Gum recession is a very real issue that a lot of Americans deal with. A six year study ending in 1994 claimed that 23 percent of US adults “have one or more tooth surfaces” that have some sort of “gingival recession.” But what exactly causes this common oral health issue, and is there any way to stop it from getting worse?
What Makes Gums Recede?
According to the American Dental Association, there are numerous causes of gum recession, including heredity, abnormal tooth position, and gum disease. Some people are just born with fragile gums or born with teeth irregularities, and if these issues aren’t given sufficient attention, they can eventually cause receding gums. Gum disease is typically caused by suboptimal brushing habits that allow for infection and eventually, gum recession.
Gum recession can also be caused by “aggressive” tooth brushing or trauma to the mouth.
How to Help Stop Gums From Further Recession
If you notice that you’re dealing with receding gums, or your dentist points it out to you, there are a few key ways to stop further recession.
Deep Cleaning. If left untreated, gum disease can advance to a point where your dentist may recommend a deep cleaning that includes scaling and root planing. Scaling is the process of scraping off tartar above and below the gum line (in some cases, this may require the use of a laser). Root planing is the process of removing rough spots on the root of a tooth, which removes the bacteria.
Medication. Your dentist may prescribe certain medications (like an antibiotic gel or prescription mouthwash) after a deep clean to provide extra support, but depending on how far the disease has progressed, he or she may still suggest surgical treatment.
Surgery. For severe cases of gum disease, when the supporting bone and gum around a tooth is lost, a bone or tissue graft may be needed. This is when a dentist places pieces of bone and tissue around an area. Flap surgery, another surgical option, is when a dentist lifts the back of gums to remove tartar, and then sutures the tissue tightly around teeth again.
Bleeding gums can be an early sign of gum disease. Brushing with parodontax toothpaste twice a day can help reduce plaque, the main cause of gum disease. In clinical studies, parodontax significantly reduced bleeding gums after 12 weeks. However, if your gums have already receded, it is not possible for them to grow back. When gum disease has progressed to this stage, a toothpaste alone will not stop or reverse the condition. So be sure to brush often, and visit your dentist regularly, because prevention is the best method to help avoid any issues later on.