Gum Recession: It’s not always your Toothbrush’s Fault

gum recession is not your toothbrushes faultServing areas of Bellevue, Newcastle, and Medina WA

While dentists recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush as opposed to a hard-bristled one, your toothbrush isn’t the only thing that can cause gum recession. Although brushing your teeth with too much force could damage your gums and cause recession, your toothbrush and brushing style are not the only causes of your diminishing gum line. Find out what causes gum recession, and how Spektor Dental can help.

What is gum recession?

Gum recession occurs when the gums pull away from your teeth and expose the tooth’s roots, which can trigger a painful sensation to temperature changes in the mouth, such as with hot or cold beverages or even a cold wind. Eating sweets and brushing your teeth can also become painful. The roots of your teeth don’t have an enamel-protecting layer, which is why toothbrush abrasion and decay are more prevalent in patients with gum recession.

What causes gum recession?

Gum recession is a common problem caused by various factors. While your toothbrushing techniques could be to blame, let’s explore a few more reasons why you might experience gum recession.

Crooked Teeth

Most people do not have perfectly straight teeth. Crooked teeth are referred to as malocclusion. This bad biting pattern creates occlusal trauma, or an unevenly distributed force when chewing. Because of this, tooth abfraction lesions may develop. Abfraction lesions are caused when dental enamel microscopically bends and flakes off and exposes the sensitive layer of the tooth, leading to gum recession. If this is the case for you, you might notice tiny notches on your teeth along the gum line. The same result can happen if you clench and grind your teeth.

Grinding or Clenching Your Teeth

Referred to as bruxism, clenching and grinding puts excessive pressure on the teeth. This excessive pressure may result in gum recession. If you have bruxism, you should ask your Bellevue dentists at Spektor Dental about a custom-made nightguard. A professionally crafted nightguard, as opposed one bought at the store, provides superior protection. Purchasing a nightguard from your dentist is a small price to pay to protect your teeth and gums.

Use of Tobacco or Chewing Tobacco

Tobacco use in any form can cause gum recession. Nicotine restricts blood flow, hindering the body’s ability to combat inflammation or infection, both of which can impact gum health. Chewing tobacco is even worse. Directly placing it in your mouth can cause localized gum recession.

Untreated Periodontal Disease

Poor oral health also contributes to gum recession. If you notice that your gums are red, swollen and tender, you could have gum disease. It is essential to get professional dental treatment for gum disease, or it will worsen and cause jawbone erosion, loose teeth, and eventually, tooth loss.

What can be done about my gum recession?

Treatment for gum recession will depend on the cause. You may benefit from adjusting your toothbrushing techniques, or switch to using a soft-bristled toothbrush. If those changes do not seem to help, talk to your dentists in Medina about another solution. A custom-made nightguard may help protect your teeth and gums against excessive biting force, and therefore, prevent gum recession from worsening. If gum disease is to blame, our Newcastle area periodontist can recommend treatment to stop the infection, allowing your gums to heal. For severe cases of gum recession, dental restorations such as cosmetic bonding or dental crowns may be needed to protect your teeth and curb any tooth sensitivity.

Gum recession could be a sign of a serious oral health issue that should be addressed by your periodontitis in Bellevue. To learn more about gum recession, how to prevent it, or solutions to help, contact Spektor Dental by calling (425) 454-1322. We are conveniently located in Bellevue, near Newcastle and Medina.