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Tips to Minimize Receding Gums
Our gums are just as important for a healthy, attractive smile as our teeth. If they begin to pull away from the teeth, they could expose more of the veneer than is normal, causing teeth to look abnormally long. This is a condition known as receding gums and can be caused by several different factors, but the most common contributor is poor oral health. Failing to brush and floss regularly can lead to gum disease, a condition that causes the gums to become inflamed due to the presence of plaque bacteria. Gum disease is a progressive condition and if not treated promptly, it can cause the gums to shrink and pull away from the teeth. This also opens up spaces between the teeth and gums which can cause further issues as they can trap food and bacteria, causing further plaque to develop and the condition to worsen. It can also cause your teeth to become sensitive to temperature and touch.
Patients are advised to try and minimize their risk of receding gums as much as possible. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent them.
Visit your dentist regularly
Regular dental visits are one of the best ways of keeping gum recession at bay. This is because your dentist can check your mouth for signs of gum disease and give you a professional clean which is proven to reduce your likelihood of developing it. This is because despite cleaning at home, there are still areas of your teeth and gums that can be missed. Your dentist has the professional equipment and a clear view of your teeth, meaning that they can remove every trace of plaque, or its hardened form, tartar before it causes gum disease.
Brush your teeth properly
Many of us are guilty of cutting corners when it comes to our at-home dental care. Tiredness, a busy schedule, and even forgetfulness are just some of the reasons why we might not brush and floss as often, as well, or for as long as we should. Take the time to brush your teeth thoroughly twice each day, once in the morning, and once again before bed. Use a fluoride toothpaste and consider using an electric toothbrush, as they are proven to remove more plaque than manual varieties. Remember to brush your tongue too.
Don’t brush your teeth too hard or use a firm toothbrush
You could be forgiven for thinking that the harder you brush your teeth, the cleaner they will be and the lower the risk of you developing gum disease. However, brushing too hard, or using a toothbrush with firm bristles actually increases the likelihood that you will cause damage to your gums and cause them to recede. Using a medium firmness, both in your brush and application. If you choose an electric toothbrush, it will do a lot of the work for you.
Remember to rinse your toothbrush after use
Once you have finished brushing your teeth, remember to rinse it using clean water then store it upright. This will ensure that any bacteria are flushed away and that you aren’t brushing your teeth with a device packed with potentially harmful microorganisms. Replace your manual toothbrush, or the head of an electric variety at least once every 4 months – sooner if the bristles become frayed.
Don’t forgo the flossing
Flossing should ideally be carried out at least once every day. Floss is designed to remove bacteria and food particles from the tiny gaps between your teeth, which a toothbrush can’t often reach. If you can’t get to grips with traditional floss, try one of the alternative varieties, such as an interdental brush or water flosser.
Smoking doesn’t just affect your overall health; it can also impact on the health and condition of your teeth. Smoking limits the amount of oxygen that is in the blood, and this makes your body less effective at fighting off infections – including those which develop in the gums as a result of gum disease.
Your dentist is your partner in the fight against gum recession. For more advice and information on preventing your gums from receding, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our knowledgeable dental team.