When talking about dental health, the teeth usually take the main spotlight. But today, we’ve decided to put someone else center stage – your gums! For those who have never really thought about it, gums are made of soft tissue that is covered by a layer of oral mucosa. Even though they don’t get a lot of attention, the gums play an integral part in keeping your mouth nice and healthy. The mucous membrane helps to eliminate bacteria and prevent nasty issues like gum disease from taking over your smile. If you’re one of the people who think that the dentist telling you to brush twice a day and floss at least once a day is more of a recommendation that a strict guideline, your smile could be in danger of falling into the dangerous territory of recessive gums.
Yes, it’s true. If not properly taken care of, your gums could actually recede. What this does to your appearance is make your teeth look longer and unsightly. In addition to aesthetic issues, your oral health can become compromised when receding gums leaves the roots of your teeth exposed. This makes it easier for bacteria to get inside and cause tooth decay and infections. Other symptoms of receding gums could include painful, sensitive, or bleeding gums.
But it’s reversible, right?
Wrong! Unfortunately, once your gums have receded, it’s impossible for them to return to their normal state without the aid of extensive and, often times, painful gum grafts. If your mouth has suffered from the effects of receding gums, it is possible to prevent them from worsening. The earlier you catch it, the easier it is to get your mouth back in tip-top shape.
Please tell me how I can prevent this
Brushing your teeth and flossing as recommended by your dentist is a great way to keep the health of your teeth and gums in check. But that’s only the first line of defense. To stop receding gums at the root of the problem, get checkups from your dentist at least twice a year. You can also thoroughly brush your tongue and add some fluoride-infused mouthwash a couple times per week into your oral hygiene regimen. If you follow these recommendations, you will be well-equipped to keep receding gums and other issues at bay.
Follow these guidelines and let your gums be their best selves. They deserve to share the stage with the famed pearly whites everyone’s always obsessing over.
About Dr. Rigby
Dr. Brent Rigby went through extensive training as a prosthodontist — a dentist who specializes in the esthetic restoration and replacement of teeth