Getting “long in the tooth” isn’t a rite of passage into adulthood. With great preventative and periodontal care, no one needs to have exposed tooth roots.
If you’re starting to see early signs of gum recession or thinking about treating it soon, it’s important to understand what causes it. That way you can keep it from getting worse or triggering relapse.
Here are the four most common reasons why people experience receding gumlines:
Periodontal (Gum) Disease
Gum disease causes your gingiva (gum tissues) to detach from the roots of your teeth. Both gum pockets, as well as recession, will begin to develop. The worse the gum attachment is, the more likely you are to experience tooth mobility or loss.
Be on the lookout for symptoms of periodontitis, such as bleeding, swelling, tartar buildup, and bad breath.
From cigarettes to smokeless tobacco, these recreational products can significantly alter the health of your soft oral tissues. Quite often, tobacco use masks the presence of gum disease because how it inhibits bleeding and inflammation. But the smoking and physical irritation caused by smokeless tobacco also damage the gums that wrap around your teeth.
This situation is quite obvious in individuals who use “dip” or “snuff” (smokeless tobacco.) Wherever they tend to hold the tobacco in their mouth, the gums become physically traumatized and start to recede. There are tiny irritants inside of the dip that increases absorption of the nicotine, but they also harm the health of the gums in that space. That’s why some tobacco users tend to rotate the snuff throughout their mouth instead of holding it in the same place every time. If you pull your lip back, there will almost certainly be exposed tooth roots where the dip is usually held.
When teeth are seriously misaligned or tilted out of place, it stretches the gum tissues that wrap around them. In time, the edges of the gumlines may begin to creep down the length of the tooth that’s out of alignment. Sometimes the adjacent teeth are also affected.
Since teeth can drift out of alignment over time, the shifting gumlines may tend to sneak up on you unexpectedly. The changes can occur over months—years even—as teeth tilt or lean. Or in instances of tooth loss where the adjacent teeth start to move, the gum recession can occur fairly quickly.
Do you scrub your teeth hard or use medium to stiff-bristled toothbrushes to clean your teeth? It’s not good for your gums. Over time, the physical trauma of that much pressure will cause the gum tissues to recede. It can even wear away your tooth structure!
Gum Recession Treatment in The Woodlands
Our expert periodontist in The Woodlands offers comprehensive gingival plastic surgery and grafting treatments. If you’re concerned about your gum health, he’s the cosmetic dentist to see! Contact our office in The Woodlands or Conroe today to reserve a one-on-one consultation with our highly experienced gum specialist.