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It’s ok if Your Hair Recedes, but not Your Gums

gum diseaseGum disease has been a hot topic of discussion in recent years. For good reason! During routine dental visits, infected gum tissue is one of the things all dentists look for. However, there is another issue that has become increasingly prevalent among people of all ages: gum recession. This condition used to be common in older folks, who were said to be “long in the tooth.” Today, we see recession starting as early as the teen years.

Why We Want to Avoid Gum Recession

Gum recession may not always go hand in hand with gum disease, but that doesn’t mean that there are no consequences to the wearing away of this tissue:

  • Gingival tissue should surround teeth tightly. If gums become weak, tissue does not fit as it should, and pockets of bacteria can form. This paves the way for infection.
  • Bacterial accumulation in periodontal pockets makes it mighty difficult to keep your breath fresh.
  • Gums cover the roots of teeth. When recession occurs, roots become exposed and, as a result, a target for cavity-causing bacteria.
  • The structures beneath the gums also include nerves, which become more sensitive when their layer of protection has diminished. This can make your favorite hot or cold beverage a source of pain.

To Treat Recession, You Have to Know What is Causing it

Besides gum disease, there are certain habits that could be harming your gums:

  • Chewing tobacco. Like smoking, using smokeless tobacco can harm your health, and it could start in your mouth. When tobacco and other chemicals sits on the gums, it quickly breaks down vital structure by inhibiting oxygenation.
  • Not brushing and flossing. The importance of daily oral hygiene cannot be overstated. Brushing removes food debris and bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth. Flossing removes it from in between your teeth. If debris and bacteria are not removed, plaque will accumulate, causing irritation to the gums.
  • Brushing too hard. If you are one who really goes at it to get your teeth clean, you may be doing more harm than good. Take it easy on your gums, you will need them for many years to come! Use gentle motion and a soft-bristled brush. Also, consider using your non-dominant hand to brush; it may be easier to go more slowly and gently.

Kalil Dental Associates has two offices to serve you. Contact us today.