When you look in the mirror at your teeth, there may come a time when you notice your smile doesn’t look quite like it used it to. You may discover that your gums are not as snug around your teeth as they once were and they look like they’re pulling away from your teeth. When this happens, you may be experiencing gum recession. If you’re looking for a dentist to treat your gum recession in Rochester, Dr. Zahavi at Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester can help. Let’s take a look at some of the causes and warning signs that may lead you to seek treatment.
What is Gum Recession?
When your gums start to recede, the gum tissues that surround your teeth and keep them healthy and protected begin to wear away or pull back. As this happens, the root of your tooth begins to get exposed, making it more vulnerable to decay. Since there is no longer a hard, enamel covering the root, the tooth may also become more sensitive to hot and cold foods and drinks.
What Causes Gum Recession?
Several factors can cause your gums to recede. According to the American Dental Association, these causes include:
- Brushing your teeth too hard or using a toothbrush with bristles that are too hard
- Injury to the gums
- Partial dentures that don’t fit right
- Smoking or tobacco use
- Gum disease
- Thin gum tissue
- Prominent tooth roots that push the gums out of place
- Inflammation of the tissues
- Hormonal changes due to pregnancy or menopause
If someone has inflamed gum tissue, it’s usually because they don’t brush their teeth well enough. This causes plaque to build up on the teeth, which can lead to periodontitis, creating space between the gums and teeth. When this happens, gum recession can set it. If periodontal disease is at the root of the problem, there is a higher chance of losing supporting bone and tissue around the tooth.
It’s important to note that even people with good oral hygiene can develop gum recession due to genetics or having thinner gum tissue, as mentioned above.
Can I Prevent Gum Recession?
While gum recession may be genetic in some people, and you have no control over hormonal fluctuations, there are some things you can do to improve your oral hygiene and try to avoid gum recession.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush instead of a hard-bristled toothbrush
- Brush with gentle strokes
- Visit your dentist twice a year or as recommended
- Quit smoking
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet
Following these tips can help to minimize the likelihood of developing gum recession.
What Are the Symptoms of Gum Recession?
Gum recession develops gradually so you may not realize you have it immediately. At first, you may think your gums are just sensitive, but when the condition doesn’t go away or gets worse, that’s a sign that there’s something else going on. Some common symptoms of gum recession include:
- Exposed tooth roots
- Sensitivity to cold food and drinks
- Bleeding gums after brushing or flossing
- Pain along the gum line
- Loose teeth
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s essential to see a periodontist for a proper diagnosis. A periodontist will perform a full periodontal evaluation which will include measuring the recessions, the thickness of the gums, and the depth of the pockets.
Getting Treatment for Gum Recession in Rochester NY
Your periodontist might recommend a soft tissue graft to treat your gum recession. During this process, a piece of tissue is taken from the roof of your mouth or another donor source. It is then placed and secured around the gums that are receding. Eventually, the graft will blend naturally with your regular tissue and will also work to cover any exposed tooth root.
If you are concerned you may have gum recession, contact Dr. Zahavi at Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester. He has helped many patients with gum recession in Rochester receive the proper treatment. Call us today at 585-685-2005 to schedule an appointment.