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Gingival recession is extremely common and can be quite problematic for the affected people. Learn why it occurs and what you can do to prevent it from occuring.

Gum disease is extremely prevalent all over the world. A combination of changing diets, poor oral hygiene and most importantly, a lack of knowledge among the general population, has meant that years and years of advancements are not being passed on to the public.

There is much better understanding of what causes gum disease than ever before. There are also more treatment options available to patients at a cost which is continuously going down. One disease that more people suffer from than not is receding gums.

Problems Associated With Receding Gums

Under normal conditions, our gums should be attached to the necks of our teeth and may extend to a millimeter or so over their crowns. They cover the roots of the teeth, protecting them from everyday assaults from the food and drink we ingest. As gums recede, this protection to the roots of our teeth disappears and results in wearing away of the root surface. Patients then complain of sensitivity, pain, food getting lodged between their teeth, and discoloration.

This exposed root surface is also very prone to developing decay. When the gums recede from the front of the mouth, the teeth start to appear "longer" and can affect the smile of a person. This recession is also rarely uniform across teeth so one long tooth among others stands out and becomes an eyesore.

Why Do Gums Recede?

Poor Brushing technique: Get ready for it. The number one cause for receding gums is due to toothbrush-induced trauma. It has been drilled into the psyche of patients all over the world that they should be scrubbing their teeth as hard as possible multiple times a day or else they will develop decay. This is poorly-marketed, half-correct information.

While it is important to brush two times a day, there is no need to be scrubbing with any great pressure whatsoever. The bristles on a brush can only remove plaque, which can be removed by the softest of brushes just gliding over the surface of the teeth. Tartar, on the other hand, cannot be removed by any toothbrush however hard it may be.

All of this scrubbing only damages the gums and wears away the enamel of the teeth. The best way to brush is to use a soft or super soft brush gently around every surface of the tooth and get a professional cleaning done twice a year.

Improperly Placed Teeth

Teeth that are out of alignment are much more likely to develop recession with all other factors being the same. The reason for this could be due to a thin covering of bone on the roots of the malaligned teeth which reduces the amount of blood supply to the gums in turn and makes them more susceptible to damage.

Orthodontic treatment to correct the position of teeth at the right age can help prevent recession from occurring. It also helps that people are able to keep properly aligned teeth cleaner and thus free from any deleterious effects of plaque and tartar.

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