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Dentistry Memphis

Gum Recession: Why You Should Take It Seriously

Examining the teeth and gumsThe team here at Southwind Dental Care is proud to provide patients in and around Memphis with state-of-the-art dentistry. This includes cosmetic procedures to enhance the aesthetics of a smile as well as restorative dentistry treatments to fight tooth decay and gum disease.

Gum recession is another important and common dental health issue that we deal with often. Let's take a moment right now to consider its causes and your options for treatment.

What is gum recession?

Gum recession refers to the loss of gum tissue from around the root structure of your teeth. This can be caused by a number of factors. When gum recession happens, there are many problems that may occur, affecting the look of your smile as well as overall dental health and wellness.

Problems Caused By Gum Recession

In terms of aesthetics, gum recession exposes more of a tooth's root structure, which can mean an unattractive or off-putting smile in general. This can make smiling, laughing, or speaking a source of self-consciousness, even around people that you've known for most of your life.

As for overall dental health, gum recession can lead to numerous issues, including:

  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Increased risk of tooth decay beneath the gumline
  • Increased risk of root canal infection
  • Loose teeth
  • Tooth misalignment
  • Tooth loss

As you can imagine, it's important to get gum recession treated as soon as possible.

Causes of Gum Recession

The most common causes of gum recession are as follows:

  • Smoking and Chewing Tobacco – The use of tobacco products can lead to gum recession among other serious health issues, which is another reason to quit (or just not start in the first place).

  • Aggressive Brushing and Flossing – If you brush and floss too hard, it can actually do damage to your teeth and gums rather than improve your dental health.

  • Gum Disease – Gum disease in its various forms (gingivitis, periodontitis, advanced periodontitis) can all lead to varying degrees of gum tissue damage, including gum recession.

  • Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) – While teeth grinding involves the gnashing of teeth, the stress placed on the structures of your mouth can result in gum recession.

  • Crooked Teeth/Malocclusion – Crooked teeth and generally poor dental alignment can lead to stress on the teeth and gums, contributing to gum recession over time.

  • Lip or Tongue Piercings – If you have a lip piercing or a tongue stud, this can lead to irritation of the gum tissue and recession over time.

  • The Natural Aging Process – Years of wear and tear will do a number on your teeth and gums. Gum recession is just one potential health issue you will face.

Treatment Options for Gum Recession

When it comes to treating gum recession, the best option is typically soft tissue augmentation. Also known as gum grafting, the process is a type of oral surgery that attached donor soft tissue or artificial gum tissue to the gumline to rebuild lost structure.

Tips for Preventing Gum Recession

To prevent gum recession, consider the following tips:

  • Quit smoking or using smokeless tobacco
  • Brush gently using a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Floss gently yet thoroughly
  • Eat a balanced diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Drink water throughout the day to keep your mouth moist and clean
  • Visit your dentist regularly for checkups

Learn More About Gum Recession Treatment and Prevention

For more information about gum recession and what you can do to prevent it from occurring, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Dr. Timothy S. Messer looks forward to your visit and helping you achieve a healthy and beautiful smile.

Tagged In: Gum Recession, General Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry

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I have been to several dentists in the Memphis Area and I have finally found THE ONE!! Dr. Messer is the best dentist I have ever been to. I have complete confidence in any procedure that he performs and I can't imagine ever going to any other dentist.

-Meredith Page B.