Have you noticed changes in your gums? Perhaps they seem to be disappearing, so your teeth look longer than before? Receding gums is a common issue, and you may even hear this problem described as being “long in the tooth,” but it can have serious ramifications for your dental health.
What Causes Receding Gums?
Unfortunately, gum recession can occur at any age and may even affect people with a healthy mouth. This condition can worsen if you grind your teeth, have gum disease, have overcrowded teeth or dental work that needs replacing, or even if you clean your teeth too aggressively. It’s also possible that genetics affects your risk of receding gums, although, as yet, it’s not entirely clear how.
What Does This Mean for Dental Health?
Most of us take our gums for granted, not thinking about their essential role in maintaining good dental health. When your gums are healthy, then they form a seal, fitting snugly around your tooth which prevents bacteria from getting in between your teeth and your gums, and where they can penetrate even further eventually causing damage to your jawbone. When your gums recede, it opens up gaps or periodontal pockets in between your teeth and gums. These gaps can trap food and bacteria and are pretty difficult to clean with a toothbrush.
Here are some simple tips to help prevent gum recession.
Choose the Right Toothbrush
Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles and when selecting your toothbrush, pick one with a head that is small enough to reach right to the back of your mouth so that you can make sure you clean all your teeth, even those right at the very back. Keep an eye on the condition of your toothbrush and replace it every two or three months or even sooner if the bristles begin to look worn and splayed.
Don’t Brush Too Hard
You don’t need to brush your teeth very hard to get them properly clean. If you scrub your teeth too hard, then you are in danger of wearing away your gums and even your tooth enamel. Use small circular motions to thoroughly clean your teeth and concentrate on cleaning all the tooth surfaces. Use good quality, nonabrasive toothpaste, preferably one that has received the Canadian Dental Association seal of approval.
Don’t Forget to Floss
Flossing is a great way to keep your gums healthy, removing plaque bacteria and food debris from deep in between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. When you don’t floss your teeth, then your risk of gum disease and gum recession dramatically increases. Please don’t forget that if you’d like more advice on cleaning your teeth and especially on flossing then ask our dentist in Newcastle for help. We are always delighted to assist patients with improving their dental care routine.
Get a Night Guard for Teeth Grinding and Clenching
If you suspect you clench and grind (bruxism), then ask us for a proper diagnosis. Often clenching and grinding is easily treated with a custom-made night guard that will prevent your teeth from grinding while you sleep more comfortably.
See Your Dentist in Clarington
Your regular checkups are vital for monitoring your gum health. Every time you see us, we take precise measurements of your gums to assess any signs of recession so that if we spot anything wrong, we can provide help and advice and the most suitable treatment that much sooner. Gum disease is always a significant concern but is completely reversible when caught at an early stage, before it’s even caused any substantial damage to your gums. With excellent dental care in Courtice, we can help to keep your gums in the pink of health.
If you have any concerns about your gum health, then please make an appointment to come and see us here at West Bowmanville Family Dental. We can provide the most advanced treatments in a friendly, caring and supportive atmosphere.