As you may have guessed, gum disease is the main cause of receding gums. That is the “bad” news. The “good” news is that if you’ve noticed symptoms of gum recession such as increased sensitivity to hot or cold substances or “longer teeth,” that doesn’t necessarily mean you have gum disease. In fact, a host of lifestyle behaviors could be what’s causing your recession, and if you talk to your periodontist early enough, professional treatment might not even be needed.
Many people grind their teeth. If this sounds like you, the pressure that grinding creates could be shifting your teeth, leading to gum recession. Sometimes, the causes of grinding can be serious—sleep apnea, for example. In quite a few cases, though, it is stress and anxiety. A mouth guard is one way to cut down on the grinding, and if you can find organic ways to decrease your stress and anxiety, that would be ideal.
Heavy flossing or brushing
Speaking of undue pressure on your teeth, if you are a heavy brusher or flosser, you could be pushing your gums farther down than they should be, or pushing them away from your teeth. In other words, you might directly be causing recession.
A sign that you’re overdoing it is pain while you brush or floss. If pain occurs even when you’re brushing gently, check the label on the next toothbrush you purchase and skip those labeled “medium” or “hard.” Soft bristles are the best for your teeth.
When your teeth aren’t aligned with one another, a host of problems can result. Gum recession is one of them.
Receding gums can have a genetic component. If one of your parents (or both) exposes receding gums with a smile, that’s a hint to you to be on the lookout for issues with your own gums.
Other causes of receding gums include trauma to your gums and generally poor hygiene. If you’ve noticed symptoms such as sensitive gums and longer teeth, remember that the earlier you act, the less invasive your outcomes can be. If caught early, we can sometimes correct gum recession and grow new tissue. This allows us to cover the exposed root surface with new, healthy tissue. This is just one more reason to contact our office today, and see how we can help.