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What is gum disease, or gum recession? Gum disease happens when gum tissue surrounding the teeth pull back from the tooth, exposing either the tooth or the tooth roots. When this happens, gaps form between the teeth and the gum line, allowing bacteria accumulate. This bacterial film can harden into tartar causing long-term problems including tooth loss. So why does this happen?

Poor oral hygiene: If you aren’t brushing and flossing every day it can result in periodontitis. Dental plaque will harden into tartar that can only be removed by a dental professional.

Bruxism: Grinding your teeth while you sleep wears down tooth enamel, affecting gum tissue.

Heredity: If one or both of your parents suffer with receding gums, you are at higher risk as well. Studies show that 30% of the population may be predisposed to gum disease.

Aggressive brushing: Constant wear and tear from brushing harshly can wear down tooth enamel.

Misaligned teeth: If your bite doesn’t align correctly, the pressure on the individual teeth can create gum recession.

Gum tissue trauma: If your gums have experienced some kind of traumatic injury the tissue may recede from the tooth.

What you can do:

–Take excellent care of your teeth and gums by brushing and flossing daily, using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
–Reduce harmful bacteria in the mouth by using an antibacterial toothpaste and mouth rinse.
–If you have bruxism, you can wear a night guard to prevent tooth clenching and grinding.
–Get your six month dental cleanings to remove any plaque buildup (calculus).

If you are currently experiencing the signs of gum disease, see Dr. John Grisham to begin any necessary treatment. Untreated gum disease can eventually result in tooth loss. Our dental team is happy to help you with any questions or concerns. Call us at 603-444-2100 today!