Gum Recession-Why Does it Start & How to Prevent it

Even with great homecare and regular dental visits, you may experience gum recession at some point in your life. It affects to some degree, the majority of our population. “Gum recession is when the margin of the gum tissue surrounding the teeth wears away, or pulls back, exposing more of the tooth, or the tooth’s root.” (Oral B) Gum recession can often be a slow process, and one day you may look at your teeth and realize they look “longer.” 

Before and after a gingival gum graft. (JADA)

Causes of Recession

  • Anatomy/type of tissue
  • Irregular tooth position
  • Periodontal Disease and plaque along the gumline
  • Aggressive brushing 
  • Trauma
  • Chewing Tobacco

Treatment for Recession
If left untreated, recession will continue to increase. Now, while that may be a slow progression the resulting bone loss is irreversible. To prevent furthering recession the cause will need to be determined. In some cases it may be advised that the cause be treated (quitting tobacco, brushing less aggressively, treating periodontal disease etc)  and the recession be monitored for any further progression. In other cases a gingival graft may be recommended. 

One of the single most important controllable factors for preventing recession is your oral health. Maintaining regular hygiene visits with your hygienist and implementing a sound home care routine of brushing 2x/day and flossing daily will greatly decrease the start and progression of recession. As always, if you have questions or areas of concern, please let us know at your next visit! 

References

Oral B:
https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/gums/receding-gums-symptoms-causes-treatments

JADA
https://jada.ada.org/article/S0002-8177(14)63227-X/fulltext

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