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Receding gums can occur for many reasons. The main cause is gum disease, such as gingivitis or periodontitis. Bacteria may gather in the gums, leading to infection that can destroy the bone surrounding your teeth as well as gum tissue. It is estimated that about 30% of the population may have a genetic predisposition to gum disease because of family genetics. Brushing too hard or too long or using the wrong toothbrush can wear out the tooth’s enamel and lead to recession. Other factors that can cause your gums to recede include inadequate dental care, plaque buildup, hormonal fluctuations, grinding your teeth, misalignment, lip and tongue piercings, and use of tobacco.
Dr. Innovative Dental, serving Philadelphia and Northeast Philadelphia, is a family dental practice that provides a comprehensive array of oral health care. Dr. A has been providing dental care for families for more than 28 years, including treatment and prevention of gum disease and solutions for receding gums.
Gum recession happens when the gums tissue pulls away from a tooth, exposing the root. It can eventually lead to tooth loss and decay. Because it is one symptom of gum disease, any gum recession should be addressed with the dentist.
Deep cleaning of the area where gums are receding, called scaling and root planing, may be an option. Carefully removing plaque and tartar on the teeth and surface of the roots deters the growth of bacteria. Antibiotics may also be used.
Patients who are bothered by the appearance of receding gums may also consider gum-contouring surgery, during which the gums are reshaped to a consistent gum line.
As with many health issues, prevention is often the best course of action. A consistent oral hygiene routine, brushing and flossing twice daily, and seeing a dentist once or twice per year, are several ways to reduce the risk of gum recession significantly. A soft-bristled brush should be used in a gentle, circular fashion instead of aggressively brushing across the gum line. Other prevention steps include avoidance of tobacco, eating a healthy diet, and being aware of changes in your mouth and gums.
For more information on how to care for your gums and oral health, call Innovative Dental in Philadelphia today at (267) 463-2777.
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