Periodontal disease is a top cause of tooth loss among senior adults. Gum recession is a major symptom of periodontal disease. When gums recede, tooth roots become exposed and vulnerable to deterioration. This problem can lead to infection, bone loss, and tooth loss.
Fortunately, quality at-home oral care and regular dental visits can help to prevent gum recession from becoming severe. This blog will explain the consequences of gum recession and the concrete steps you can take to prevent it.
What is Gum Recession?
Gum recession happens when the gum tissue shrinks back from the teeth and bone. As periodontal disease progresses, the gums pull farther back from the teeth, forming deep pockets where plaque, bacteria, and food can collect.
Bacteria build-up in these pockets causes gum irritation and inflammation. As the inflammation worsens, infections develop that damage the gum even further. Repeated infections cause abscesses and damage the jawbone. With advanced periodontal disease, a damaged jawbone cannot hold the teeth, and they begin to fall out.
Preventing Gum Recession
You can prevent gum recession and preserve your teeth by maintaining an excellent home oral care routine:
- Brush with a soft toothbrush and approved fluoride toothpaste at least twice daily.
- Floss once daily, making sure to go deep between the teeth.
- Visit the dentist twice a year to receive preventive cleanings and comprehensive oral examinations.
- Do not smoke or use chewing tobacco, as these interrupt blood flow to the gums and can significantly increase your chance of gum recession and periodontal disease.
If you already have periodontal disease, you must be more conscientious with your oral care to avoid further complications:
- Visit the dentist multiple times a year as prescribed for scaling, root planing, and deep cleaning treatments. Scaling and root planing help to maintain gum health by removing tartar build-up and providing a smooth surface for healthy gums to attach.
- Use a periodontal mouth rinse like chlorhexidine as prescribed to control bacteria in your mouth.
Preserving Gum Health Saves Teeth
If you are at risk for gum disease, follow your dentist's instructions to preserve your natural teeth. Losing teeth prematurely leads to an older appearance and the need for costly replacements like bridges and implants.
Gum recession may seem like a cosmetic problem, but receding gums endanger natural teeth. If you have healthy gums, do everything you can to keep them that way. If you notice early signs of gum disease or gingivitis, ask your dentist for advice on how to combat it and reverse its effects.
Prevention is key when dealing with periodontal disease. If you have discovered that your gums are beginning to recede, don't wait to seek dental treatment. We have effective therapies that can help save your teeth.
Contact Costello Oral Surgery Associates
Contact us at one of our convenient New Jersey locations to learn how to preserve your gum health and prevent future problems from occurring.