Today most people are aware of the importance of taking care of their teeth. Yet what many people fail to realize is that the health of their gums is just important. Receding gums are not simply a cosmetic issue--they are also a prime contributor to decay, tooth loss, and still other dental issues. If you would like to increase your knowledge of this common affliction, read on.
What are the signs of receding gums?
As you can probably guess from their name, receding gums are characterized by the fact that they have begun to move upward. As the problem advances, it exposes more and more of the roots. This presents the perfect breeding ground for plaque and, eventually, tartar.
Roots that are newly exposed by receding gums are often quite sensitive. That's because the roots don't benefit from the same protective layer of enamel as the crowns of your teeth. Thus sensations of hot and cold are able to travel directly to the nerve through tubes in the dentin.
If you have noticed an increase in your dental sensitivity, it's a good idea to consult with your dentist about whether receding gums may be at the root of the problem.
What are the causes of receding gums?
By far the most common cause of receding gums is the gum disease gingivitis. Caused by the accumulation of plaque along the gum line, this disease will gradually push your gums up higher and higher. Luckily, the progress of gingivitis can be halted through regular dental visits and a proper oral hygiene regimen.
Certain people are simply predisposed to gum disease as the result of genetic factors. This may be true of as much as 30% of the population. Thus those with a family history of gum disease should be especially vigilant about their oral care. Regular care and a healthy diet can help to keep receding gums in check.
Receding gums can also come about as the result of brushing too hard. Therefore, it is a good idea to analyze your brushing habits and make changes as necessary. Consider switching to a brush with soft bristles. Likewise, make a point to hold the toothbrush using just your fingertips, rather than gripping it in your fist. This will help promote lighter, less damaging brushing.
What can dentists do for receding gums?
In general, the sooner you address receding gums, the better. Mild cases may be effectively treated with a regular dental cleaning. Moderate recession, however, may require deep cleaning in the form of dental scaling and root planing. This procedure will allow the dentist to remove any built-up tartar or plaque from your teeth, thus reducing the prime contributing factor to gum recession.
When gum recession becomes too severe, it may require yet more intensive procedures. Advanced recession is often linked with periodontitis, a serious form of gum disease. When gums become too weakened by this disease, they effectively lose their grip on your teeth, meaning dental extractions may be an unavoidable consequence.
For more information, contact A Q Denture Services or a similar location.
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