Receding Gums

Receding gums happen when the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth wears away or pulls back, exposing the root or more of the tooth. This can be one of the first signs of gum disease.  If not treated, it can lead to further problems and even the loss of the tooth.

According to WebMD there are a number of factors that can cause your gums to recede, including:

Periodontal diseases. These are bacterial gum infections that destroy gum tissue and supporting bone that hold your teeth in place. Gum disease is the main cause of gum recession.

Your genes. Some people may be more susceptible to gum disease. In fact, studies show that 30% of the population may be predisposed to gum disease, regardless of how well they care for their teeth.

Aggressive tooth brushing. If you brush your teeth too hard or the wrong way, it can cause the enamel on your teeth to wear away and your gums to recede.

Insufficient dental care. Inadequate brushing and flossing makes it easy for plaque to turn into calculus (tartar) — a hard substance that can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning — and build up on and in between your teeth, causing gum recession.

Hormonal changes. Fluctuations in female hormone levels during a woman’s lifetime, such as in puberty, pregnancy,  and menopause, can make gums more sensitive and more vulnerable to gum recession.

Tobacco products. Tobacco users are more likely to have sticky plaque on their teeth that is difficult to remove, which can cause gum recession.

Grinding and clenching your teeth. Clenching or grinding your teeth can put too much force on the teeth, causing gums to recede. 

Crooked teeth or a misaligned bite. When teeth do not come together evenly, too much force can be placed on the gums and bone, allowing gums to recede.

Body piercing of the lip or tongue. Jewelry can rub the gums and irritate them to the point that gum tissue is worn away.

Although gum recession is a common problem, many people don’t realize they are suffering from it because it comes on gradually. You might notice more tooth sensitivity or your teeth may appear longer.  If you are having these problems it is important that you contact our office as there are treatments that can be done to help prevent further damage. This is something you don’t want to ignore. The best way you can prevent your gums from receding is to take good care of your mouth.

PREVENTATIVE TIPS

  • Brush your teeth daily preferably with a soft bristled toothbrush.
  • Floss your teeth every day.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Monitor any changes you see or feel in your mouth.
  • Most importantly, keep your appointments to see Dr. Brogdon twice a year for cleanings and to check up.

Your smile is the only one you have. Take care of it by following these preventative tips.

Is Candy Bad for your Teeth?

Although Halloween with all it’s candy has come and gone, many children as well as adults eat too much candy. But is it harmful for your teeth? The fact is eating candy can cause damage to your teeth by wearing away the tooth enamel.  Tooth enamel is the covering on your teeth and your diet directly affects your tooth enamel. Drinking acidic drinks and eating lots of sugars can lead to erosion of the tooth enamel. That is why not only should you avoid lots of sugars, but also sodas which contain both sugars and acid, should be avoided.

Tooth enamel damage can lead to problems such as painful or sensitive teeth. It can also cause your teeth to crack or chip and as the enamel on your teeth become more damaged, you are more likely to develop cavities and decay.

Studies show that some of the worse candy for your teeth are sour candies. They contain more acid which is a double whammy for your enamel. Gummy, chewy and hard candies can also cause problems.

There are some good ways you can help prevent tooth enamel damage.  According to symptomfind.com:

Fortunately, you don’t have to avoid candy altogether to protect your tooth enamel. Instead, simply improve your dental hygiene habits and make a few adjustments in the way that you eat candy and your teeth should be safe from unnecessary damage. Here are a few tips for preventing erosion of your tooth enamel:

  • Cut down on the amount of candy that you consume. Try to limit your intake to one or two snacks per day, and make sure that you are not always choosing one of the higher risk candies mentioned above (sour candies, hard candies or gummy candies).
  • Drink water or brush your teeth after eating candy to wash away some of the harmful sugars and acids. Us a fluoride toothpaste or fluoride rinse for the best results since these products help remineralize enamel that has been damaged. You should also drink plenty of water throughout the day to combat dry mouth, which can make tooth enamel erosion worse.
  • Eat candy with a meal rather than on its own. Your saliva flow will be higher during a meal, allowing less of the candy to stick to your teeth. You should also avoid eating the candy very slowly over a longer period of time. Instead, select your serving and eat it in one sitting. This reduces the damage done to your tooth enamel.
  • Chew sugar-free gum after eating candy. This also increases your saliva flow and may help to remove and particles of candy that have become stuck to your teeth.
  • See your dentist regularly or if you are experiencing any tooth pain. Getting regular cleanings and going in for any unusual symptoms is the best way to protect your teeth and make sure your enamel is in good condition.

If you are experiencing the pain or symptoms of tooth enamel decay give Brogdon Dental a call at 423-870-5698.  Our dentist, Dr. Brogdon, and our Dental Hygentists are here to help you.