Aging affects all aspects of physical health, but did you know that aging has a specific affect on the gumline? If you’ve noticed receding gums, you’ve seen oral aging at work. You might notice that your teeth look longer and the gumline now exposes more of each tooth. Often, this process begins long before you notice it because the effects are slow and cumulative. So what causes this change in the gumline? It could be:
Hormones: Fluctuations in female hormone levels that come with puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, can all impact the gums.
Periodontal diseases: bacterial gum infections can destroy gum tissue and supporting bone that hold your teeth in place
Genetics: Gum disease and resulting gum recession are strongly genetic, no matter how well you care for your teeth.
- Tooth brushing too aggressively: Gentle brushing twice daily with a soft-bristled brush is all it takes (combined with daily flossing) to remove daily plaque in between professional cleanings.
- Crooked teeth: if teeth do not come together evenly, too much force can be placed on the gums and bone.
- Tobacco: smoking and chewing tobacco contribute to gum disease and gum recession.
Piercings: Lip or tongue piercings can rub the gums and wear gum tissue away.
Gum recession is, unfortunately, a normal and natural aging process for the gumline. It can, however, be prevented and slowed with proper oral treatments. If you have questions about receding gums, contact Dr. Shields for more information!