Have you noticed that your gums are pulling back from your teeth? Or do your teeth appear longer? This may be the result of receding gums, which can happen slowly.
As your gums surround the teeth and help to support them, looking after your gums is just as important as looking after your teeth. If you are noticing any changes in your gums, we do advise visiting your dentist as soon as you can.
Read on to find out about how to look after your gums as well as the causes and treatment options for receding gums.
What Are the Symptoms of Receding Gums?
If you have been dealing with bad breath, swollen and red gums, bad taste in your mouth, and loose teeth, these are signs of receding gums. Changing the type of food you eat, checking any medication that may cause this with your GP can help with bad breath.
Furthermore, your bite can change – there may be pain or your gums may feel tender. Book an emergency appointment with us today if you require urgent treatment!
What Are the Causes of Receding Gums?
Poor oral hygiene can be one of the causes of receding gums, so if you have noticed this recently, follow these tips to take care of your teeth and gums:
- Don’t use a hard-bristled toothbrush – soft toothbrushes are best!
- Gently brush your teeth and let the brush do the work, brushing in circular motions as this is more effective in cleaning teeth, gums, and gaps.
- Avoid rinsing after brushing your teeth as this can reduce the efficiency of the fluoride from your toothpaste, offering minimal protection to your teeth. Using mouthwash containing fluoride is the better alternative. Make sure to replace your toothbrush regularly!
- Brush your teeth twice a day (at least, but don’t brush your teeth too often) for two minutes each. Avoid brushing your teeth too soon after eating. Moreover, If you don’t brush for long enough, the fluoride will not be given enough time to attach to the tooth enamel. Some electric toothbrushes can help, as they have automatic two-minute timers.
- Floss daily as plaque, bacteria, and food particles can remain in your mouth, resulting in build-up around the gums. Speak to your dentist regarding the best type of floss for you and be gentle!
Other causes of receding gums include old age and certain medical conditions as well as:
- Injury or trauma to the mouth from sports can cause receding gums. Also, piercings on the lip or tongue can rub against the gum tissue.
- Smoking, chewing tobacco, and dip with a pouch of tobacco can cause receding gums.
- Grinding and clenching your teeth can put a large amount of force on your teeth and result in receding gums.
- If bacteria have formed from your gums receding, this can form in places around the area. If this happens, gum disease can develop at a faster rate. To find out more about gum disease, take a read of our blog, ‘Can Gum Disease Be Reversed?’
How Can Gum Recession Be Diagnosed?
Visit your dentist or a dental hygienist, they will be able to tell you whether your gums are receding. If you visit twice a year, they can let you know if your gums have receded in-between visits. Taking care of your gums and teeth and checking them daily can help to tell if there are any differences in your gums.
How Can Receding Gums Be Treated?
There are certain ways that can prevent your receding gums from getting worse.
Your dentist can recommend the right treatment as this depends on the cause of the gum recession:
- If poor oral hygiene is the issue, discuss with your dentist the better options and methods for brushing and flossing.
- Using daily mouth rinses to fight plaque helps to reduce this between the teeth. Dental picks and other interdental cleaners can help with areas that are hard to reach.
- “Scaling and Root Planing” can help treat gum recession, this type of deep cleaning treatment can be done occasionally. Your dentist will clean tartar and plaque from the surface and roots of your teeth.
- Gum grafting is another dental procedure that can be used to take care of gum recession. However, this is only for severe circumstances where lost gum tissue will need to be restored. The gum tissue will need to be taken from elsewhere in the mouth and then grafted or attached to the affected area and teeth. The tooth rot will then be protected and allow for natural gums.
To take care of your gums and prevent receding gums, think about what you’re eating and drinking, and if you smoke regularly consider quitting. Recommended foods for good dental health include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, dairy, fibre and chewing gum. Foods with fluoride are also beneficial, where it can be found in black tea, seafood, wine (lucky you), coffee, raisins, powdered cereals.
Avoid food and drinks with sugar and starchy foods which contain carbohydrates. Drinking plenty of water helps too! Go for regular checkups with your dentist, at least twice a year, and improve oral hygiene. This can help to find issues with gum recession sooner rather than later.
Take Care of Your Gums at Hermes London Dental Clinic
As previously mentioned, your dentist is the best person to visit to receive guidance on the diagnosis and causes of gum recession as well as the right treatment to solve them.
If you are suffering from any of the above issues, we will most likely request to see you more frequently. Once we are happy with the results, we will advise you on whether we would like to see you every six or 12 months.