Causes You Can’t Control
There are several causes of receding gums you just can’t control, genetic and biologic factors that may put you at an increased risk for receding gums, including:
- Thin, sensitive gums
- Predisposition to gum disease
- Hormone changes
Some people have thinner, more sensitive gums than others. These gums aren’t as able to resist damage from aggressive tooth brushing, certain foods, and oral piercings.
Other people are at an increased risk for gum disease. Gum disease severity is partly related to your oral hygiene, but it’s also due to your body’s response to oral bacteria and its tendency to attack your own tissue while fighting infection.
Hormone effects are also beyond your control. Women are vulnerable to gum disease during puberty, pregnancy, and after menopause. In some cases, hormone therapy can help, but in many cases, the only prevention is taking extra care of your teeth and gums.
Causes You Can Influence
There are several contributors to receding gums that you may not be able to completely control, but you can influence, such as:
- Oral hygiene
- Crooked teeth
- Bite forces
Your gum disease risk is mediated by your genes, but it’s also related to how well you take care of your teeth and gums. Brushing twice daily, flossing every day, and visiting the dentist regularly for more thorough cleanings will help prevent receding gums.
You can’t control whether you develop crooked teeth, but you can decide whether to have them straightened. Crooked teeth are harder to clean than straight teeth. Teeth that jut out at unusual angles make it harder for your gums to hang on, making them vulnerable to other forces like aggressive tooth brushing or eating damaging foods. They can also contribute to a bad bite.
Excessive bite forces can lead to receding gums because they cause your teeth to flex, which can make it harder for gums to hold on.
Lifestyle Causes of Receding Gums
There are also many causes of receding gums that are completely under your control, including:
- Tobacco use
- Alcohol use
- Aggressive tooth brushing
- Oral piercings
Tobacco use is one of the most damaging things you can do to your gums. Cigarette smoke and especially chewing tobacco are directly harmful to your gums. They also decrease the blood supply to your gums, making it harder for them to recover. They can also encourage the growth of oral bacteria, making gum disease worse.
Alcohol use is also damaging to your gums. Alcohol hurts your gums, and it dries out your mouth, which can make it harder for your body to fight gum disease bacteria.
Many people think that brushing harder and faster is better for removing plaque, but what it’s really better at is removing your gums. Brush with moderate pressure using a soft-bristle brush. Small circular motions can help you keep brushing under control.
Oral piercings are very damaging to your gums. The constant pressure and irritation can lead to receding gums.
If you have developed receding gums, there are treatment options available, including gum grafts. To learn whether you are a candidate for gum graft in Beverly Hills, please contact Dr. Nicolas Ravon today for a consultation with a periodontist.