Gum recession, or gingival recession, is a condition in which the gum surrounding the teeth begins to gradually pull back towards the jaw. As the gum tissue continues to recede, the sensitive portion of the tooth’s roots are left exposed and vulnerable to sensitivity, decay and bacteria. This is why it’s important for individuals to take a proactive approach towards preventing gum recession. In this post, we’re going to take a look at some of the most common causes of gum recession.
Cause #1) Aggressive Brushing
The California Dental Association (CDA) states, “gums that recede to expose the root surfaces of teeth is a common condition in adults over the age of 40. Many consider it to be just a sign of aging, and in some cases it is essentially that—often the result of wear and tear or years of aggressive tooth brushing.”
We’ve been taught at an early age that brushing is essential to preventing tooth decay, but a topic that’s oftentimes overlooked is aggressive brushing. When you press against your teeth and gums with too much force, it may cause the gums to recede. Be conscious of your brushing technique and if your gums feel sore or tender afterward, use less force the next time you brush.
Cause #2) Periodontal Disease
Another common cause of gum recession is periodontal disease (gum disease). It’s estimated that three out four adults have at least some form of periodontal disease. Drinking lots of sugar-rich, heavily acidic beverages may contribute to this disease, as does smoking cigarettes. If your lifestyle includes either of these bad habits, consider making some changes to improve the health of your gums (as well as your overall health).
Cause #3) Heredity
Unfortunately, some people are naturally predisposed to gum recession due to genetics. If your parents and grandparents experience this condition, there’s a good chance you will too. However, you can help protect your teeth and gums from the effects of gum recession by brushing lightly and flossing on a regular basis.
Cause #4) Trauma
A fourth possible cause of gum recession is direct physical trauma. For instance, hockey players are placed at a high risk for gum recession, along with other dental problems, due to the constant blows they receive to their mouth. Although a mouthpiece helps to absorb some of the blow, their teeth and gums are still vulnerable to the physical trauma of behind hit game after game.
If you have any questions about your gum health, contact The Schuman Center today. Dr. Schuman and our periodontist, Dr. Zaromb, can help you to improve and maintain the health of your all-too-important gums.