What can I do if my gums are receding?
Gums should fit snugly around the tooth. However, there are instances when they wear away and recede. The roots of the teeth have no protective coating, unlike the crowns. When gums recede, the roots become exposed.
Receding gums can cause pain, increased sensitivity, and infection. Here are some tips to prevent it from progressing.
- Maintain good oral hygiene habits. This is the simplest way to slow down gum recession. Be sure to floss between the teeth and below the gum line at least once a day. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush your teeth at least twice per day. If you’re having difficulties using a manual toothbrush, switch to an electric toothbrush.
- Improve your brushing techniques. Brush gently, making sure to cover all areas of the teeth, especially the chewing surfaces. Use small strokes as you brush back and forth. Hold your toothbrush in a vertical position when brushing the inner sides of the teeth. And spend at least two minutes every brushing session.
- Use a custom mouthguard. If you’re clenching or grinding your teeth, consider investing in a custom mouthguard at the dental office. This appliance can help protect your gums against the damaging effects of teeth grinding. A mouthguard can help distribute pressure across the jaw and prevent your top and bottom teeth from hitting each other. Unlike store-bought options, a custom mouthguard fits and works better.
- Have your dentures checked. If you’re using dentures, take them to your dentist for a check. Over time, dentures may no longer fit as comfortably as the bone, gums, and jaw alignment also change. They're also subject to natural wear and tear. Ensuring your dentures are a good fit for your mouth will also help prevent gum recession.
- See your dentist regularly. Be sure to keep up with your routine dental appointments. Your dentist will be able to detect early signs of receding gums and assess any dental work you have had.
Maintaining good oral hygiene habits and seeing your dentist regularly can help prevent, stop, or slow down gum recession. Talk to your dentist today about tips on treating any gum issues you may have. Keep your gums in good condition to keep your teeth in place.
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