Battling gum recession can feel like an uphill climb. Because it’s so common and has so many different causes, many people think it’s unavoidable. While it’s true that some studies show gum recession affecting nearly half of the world’s population, it’s also true that you can live your life free of receding gums! Read on to find out how.

To prevent gum recession, it’s useful to know what exactly it is. In simple terms, gum recession is when gums begin to pull away from the teeth, exposing the sensitive roots below. This can be caused by gum disease, aging, genetics, tobacco use and more. If left untreated, gum recession can lead to sensitivity, tooth and bone loss, and further health problems.

Once you have gum recession, your gums don’t grow back. It can be treated, but it’s in your best interest to take steps to avoid it if possible. Luckily, it’s easier than you think! 

 Here are 7 easy ways to prevent gum recession:

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

One of the most important ways to prevent gum recession and maintain a healthy mouth is to practice good oral hygiene every day. That means brushing, flossing and using a tongue scraper at least twice per day to remove harmful bacteria on and between your teeth and tongue. 

Practicing good oral hygiene is important, but it’s equally important to do it properly. Brush your teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush in small, gentle circles; aggressive brushing can actually contribute to gum recession. When flossing, follow the curve of your teeth and be sure to go under the gumline, but do not snap or force the floss as this can damage your gums.

Stop Smoking/Smokeless Tobacco

There are so many reasons that smoking tobacco is harmful to your health, and one of those is that it wreaks havoc inside your mouth. Among other things, tobacco increases your risk of gum disease. That’s because it interferes with the normal function of gum tissue cells, affects the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth, and escalates the formation of plaque.

Not smoking is one of the best choices you can make for your dental - and overall - health. Speak with your doctor about smoking cessation methods to make it easier to quit. 

Avoid Tongue or Lip Piercings

People with oral piercings are at increased risk of gum disease. In fact, some studies show that oral piercings can double your risk of developing gum recession. Tongue and lip jewelry come into frequent contact with the gums and can cause damage, infections, and gum recession. This is especially true for those with a habit of playing with their oral jewelry. Avoid putting piercings in or around the mouth to lower your risk of gum recession. 

Get Help for Teeth Grinding

Grinding your teeth doesn’t just leave you with an aching jaw - it also leads to a host of dental problems. The pressure and stress that grinding your teeth places on your gum line is a common cause of gum recession. 

Many people don’t even know they grind their teeth since it’s often done unconsciously or during sleep. A dull, aching headache or sore jaw are common symptoms of teeth grinding. If you think you may grind your teeth, your dentist can perform an oral examination and provide a nighttime mouthguard to protect your teeth and gums.

 Get Orthodontics

Teeth that are crooked, misaligned, or otherwise flawed can put great pressure on your gums and jawbone, causing your gums to recede. Braces, aligners, and other orthodontic treatments can correct your teeth to create a healthy bite and lower your risk of gum recession.

Visit Your Dentist

Regular dental exams are essential for oral health. Visit your dentist every 6 months for a routine cleaning and check-up. Your dentist can identify problems such as gum recession early and refer you to a periodontist like Dr. Williams to begin treatment as soon as possible. Which brings us to our next point...

Get Prompt Treatment

Gum recession is not an end-all problem. If caught early, treatments are available to correct and prevent further recession and ward off gum disease. On the other hand, the longer you wait to treat gum recession, the worse it will get. Periodontists like Dr. Williams have tools and techniques to remove harmful bacteria and restore health to your gums, so don’t put off seeking treatment for mild gum recession. 

Gum recession is common, but it doesn’t have to be unavoidable. Using the above tips can help you prevent gum recession and maintain a healthy smile. If you think you may be suffering from gum recession already, schedule an appointment with our staff to get on the road to recovery.