Our ancestors referred to an aged person as "long in the tooth.” At the time, there was good reason for this. Before the implementation of regular oral hygiene practices, the gums had a tendency to recede as a person grew older. Although receding gums do not always signal gum disease, we carefully assess this issue in our Eastvale area practice. Today, we can avoid the natural recession of gums through excellent oral hygiene that includes at-home care, professional evaluation and cleanings, and understanding the potential risks to gum health. These risks include:
- Genetics, which are integral in all areas of health. Your genetics, in part, determine your susceptibility to various conditions, including gum disease. Through careful assessment and monitoring, we can determine if you are more prone to oral conditions and act in the most suitable preventative manner.
- Aggressive brushing poses a risk to gum health, although the people who are guilty of this practice are really just trying to keep their teeth and gums clean. Many dentists today see patients with toothbrush abrasions, damage that stems from brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush, or from putting too much pressure on the brush. Abrasions may also develop from brushing in the wrong direction, or from abrasive toothpaste. Using low-abrasion toothpaste and brushing in an up-and-down motion, with light pressure, will help you avoid damaging delicate gum tissue.
- Hormonal fluctuations affect gum health; many women develop gingivitis during pregnancy or menopause. During the times when gum tissue is more vulnerable, our staff will provide appropriate, gentle, preventative care.
- Lifestyle habits such as the consumption of alcohol or use of tobacco products have been directly linked to oral health. Chemicals in certain products will interact with enzymes in the saliva, increasing the risk of receding gums and periodontal disease.
- Misaligned teeth do not function the way they should during the chewing process. This condition places uneven pressure on teeth, the gums, and the jawbone, and has the potential to create a host of problems, including receding gums.
- Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. This condition, which develops over time, stems from bacterial activity and subsequent infection. It, too, may lead to receding gums when not adequately treated.
Through careful, regular evaluation, we help our patients maintain healthy teeth and gums. Contact us to learn more about gum disease or to schedule your dental check-up.