Brushing your teeth at least twice daily is an important part of an oral health plan and can help to prevent both tooth decay and gum disease. However, brushing your teeth too hard and/or using the improper technique can actually cause damage to your gums and cause them to recede. Gum recession is the process in which the margin of tissue that surrounds the tooth wears away in the direction of the tooth’s root, exposing more of the tooth. When gum recession occurs, gaps form between the teeth and the gum line, making it easy for harmful bacteria to build up. If it is not properly treated, the tissue and bone structures of the teeth can be damaged causing dental health problems including tooth loss.
Mild gum recession may be able to treated by thoroughly cleaning the affected area. This cleaning is also referred to as scaling and/or root planing. Sometimes antibiotics are also used to get rid of the remaining harmful bacteria. If your recession is too severe to be treated using deep cleaning and antibiotics, surgery may be necessary. Surgical procedures used to treat severe gum recession include the following: pocket depth reduction; regeneration and soft tissue graft.
The best way to treat gum recession is to prevent it from happening in the first place. This can be achieved by brushing and flossing daily and by using the proper brushing techniques. First, start with a toothbrush that has either soft or medium bristles as the hard bristles can be damaging to the gums. Instead of dragging the toothbrush roughly across your teeth and gums, make small circular motions. Lastly, if you have a tendency to brush too aggressively, you may want to consider investing in an electric toothbrush such as a Sonicare.
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