Gum tissue is an overlooked, yet very important, feature of your mouth. The gums not only help to hold the teeth securely in place, but they also protect the roots of the teeth from damage. Whenever there is damage to the gums it leaves the teeth vulnerable, which is why it is always advised that you speak with your dentist about any changes to your gums or concerns regarding your oral health. Gum recession is a common issue that many people tend to ignore, yet it can be a very costly issue if early intervention is not given.
Gum recession occurs when the gum tissues begin to pull away from the teeth. This is a serious concern because of how vulnerable the roots of the teeth are, with their roots being exposed and susceptible to damage. Tooth sensitivity is one of the tell-tale signs of gum recession. When the sensitive nerve fibers and roots of the teeth are exposed, people will feel discomfort inside their mouth. If you experience a jolt of pain when eating cold foods, a twinge of discomfort when trying to enjoy a hot beverage, or even a sudden ache when breathing in cold air – chances are your gums have receded. Tooth sensitivity should be an indicator that something is going on inside your mouth that needs your dentist’s attention. Ignoring sensitive teeth can lead to irreversible damage at the tooth’s root, leading to tooth loss and the need for extensive treatment.
What causes gum recession?
- Aggressive brushing. Brushing your teeth with too much force damages the gum tissue and causes it to pull away from your teeth.
- Inadequate dental hygiene. Flossing is essential to proper oral health. Bacteria-laden plaque builds up at the gum line every day, and if you are not removing it by flossing, then your mouth and gum tissue are under constant assault.
- Gum disease. When bacteria grow, they begin destroying whatever is in their path. Inside your mouth, this is your gum tissue. Oral bacteria eat their way through the gum tissue, leaving the gums and teeth vulnerable to disease and loss.
- Hormonal changes. Women tend to experience more hormone-related gum recession because of the huge fluctuations that they experience through puberty, pregnancy (or multiple pregnancies), perimenopause, and menopause.
- Crooked teeth. Straight teeth are not only attractive, but they are easier to clean. A rigid smile leaves some teeth hard to reach and clean properly.
Contact us if you notice any signs of gum recession or any other oral health concern.