You may notice the gap between your teeth is slightly changing, or you’ve started to get a lot of food stuck in your teeth. This is due to receding gums and it’s a bigger problem than you may initially think. When gums recede the tissue surrounding the tooth disappears, exposing more and more tooth structure, eventually exposing the tooth’s root. The bone holding the tooth becomes compromised, your tooth becomes loose and could eventually fall out.
What can you do to prevent this from happening? Regular check ups at the dentist help. Each appointment your hygienist is checking for pockets that can form around your tooth at the gumline. These pockets hold bacteria which destroys the gum tissue and the supporting bone that holds your teeth in place. The pockets of bacteria are what we call periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is the number one reason for gum recession. Other causes for gum recession include; aggressive tooth brushing, insufficient dental care, hormonal changes, tobacoo use, ginding or clenching your teeth, and crooked teeth or misaligned bite. To treat periodontal disease your hygienist will recommend root planing and scaling. Root planing and scaling will remove the calculus below the gumline helping to restore gum health. Sometimes antibiotics are needed to help fight the bacteria and will be prescribed by Dr. Bomstad.
When dealing with receding gums it is important to follow your hygienist’s recommendations. Often patients with periodontal disease need to be seen 3-4 times per year. It may feel like a lot of visits, but it is well worth it to prevent your teeth from falling out! Other ways to help prevent receding gums; quit using tobacco products, use a soft bristled toothbrush, ask your hygienist how to properly brush and floss your teeth, prevent grinding and clenching and consider having your teeth/bite realigned. Dr. Bomstad may recommend a bite guard to prevent grinding and clenching or give you a referral to see an orthodontist. It is so important to take care of our teeth, after all they’re all we’ve got!