Chandler Implant Dentist Explores the Dangers of Gum Recession
As an experienced implant dentist in Chandler, Arizona, Dr. Mark Arooni is well-acquainted with the lasting effects of tooth loss. Among adults under the age of 60, the leading cause of tooth loss is gum disease, which affects around 75% of the American adult population to some degree. Your gums, which protect the lower parts of your teeth that are not covered by tooth enamel, become irritated and inflamed when bacterial plaque accumulates along your gumline. The swelling and irritation damages connective tissue, causing your gums to pull away from your teeth and expose the roots (exposed tooth roots are a common cause for tooth sensitivity). This separation, called gum recession, is a tell-tale sign of gum disease, but gum recession is a natural part of aging, as well. Whether natural or due to infection, however, receding gums pose a risk to your oral health and should never be ignored.
Risks of Gum Recession
Your mouth is governed by a delicate ecological system of varying microbes, some harmless and some destructive. The top, visible part of your tooth, called the crown, is protected from these bacteria by tooth enamel, which is the strongest substance that your body produces. In fact, the only substance on earth that is stronger than healthy tooth enamel is diamond. The rest of your tooth continues through your gums and into your jawbone, where a healthy tooth is securely rooted. While enamel protects your tooth’s crown, the roots are protected by your gum tissue, which seal your teeth’s roots from the rest of your mouth. When gum tissue recedes, your roots become exposed. The space between the roots is also exposed, providing a spot for food debris and bacteria to gather and cause more damage. The exposure can also make your teeth sensitive, especially to cold and hot temperatures.
Prevent Gum Recession
Brushing your teeth is essential to controlling plaque along your gumline, but doing so incorrectly can cause more damage than good to your teeth and gums. Be sure to brush your teeth gently using a soft-bristled toothbrush that has the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval on its package. Brushing too harshly can irritate your gums and cause them to recede. If you have a tendency to grind your teeth at night, a habit called bruxism, your habit may cause gum recession. A nightguard, which resembles a mouthguard used for sports, can help prevent the damage caused by nighttime bruxism, including gum recession. Your most powerful tool, however, is as simple as visiting your dentist. Attending a dental checkup and cleaning as often as recommended will allow your dentist to inspect your gums for early signs of disease or recession. Like most health issues, gum recession is better treated the earlier it is detected. To learn more about gum recession, or to learn about treating its devastating side effect, tooth loss, schedule an appointment with Dr. Arooni by calling our Chandler dental office at 480-855-1200. Located in the 85224 area, Lakeview Dental Care proudly serves patients from Chandler, Gilbert, Ahwatukee, Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix, and all surrounding communities.
By Mark Arooni DDS