What to Do If Your Gums Are Receding

If you have recently noticed that your gum line appears different than it used to be, we recommend scheduling a visit with our team so we can assess the situation and provide treatment if necessary. When more of a tooth becomes exposed, you may be at increased risk of sensitivity and tooth decay.

What Causes Receding Gums?

There are a variety of factors that can cause gums to recede, including:

  • Poor Oral Hygiene – If you don’t brush and floss every day, plaque will build up along your gums. This causes inflammation and infection. Irritated gums will pull back from the teeth due to the buildup of bacteria.
  • Aggressive Teeth-Brushing – Brushing too hard can irritate your gums and wear away your enamel.
  • Tobacco Products – Tobacco suppresses your immune system, making it hard to fight off infection in your mouth. It also reduces circulation in your gums so they don’t get the nutrients they need to stay strong.
  • Clenching/Grinding Teeth – Patients who grind or clench their teeth at night should talk to our team about a custom nightguard. Bruxism can not only damage your teeth and gums, it can also cause jaw problems.
  • Malocclusion/Misaligned bite – If you have crooked teeth and/or an overbite or underbite, certain areas of your mouth may end up receiving more pressure from the force of your bite than other teeth.

Treatment for Receding Gums

When gums become damaged or begin to recede, they will not grow back again, which is why early intervention is critical. If your gums are receding and you aren’t sure why, we can examine your teeth and gums and review your oral health history and lifestyle habits to determine the cause.

In many cases, patients’ gums are pulling away from their teeth due to periodontal disease. Scaling and root planing treatments can clean out the gum pockets and smooth out the tooth roots so the gums can reattach to the teeth. Antibiotics, improved oral hygiene, and special mouthrinses can also help. In serious cases, surgery may be required.

Habits like brushing your teeth too hard, smoking or chewing tobacco, or not brushing your teeth enough are lifestyle habits that patients can work on changing to prevent gum recession.

Gentle Periodontal Therapy in Austin, TX

If you need to see a dentist in Austin who can diagnose your gum recession and create a custom periodontal treatment plan just for you, please contact Southwest Smiles today!

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Image of a scaling and root planing treatment from Authority Dental under CC 2.0