At our dental office in Austin, we tend to put a lot of focus on our patients’ teeth and any concerns they have in relation to the appearance of their smiles. But there’s so much more to consider when evaluating overall oral health. The gums, for example, are one area that is commonly ignored, yet they are pretty important to talk about.
Why Do We Have Gums?
Before we dive into one of the most common concerns related to gums, let’s take a look at why we even have them to begin with. First and foremost, gums are part of a complex system that holds your teeth in place. When gums are healthy, they’re tight to the teeth and keep them securely in place. Additionally, gums cover and protect the sensitive tooth roots. If gums become unhealthy, teeth can become severely sensitive and may even fall out.
An extremely common problem with gums is gum recession. Gum recession is basically that — when the gum tissue begins to recede or pull up and away from the tooth. Gum recession can make teeth appear longer than normal and can result in some serious dental problems, including:
- Severe inflammation
- Increased susceptibility to bacteria
- Erosion of bone and supporting tissues
- Tooth pain
- Eventual tooth loss
What Causes Gum Recession?
There are so many things that can lead to gum recession, which may be why it is so common. Some of the top causes of gum recession are:
- Improper or rough brushing
- Tooth grinding
- Tobacco use
- Gum disease
Know the Signs
Since gum recession is usually a slow process that tends to progress over time, recognizing symptoms may be difficult. However, some common early signs may include:
- Teeth that appear longer
- Sensitive teeth
- Little indentations on the teeth near the gum line
While you can catch any of the signs of gum recession at home, the best way to catch it early (which makes treatment more successful) is to maintain regular visits to your dentist in Austin.
If you notice any signs of possible gum recession, or are experiencing pain that may be related to it, we encourage you to call our Austin dental office to schedule an appointment.