Receding gums occur when the gum tissue begins to pull away from the teeth. When left uncontrolled, gum recession can lead to serious dental problems, such as tooth decay and periodontal disease. If caught early, gum recession can sometimes be reversed, but it is better to prevent the problem than treat it. Below are five ways to help prevent receding gums.
Five Ways to Prevent Receding Gums: Brushing and Flossing
Brushing and flossing properly play a key role in preventing gum recession. A lack of brushing and flossing encourages the formation of dental plaque. The bacteria in the plaque attacks the gum tissue, which eventually leads to receding gums and gum disease.
Improper brushing and flossing can cause abrasions on the gums, the loosening of gum tissue, and a reduction of tooth enamel. All of these can lead to receding gums. It is important to not brush or floss too hard and to use proper techniques. For the proper way to brush and floss, see the American Dental Association’s website: Cleaning Your Teeth and Gums
Five Ways to Prevent Receding Gums: Regular Dental Visits
While brushing and flossing can remove a good deal of dental plaque, they cannot remove all of it. To get your teeth completely clean, professional care by a dentist is required. Most dentists recommend having a full dental cleaning every six months. This will also give your dentist a chance to look at your gums and help you with your brushing and flossing technique, if needed.
Five Ways to Prevent Receding Gums: Avoid Mouth Piercings
People who wear mouth jewelry, such as lip rings and tongue studs, run the risk of damaging their gum tissue. One study discovered people with a lip piercing had a 41.4% occurrence of receding gums, as compared to 6.9% of participants who did not wear lip jewelry.
Five Ways to Prevent Receding Gums: Avoid Tobacco
Smokers are at a higher risk for developing oral health problems, including increased plaque build up and receding gums. Smokeless tobacco creates an even greater risk for receding gums. One study found smokeless tobacco users were 9 times more likely to experience gum recession than people who did not use tobacco products.
Five Ways to Prevent Receding Gums: Proper Diet
Eating a healthy diet helps prevent gum recession. The body requires calcium and vitamin C, as well as several other nutrients, to keep the gums and teeth healthy. A healthy diet also promotes a strong immune system, which makes the body more resistant to dental bacterial infections. On the other hand, consuming sugary foods and drinks weakens the immune system, depletes the body of necessary nutrients, and increases the amount of plaque and acid that attacks tooth enamel and stresses gum tissue.