To “be long in the tooth,” is an expression that means a person is wise due to his or her age. Yet a dentist has another view of this expression – that your teeth actually look “long” because gum recession has occurred, exposing the tooth roots. The most common symptom of gum recession is tooth sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures, sugary foods, and tooth brushing.
The gum tissues within the mouth are there to protect the teeth by holding them in place, preventing food particles from becoming trapped, preventing bacteria from having easy access to the tooth roots, and helping them remain attractive for a lifetime. These tissues are living tissues, and they will react to improper treatment and poor oral hygiene. It is essential that you take the necessary steps to protect the health of your gums so that they stay in their proper place in order to do their jobs.
One of the most common causes of gum recession is brushing the teeth too aggressively with an incorrect toothbrush. Many people mistakenly believe that the harder they brush their teeth the more effectively they will clean their teeth. This is untrue. Using a soft bristled toothbrush each day is important. When you are brushing properly, using circular strokes and brushing the entire mouth for at least two minutes, you are effectively cleaning your teeth. Hard bristles damage the gum tissues and will scrub away vital tissues and tooth structure, causing your gums to recede. It is also imperative that you use a clean toothbrush. Your toothbrush is full of bacteria and plaque from your mouth. Replacing it every 3-6 months is extremely important for your entire health.
A healthy diet is also important in preventing gum recession. Acids accelerate gum recession, so if your diet consists of a high intake of soft drinks, orange juice, wine, and acidic fruits and vegetables (lemons, grapefruits, oranges, tomatoes, etc.) you will need to take caution. Drinking water with these food and beverage choices can neutralizing the effects of their acidic content.
Floss your teeth! Plaque buildup at the gum line and attack the gum tissues. By flossing daily, you are removing this buildup from assaulting the gums and destroying them.
At Group Health Dental, we understand how important your oral health care is. By visiting the dentist every six months, we can keep track of your gum measurements to treat/prevent gum recession. Call today for an appointment.