly dental checkups and biannual dental cleanings.
REHABILITATE YOUR GUMLINE
Your gums are central to your overall oral health, so you need to maintain your gums in order to enjoy an attractive, vibrant smile. Schedule an oral health exam with your dentist if you have questions about gum disease or receding gums. At MINT dentistry in Houston Greenway, our experienced staff of dental professionals offers diagnoses and multiple treatment options for gum recession, including scaling and root planing, periodontal surgery, and gingival grafting. Call or come by our practice in Houston, TX to set up consultations for your family.