Has the dentist ever told you that you have receding gums? One must automatically think that the sky is falling. Or "my parents have (had) this, so It stands to reason that I have it." Or how about this thought... "What in the world is he talking about?" This short article to is explain the many meanings of "receding gums", or gingival recession.
This concept may be difficult to understand, and can not be easily explained. When a dentist informs their patients that they have receding gums, they may mean periodontal disease. Conceptually, this makes sense, gum is attached to the tooth, and as the gingival attachment move away from the tooth caused by periodontal disease, the gum recedes. The profession has not been stellar in explaining this very well, so dentists try this explanation to unearth the mysteries of periodontal disease. Sometimes it has the opposite effect and causes some confusion.
The second and most likely explanation for the uninitiated is that the gums are receding. This recession without the presence of gum disease can most be seen by an ever increasing view of the tooth root, a yellower hue, just below the crown of the tooth, and can be caused by a number of happenstances, such as dental crowding, trauma with the toothbrush, or just plain thin gums. When I diagnose gum recession, this means the gum is receding due to one of the above factors.
From a oral hygiene point of view, "scrubbing" your teeth with any bristled toothbrush, grabbing the brush with your Kung Fu grip, with apply excess force to your teeth and gums. Gum recession, Tooth abrasion and sensitivity will ensue, and one will spend their useful hours in CVS hunting Sensodyne extra strength. Be conscious of brushing your teeth softly, with circular motions, at and away from the gum line. Oral hygiene will be covered in the next post.
So you already do this and you still have gum recession? Dentists may look at the size of the teeth, and the size of the jawbone they fit in. To add insult to injury, the bone which encases the tooth sometimes is very thin, and as the bone recedes with dental crowding, the soft tissue goes with it, ergo gum recession.
Finally, A patient just may have thin gums, ie you were going to have this anyway. Heredity plays a major part in this, but this condition can be aggravated by any of the above conditions, including periodontal disease.
In most circumstances, an easier toothbrush technique will suffice. Sometimes, augmenting the lost gum with a graft may be required.
I know, you are as confused as ever before. So, what I suggest is come see me, and I will attempt to demonstrate with models and printed materials, and hopefully, we can untie the Gordian knot. Remember the force should not be with you, and take it easy all you Type A people!