what causes gum recession

what causes gum recessionMaryville, Alcoa and Knoxville TN

When you look at your teeth in the mirror, what do you see? You might notice that you can see more of your tooth structure… up to and including even the roots of certain teeth. If this is happening to you, then you have receding gums. Your Knoxville dentist Dr. Ben Sentell at Cedar Street Family Dentistry wants to educate you on the facts of gum recession: the causes, symptoms, and how we can help.

Receding gums can be caused by a variety of different factors, sometimes working in combination

Gum disease is the most common culprit when it comes to identifying the cause of gum recession. A bacterial infection in your gums, gum disease eventually can do permanent damage to your teeth, gums, jawbone, and even your overall health.

Poor oral hygiene and gum disease go hand in hand. Failing to brush and floss properly allow harmful plaque and bacteria to accumulate in your mouth.

Over-brushing takes place when you brush too often, or with too hard a technique. This habit can make your gums recede in response.

Hormonal changes can make your gums more likely to recede. These changes can be triggered by puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Even the use of certain hormone replacement medications could cause your gums to recede.

Using tobacco is bad for your overall health, and it’s bad for your oral health, too. Tobacco use significantly increases your risk of developing gum disease and using tobacco in any form, even the smokeless variety, usually means you have a higher buildup of plaque compared to people who do not use tobacco.

Bruxism, which also is known as teeth grinding and clenching, can do extreme wear on your teeth. Another consequence of bruxism is, you guessed it, gum recession. Your gums are likely to recede in the areas of the mouth that are exposed to these excessive forces.

Know the signs of gum recession

Now that you know what can make your gums recede, you need to know how to identify symptoms of this problem, so that you know when it’s time to call your dentist Dr. Sentell to have your gum recession treated in Knoxville.

Any of the following can be symptoms of receding gums:

  • Teeth that appear to be of different lengths
  • Gums visibly pulling away from teeth
  • Swollen or painful gums
  • The formation of pockets or gaps between your teeth
  • Redness or bleeding in the gums after you eat, brush or floss
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth

Treating receding gums in Knoxville

As mentioned, gum disease is the most common reason for gum recession, and the bacterial infection that is causing your gum disease must be treated in order to stop your gums from receding. At Cedar Street Family Dentistry, we offer repetitive therapy for patients who suffer from gum disease. This entails a procedure that combines root planing and scaling. Root planing will smooth the tooth roots, making it more difficult for harmful bacteria to adhere to your teeth in the future. Through scaling, the plaque and tartar buildup are removed from your teeth. Remember, gum disease is the most widespread chronic disease in America, but you can prevent it by maintaining a good regimen of oral hygiene that includes daily brushing and flossing in combination with twice-yearly visits to your dentist for a check-up. Whether you already are noticing your gums receding or you want to lower your risk of gum disease, Dr. Ben Sentell at Cedar Street Family Dentistry can help. Schedule your appointment with him by calling (865) 233-7640.

Cedar Street Family Dentistry serves patients in Alcoa, Knoxville, and Maryville, Tennessee.