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If you have gums that are red, swollen, tender or bleeding, you may have gum disease. You may also notice a bad taste in the mouth that won’t go away, and bad breath. If you can see your gums receding from the teeth, you may have gingival recession, or receding gums.

What is Gingival Recession? This is when gum tissue surrounding the teeth pulls back from the tooth, exposing the tooth or the tooth roots. When this happens, gaps (or pockets) arise between the teeth and the gum line, where bacteria can hide and build up. If this is not stopped, it can cause long-term problems including tooth loss. What causes this to happen?

Causes May Include:

Bruxism—grinding your teeth while you sleep can wear down tooth enamel.

Brushing too hard—this can wear down tooth enamel over time.

Misaligned teeth—if your bite doesn’t match up correctly, it can cause pressure on individual teeth, wearing down the enamel and resulting in gum recession.

Heredity—if one or both of your parents have receding gums, you are at higher risk. Studies have shown that 30% of people may be predisposed to gum disease.

Gum tissue trauma—if your gums have experienced an injury the tissue may recede.

Poor oral habits—not cleaning your teeth properly can result in periodontitis, because plaque can turn into calculus (tartar) that can only be removed by a dental professional.

What You Can Do:

Make sure you take good care of your teeth and gums by brushing and flossing those pearly whites daily.

You can tamp down on oral bacteria by using an antibacterial toothpaste and mouth rinse.

If you grind and clench your teeth while sleeping, consider getting a mouth guard.

See your dentist so that plaque buildup (tartar) can be removed.

If you think you may have the signs of gum disease, see Dr. Rogers so that any necessary treatment can begin. Untreated gum disease can eventually result in tooth loss. Please call the Shoals Smile By Design dental team if you have any questions or concerns. We can be reached at 256-314-0676 today!