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How to Stop Receding Gums

By Katie Gayle

How To Stop Receding Gums

Gum recession is the gradual loss of gum tissue around the tooth, exposing the surface of the tooth’s root. This condition commonly causes gum disease by allowing bacteria to grow between the gum and tooth. Symptoms of gum recession include tooth sensitivity, longer teeth and larger spaces between teeth. While gum recession is a frequent problem, it is important to treat it quickly to prevent any further damage to your teeth.

Ways to stop slightly receding gums at home include wearing a night-guard and buying a new toothbrush. If the condition is serious, consider a deep cleaning at the dentist, gum surgery such as pocket depth reduction, regeneration and a soft tissue graft. Further details on treatment for receding gums can be found below.

What Causes Gums to Recede?

There is not just one factor causing receding gums, but several, including:

  • Periodontal Disease (Gingivitis) – A major gum disease that damages the bone that supports the teeth and surrounding gum tissues.
  • Aggressive Brushing – Brushing your teeth too hard or too often will cause corrosion of enamel on the tooth and start the recession of gums.
  • Misaligned Bite – Teeth that are not aligned correctly can be difficult to care for properly and are more susceptible to tartar buildup, which can cause recession.
  • Tobacco Use – Tobacco can leave heavy plaque on the teeth, which can cause gum recession.
  • Lack of Dental Care – When someone neglects their dental health, gum disease and tooth decay is more likely to take place – both of which can lead to receding gums.
  • Piercings – Piercings can rub against gums and tissue and cause them to recede from irritation.
  • Genetics – People whose family has a history of gum recession are prone to having the condition.
  • Smoking – Cigarettes make gum tissue lose important blood supplies, which allows secondary gum disease to occur and cause gum recession.

How Can I Treat Receding Gums?

  • Deep Cleaning at the Dentist
  • Gum Surgery
  • Pocket Depth Reduction – In this procedure, a periodontist or dentist will fold back the recessed gum tissue and take the bacteria out of the “pockets." He will then re-secure the gum tissue to its fitting place over the root of the tooth.
  • Regeneration –In these cases, the bone anchoring the tooth is decayed because of gum recession and will need to be regenerated. The dentist will begin by folding back the gum tissue and removing the bacteria, just as he would in Pocket Depth Reduction. Once the bacteria is cleared, a regenerative material (graft tissue, tissue proteins, etc.) will be applied to begin the regrowth process.
  • Soft Tissue Graft – The most common gum tissue graft procedure is called a Connective Tissue Graft. During this procedure, a piece of skin is cut at the top of the mouth and the connective tissue beneath the skin (the sub-epithelial tissue) is removed and stitched to the gum tissue around the exposed root. Once this is done, the skin on the roof of the mouth is sewn back together.

How Can I Prevent Receding Gums?

There are a number of ways to prevent gums from receding, such as:

  • Monitor Changes – Be aware of anything different in your mouth. Talk to a dentist for their professional opinion as well.
  • Good Dental Hygiene
  • Regular Dental Cleanings
  • Brushing and Flossing Regularly
  • Eating Well – Foods that are especially acidic or bitter will wear on the tooth enamel and cause gum recession.

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  • Bite Splints – Wearing a custom piece bite splint (or night guard) will prevent grinding and reduce strain placed on the teeth. This will help prevent general gum recession.
  • Soft Tooth Brush – There are toothbrushes available that have soft bristles. These brushes are gentler on teeth and will not wear down tooth enamel.
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