Gum recession is a concern for some individuals as they age, but it is not inevitable for everyone. Similarly to how our hairlines can thin out as we age, our gum lines may similarly retreat over time. Gum recession occurs when the gum tissue begins to recede from the teeth. This can be caused by the natural aging process, but it can also be the result of years of brushing teeth too aggressively, insufficient or irregular brushing and flossing, or it might be an indication of gum disease.
As the gums recede, exposing the teeth’s roots, they become more sensitive to temperature extremes (hot and cold foods) and more subject to bacterial accumulation, which can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
While gum recession can be a concern as you age, there are steps you can take to minimize its impact:
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day to remove plaque and bacteria that can contribute to gum disease. Brushing your teeth should be done gently, as this is the major cause of gum recession. Splayed bristles and bleeding gums are signs of over-brushing. To avoid this, use a toothbrush with a soft bristle.
Regular Dental Check-Ups
Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. Your dentist can monitor the health of your gums and provide early intervention if needed.
Harmful habits, particularly smoking cigarettes, can cause the gums to recede and aggravate already receding gums. Tobacco irritants and toxins can cause gum disease, which can swiftly lead to tooth loss!
Practice a Healthy Lifestyle
Eating a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can contribute to overall oral health.
Ultimately, the level of concern about gum recession as you age should prompt you to take proactive steps to protect your oral health, including regular dental visits and practicing good oral hygiene habits throughout your life. Your dentist can provide guidance and recommend personalized strategies to address any specific concerns you may have about gum recession.