Have you noticed your gums receding a bit? Are your gums at risk of infection caused by bacteria accumulating on your teeth and gums? Gum disease can cause pain and even tooth loss, but the good news is that it's preventable and treatable.
At Hometown Family Dental Centers in Fayetteville, Raeford, and Vass, North Carolina, we specialize in treating gum disease and restoring oral health. We can help you stop gum disease in its tracks before it becomes a painful problem.
While poor oral hygiene can contribute to receding gums, did you know that other factors can also play a role? How do you know whether your receding gums are due to infection or something else? Here’s what you need to know.
Gum disease 101
Also known as periodontitis, this condition involves inflammation or bacterial infection of the gums, which can have serious consequences for your teeth.
Your tooth roots are anchored firmly to your jawbone. The tooth’s crown is the visible part above your gum line, and the tooth’s neck is the area between the crown and the root, at your gum line. Your gums should fit snugly around each tooth, forming a protective seal to defend the underlying bone.
The trouble begins with plaque buildup, a thin film of bacteria on the teeth. If you don’t remove this plaque daily, it hardens and becomes tartar, which can discolor your teeth and attack your gum line.
Bacteria attacking the gum tissue and becoming trapped in pockets between the gums and teeth results in gum disease, damaging healthy gum tissue. It can cause your gums to pull away from the teeth, and your teeth could loosen and eventually fall out if gum disease is left untreated.
Take action against gum disease by caring for your oral hygiene and seeking professional treatment when necessary. Doing so can safeguard your teeth and maintain a healthy smile.
Are receding gums an indication of gum disease?
Gum recession happens when the edge of the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back and exposes more of your tooth or the tooth's root. Receding gums are often associated with gum disease, but this issue can occur for several reasons.
Periodontal disease can indeed cause your gums to recede. But other factors can also contribute to gum recession.
For instance, an irregular or abnormal tooth position can be a primary cause. Overly aggressive brushing or flossing can cause gum recession as well. Hormonal changes in women, use of tobacco products, grinding or clenching your teeth, and piercing your lip or tongue can lead to receding gums.
Keeping your gums healthy
Keep your gums healthy by properly brushing and flossing daily and visiting the dentist regularly. This helps prevent gum disease by removing plaque before it turns into tartar and breeds bacteria. When plaque becomes tartar, only a dentist can eliminate it. Regular checkups also allow us to examine your mouth for problems.
If gum disease has already set in, we can help. The first step is a deep cleaning, which can remove the bacteria around your teeth and gums and reverse the damage.
There's a strong relationship between receding gums and gum disease. Prevention is key, so take care of your oral health and don't hesitate to seek professional advice if you notice any changes in your gums.
If you're experiencing early signs of gum disease or receding gums, call Hometown Family Dental Centers today. Schedule an appointment today, and we’ll help you care for your gums so you can maintain a healthy smile.