How to Avoid Gum Recession

Cosmetic DentistBack in the old days – more specifically, before World War II in the early 20th century – it was common to describe an elderly person as being “long in the tooth.” Today, cosmetic dentists know that phrase likely referred to the fact that many older adults who received little or no preventive dental care in that era suffered from gum recession, a condition that can make one’s teeth appear longer than they previously were.

With modern dental hygiene tools and techniques, as well as the widespread commercial availability of clinically effective toothpaste and dental floss, it’s no longer a given that you will experience gum recession. However, it is important to pay close attention to your oral health so that you don’t experience this condition, which is associated with periodontal disease and can have tooth-threatening consequences.

Here are a few tips formulated by top cosmetic dentists for how to avoid gum recession.

Keeping Your Gums Healthy

  1. Understand the causes of gum recession. The primary causes of gum recession are overly aggressive tooth brushing, or using incorrect brushing or flossing techniques; issues with teeth alignment or teeth grinding (bruxism); poor dental hygiene (including not seeing your dentist regularly for cleanings); and genetics.
  2. Ask your cosmetic dentist’s office for assistance. Your dental team can show you the proper way to brush and floss so that those tasks don’t damage your gums. They can also keep your gums healthy by removing tartar from your teeth through prophylactic cleanings, and they can perform a procedure called a scaling and root planing if your teeth need a deeper cleaning.
  3. Be willing to work with your dental team to address problems that could cause or aggravate gum recession. If you have bite or teeth alignment problems, you may need a mouth guard or braces to fix them. If you’re suffering from advanced periodontal disease, it may be necessary for a periodontist or oral surgeon to perform gum surgery to get you back on the road to a healthy mouth.

“Patients can avoid gum recession if they’re willing to commit to daily proper cleanings of their teeth and gums, and if they visit their cosmetic dentist on a regular basis,”  says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic

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