December 15, 2016

You have probably heard the statistics regarding the prevalence of gum disease in America. That information, coupled with other reports that show that nearly 30 percent of adults in the U.S. have untreated cavities, might explain why tooth loss has become a common dental problem. Yet were you aware that tooth decay and gum disease are not the only contributing causes of tooth loss? Another common problem is gum recession.

Over time, the gum surrounding your teeth begins to recede, opening up pockets or gaps between your teeth and gum line. These pockets can be breeding grounds for disease-causing bacteria, which ultimately may result in tooth loss. The causes of gum recession, however, can be a bit more complex.

Understanding the Causes and Methods of Prevention

Studies have shown that as many as three out of every 10 people are genetically predisposed to gum issues. If you are a woman, hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy or menopause can also contribute to the development of this condition. While there is nothing you can do to avoid these risk factors, others arise as a direct result of your habits and behavior. These include:

  • Poor dental care
  • An unhealthy diet
  • Teeth grinding
  • The use of tobacco products
  • Lip or tongue piercings

Understanding these preventable causes of gum recession is the first step to taking preventative measures. Avoiding oral piercings and smoking reduces the risk of suffering an infection or irritation in your mouth. Maintaining a healthy diet and practicing good dental hygiene helps keep gum and periodontal disease at bay. Finally, following a routine schedule of dental cleanings and exams makes it easier to spot and treat gum recession in its earliest stages.

Incorporating preventative practices into your dental regimen will certainly go a long way in helping you avoid gum recession. If you do happen to notice that your teeth are appearing bigger or longer than normal, seek treatment right away. Dr. Steven Saunders, Dr. Victor Saunders, Dr. Jeff Dickson, and the rest of our staff here at the Shenandoah Valley Implant Institute are here to help. Call and schedule a consultation today.



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