The saying ‘long in the tooth’ is often used to describe old age, the reason being that our gums tend to recede as we start to get older. Thus it can be quite distressing when you’re still young to find yourself losing gum and thus exposing more and more of your tooth underneath.
If you are still young then and you’re losing gum, what might be causing this and what can you do about it?
Causing of Receding Gum
There are a number of causes for a receding gum and the best way to find which one is affecting you might well be to visit your dentist who can tell you for sure.
But if you want an answer right now, then three likely causes are:
A gum infection can cause your gums to recede and this is important to identify early on to prevent excess damage. Infections will continue to deteriorate the gum so you need to see your dentist as soon as soon as possible if there’s any chance of this being the cause. In the meantime, you can also try rinsing with a mouthwash such as Corsodyl which should be strong enough to kill off the majority of the bacteria.
If you brush your teeth too hard then this can also cause your gum to wear away as you will actually end up filing the soft tissue. This is why it’s important to brush carefully and not to apply force. A good way to brush is to use an electric brush and just hold it on the spot where it can go to work polishing – no force required!
If you are brushing too hard, you might notice that the wearing is worse on your left side (assuming you’re right handed) and that your teeth also look a little worn away.
Unfortunately sometimes gums just recede for no reason. If your gums are disappearing and you’re still young this can simply be a result of genetics. Don’t worry though, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to need costmetic dentistry any time soon.
What to Do?
If your gums are wearing away then unfortunately there isn’t that much that can be done. Gum does not regrow, so once it’s gone… it’s gone. Experimental techniques are being used in some countries that involve removing tissue from the roof of the mouth and attaching it to the gum but this won’t be an option yet for most people.
If you notice that your roots are starting to show and your gum/tooth is sensitive in the area, then your dentist might recommend that you use a side filling to protect the exposed root. You can also try using sensitive toothpaste such as Sensodyne.
Otherwise, the most important tip is simply to brush more gently and to stop applying too much force. As with anything, sometimes it’s possible for tooth brushing to become ‘too much of a good thing’. Take it easy!