If healthy, the only part of your tooth that is exposed in your enamel. However, if you notice your teeth appear longer, or you feel some tooth sensitivity
, your gums are likely receding. The reason that gum recession
is bad, is that it causes your dentin to be exposed causing sensitivity and some tooth discoloration.
Why are your gums receding? The most usual cause of gum recession is periodontal disease, an infection in your gums that affects the tissue and bone that keep your teeth from moving.
Another potential cause of gum recession is bad dental health habits. If you brush with an improper technique with too much force, it can cause your tooth enamel to wear away and your healthy gum tissue to recede. However, on the opposite end of the spectrum, if you do not brush well enough you will see plaque and tartar build up which may lead to periodontal disease.
Other, less common factors, that lead to receding gums include:
- Abuse of tobacco products
- Changes in hormones
- Piercings in your mouth
If you suspect your gums are receding, there are many procedures available to regain health. If you are just experiencing light recession, this can be remedied with a “deep cleaning” to rid your mouth of excess tartar and allow your gums to heal and reattach. In the case it is serious enough, your gum disease may need the attention of a periodontist, a dentist who focuses on the health of your gums.
The best way to squash periodontal disease before it starts is proper maintenance of your teeth at home. Your at home care should include floss, brushing with a soft-bristled brush, and mouthwash. Additionally, please schedule routine cleanings with your dentist for professional cleanings.