It can be a little worrisome if you are brushing your teeth one day and suddenly notice that your gums seem to be dipping down more than they used to. Why are you suddenly seeing more tooth than you used to? Is gum recession something you should be worried about? Is it something you should see your dentist about right away?
Why do gums recede?
This is a fairly common condition that can run in families or can be the result of a lack of dental care. Grinding or clenching teeth, using tobacco products, a misaligned bite, a lip or tongue piercing, periodontal disease, and even brushing teeth too aggressively can also cause gums to recede.
When gum tissue wears away, the lower part of the tooth is exposed, and “pockets” are formed in between the teeth and the gums. These pockets collect bacteria. All of this can lead to damage to teeth, bone, and supporting tissue and, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss.
Your dentist may recommend a scaling and planing for a deep cleaning of those pockets, to get rid of any bacteria. If your gum recession is very serious, surgery may be recommended. In a soft tissue graft, tissue is taken from the top of your mouth and then placed over the area where the gums are receding.
To prevent gums from receding, keep taking care of your teeth! Floss and brush often, using a soft-bristled toothbrush. If your gums have been receding a lot in recent years, your dentist may want to see you more than twice a year to check the recession and for any serious problems. If you grind your teeth, you may want to ask about a mouthguard, which can protect your teeth and gums and can help to repair some of the damage that has already been caused.
If you are concerned that you are seeing less gums and more tooth, make sure you mention this to your dentist. Call Arlington Dental Aesthetics in Arlington or South Riding Smiles in South Riding for an appointment. Call the Arlington office at (703) 214-3183 or the South Riding Smiles office at (703) 214-3185 today!