Ask anyone what they care about the most when it comes to their oral health, and most will list two main concerns. They worry about whether their pearly whites are white enough, and they have concerns about their breath. Few people will tell you they worry about their gums, especially receding gums, but that doesn’t mean this topic shouldn’t be a major concern.
The Importance of Healthy Gums
Healthy gums support not only our teeth, but also their underlying bone structure. The gums are attached to our jawbone and should tightly cover our teeth and the roots of our teeth for protection. Once you begin to show signs of receding gums, your oral health is at risk.
Receding gums can trigger several types of gum inflammation, periodontal disease like gingivitis, or even the loss of your teeth. In addition, many studies associate gum disease with a higher risk of heart disease.
Healthy gums should be a priority for everyone.
The Causes of Receding Gums
Not all causes of receding gums are due to poor oral hygiene habits, although proper care of our teeth is essential if we want to have healthy gums.
Aside from poor oral hygiene habits and periodontal disease, other causes for receding gums include brushing too hard, smoking, hormonal changes in women, and having a family history of gum disease. The first two we can change, but the last two are out of our control. Therefore, you might want to see East Village Dental Arts more than just once or twice a year for a thorough cleaning.
Underlying medical conditions like diabetes or HIV can also lead to receding gums. Another condition called dry mouth causes an underproduction of saliva, and many times this occurs as a side effect to various medications. Dry mouth can lead to the growth of bacteria and infections within the mouth.
Signs of Receding Gums
Many people don’t notice their gums are starting to recede, at least not until they begin to become sensitive to cold food and especially drinks. As the gums shrink and recede, your teeth look longer, and you begin to see the root.
Other telltale signs include the following:
- Bleeding or pain when brushing your teeth, flossing, or eating hard foods
- Swollen, red-colored gums
- Mouth sores
- Bad breath
- Separation between teeth
- Pus between teeth and gums
5 Things You Can Do to Prevent Receding Gums
Some of the best ways to prevent receding gums include:
- Floss every day without fail
- Only use a soft bristle brush and cover all areas of your mouth
- Brush to remove plaque before it becomes hardened tartar
- Stop smoking
- Visit East Village Dental Arts at least every 6 months for an exam and thorough cleaning
Contact East Village Dental Arts at (212) 979-6300 or request an appointment online to schedule your next appointment, especially if you notice signs of receding gums, or other serious problems with your oral health.