Are your gums looking a little lower than they used to? You may have some gum recession on your teeth. Gum recession happens when your gums pull away from your teeth, leaving more of your tooth’s enamel and maybe even its root exposed.
A little gum recession isn’t a big deal, but the more gum coverage you lose, the greater your risk of tooth decay, gum pocketing, bone loss, and other oral health problems becomes. Try out the following 5 tips to prevent gum recession or keep it from getting worse.
1. Regular Flossing
Most gum recession is due to gum disease. Flossing thoroughly at least once a day will keep your gums healthy and prevent them from receding. Flossing gets the plaque and food particles out from under your gums and between your teeth, cleaning out the areas you’re most likely to miss when brushing.
2. Regular Cleanings and Checkups
Tartar build-up can irritate your gums and cause them to recede. Getting a dental cleaning and checkup every six months will help you keep your tartar levels under control and make sure any gum disease or gum recession is caught early. The sooner you notice these problems, the easier it is to treat them.
3. Careful Brushing
You heard that right – brushing too hard contributes to gum recession! While good oral hygiene is important and there’s no such thing as too much brushing, it’s essential to use the right amount of pressure when you’re doing it.
Hold your toothbrush lightly and apply even pressure as you move it across your teeth. Some people find it helpful to imagine that they’re brushing a tomato and trying not to break its skin. Some electric toothbrush models also have built-in pressure sensors to notify you when you’re brushing harder than you need to.
4. Get Treatment for Bruxism
Bruxism, or teeth grinding, doesn’t just wear down your enamel. It can also put stress on some of your teeth, pushing them against the gums and causing those gums to recede.
While bruxism is usually an unconscious habit, being mindful of how you’re holding your jaw can reduce clenching and grinding during the day. If you grind because of a bad bite, you may need braces to correct the problem. If you grind at night, wearing a nightguard can help you protect your gums.
5. Quit Smoking
Smoking is one of the biggest contributors to poor oral health. People who smoke have more tartar build-up and higher rates of gum disease than people who don’t. They’re also at higher risk of developing oral cancers which can affect gum health. Quitting smoking will protect your gums from the damaging effects of tobacco and make it less likely that they’ll recede.
Protect Your Gums Today
Gum recession can’t be reversed, so do everything you can to keep yours healthy. Contact Coscarella Dentistry to book a cleaning and oral health checkup today. We’ll assess the state of your gums, treat any problems we see, and offer you advice on keeping your gum recession at bay.