Are your gums red, swollen, receding, or bleeding? If so, you may be experiencing early signs of gum disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of American adults aged 30 and over have some form of gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss, as well as other serious health problems. Once the gums start to recede, the gum tissue does not grow back. However, even though gum recession is irreversible, there are things you can do to keep the problem from getting worse.
What are receding gums?
Receding gums occur when your gum tissue begins to pull back from the teeth. When the infected gums recede from the teeth, it leaves large gaps where bacteria can hide. Signs of gum recession can include red or swollen gums, bad breath, mouth sores, and pain or bleeding when brushing or flossing. At Sapphire Creek Dental, you can schedule a deep cleaning to help scrape away tartar to reduce irritation and help the gums heal. Deep cleanings may be combined with antibiotics or special anti-bacterial mouthwash to fight infection. If the gum disease is severe, it may require root scraping and planning, or in some cases, may need gum surgery to remove diseased tissue. Without treatment, the gum tissue and bone can deteriorate putting you at risk for tooth loss.
Gum Recession Prevention
Gum recession is a very gradual process, so many patients don’t realize they have receding gums until it’s already occurring. Regardless of the cause of gum recession, you can take preventative measures to help keep it from further advancing, including:
- Quit Smoking – Smoking is one of the leading risk factors for gum disease. It weakens the immune system, making it harder for your body to fight off harmful bacteria in your mouth. Quitting will prevent tooth decay, gum recession, and other harmful side effects of smoking.
- Maintain Proper Oral Care – Taking proper care of your teeth is essential to overall oral health. Brushing twice a day, flossing regularly, and using an antibacterial mouthwash can improve teeth and gum health and prevent additional gum recession.
- Eat a Balanced Diet – Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables helps keep your gums healthy by providing them with the vitamins and minerals they need to stay strong. Conversely, sugary drinks and foods can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. So, limit sugary snacks and drinks, and opt for water instead.
- Visit your Sapphire Creek Dentist – Regular dental visits for a routine cleaning and checkup every 6 months are the best way to maintain your oral health. Professional cleanings remove plaque and tartar that can cause gum disease and allows your dentist to monitor your gums for any signs of gum disease.
Book an Appointment
If you notice any signs of gum recession, contact us immediately so we can begin the process of treating and preventing further damage to your gums. If you’re experiencing symptoms, or have questions or concerns, please reach out to our dental team in New Braunfels, TX.