What Does Receding Gums Mean?

Blonde woman in a mint shirt bites her lip and worries about her receding gumline

If you have receding gums, you have reason to be concerned about your teeth. Here, we’ll explain what receding gums can mean for your oral health.

What Are Receding Gums?

Your gums fit tightly around your teeth to help anchor them into your mouth and to protect them from damage. To have receding gums means that the gum tissue surrounding your teeth has pulled back to expose more of your tooth than is normal.

What Does It Mean for Your Oral Health?

For the most part, gum recession means that you are more susceptible to oral health issues. When your gum line recedes, this creates pockets between your teeth and the gums. These pockets are like little homes for bacteria to build up in. This bacteria can damage your teeth and further irritate your gums, leaving you more susceptible to tooth decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss. Receding gums can also expose your sensitive tooth roots, causing pain when eating hot and cold foods and beverages.

What Causes Receding Gums?

There are a number of things that can cause your gums to recede:

  • Aggressive teethbrushing or a toothbrush that has anything other than soft bristles can cause your gums to recede and your enamel to erode.
  • Grinding or clenching your teeth puts abnormal forces onto your teeth that can make the gums recede. Similarly, a misaligned bite can place too much force on the gums and bone in one area of the mouth, contributing to gum recession.
  • But the most common reason for gum recession is gum disease due to poor oral hygiene. Its early stage is called gingivitis, which is characterized by swollen gums that are tender, abnormally red, and prone to bleeding. But as gum disease progresses, it can develop into a full-blown infection. Eventually, advanced gum disease does not only destroy gum tissue but the bone that holds the teeth in place.

How to Prevent Receding Gums

The best way to prevent your gums from receding is by practicing good oral hygiene habits every single day. You should be brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time you brush, flossing at least once a day, and using toothpaste with fluoride in it. It’s also important that you visit Summit Family Dentistry for regular checkups and cleanings. At your appointment, we’ll give your mouth a deeper clean than you can with the tools you have at home and catch any early signs of disease or decay. We can also provide additional tips to improve your oral hygiene. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment!

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Summit Family Dentistry

Summit Family Dentistry