Some degree of gum recession is natural due to aging, but there are a variety of behaviors that can cause your gums to recede at a heightened pace. The concern with this situation is that as your gums move away from your teeth, more of each tooth — and potentially even a tooth's root — is exposed. This can leave you at risk of cavities, dental sensitivities, and other issues. It's important to do all that you can to prevent your gums from receding, as this care will prevent an assortment of problems. Here are some things that you may be doing that can contribute to gum recession.
While brushing your teeth frequently is important, the wrong approach may actually contribute to the recession of your gums. For example, using a toothbrush with hard bristles and applying a fair amount of pressure can cause your gums to wear away gradually. Additionally, the wrong brushing mechanics can be problematic. If you brush with an up and down rhythm, you may be unnecessarily wearing your gums down. It's better to brush down on your upper teeth and up on your lower teeth so that your brush's bristles aren't continuously pushing against your gums.
Chewing tobacco is an unhealthy habit for a wide range of reasons including a higher risk of oral cancers. However, this habit can also play a role in the recession of your gums. When you hold this toxic substance in your mouth, it's typically pressed between your bottom lip and the gums below your bottom teeth. Over time, the chemical reaction occurring in this area can cause your gums to erode away from your teeth. You'll also have a higher risk of developing gum disease due to this habit.
Failing To Have Regular Cleanings
Skipping your regularly scheduled cleanings at the dentist can also increase your risk of gum recession. When your teeth aren't professionally cleaned on a regular basis, the plaque that develops along the gum line can cause the gums to push away. This is a concern because as the gums recede, the plaque can continue to spread, and you may soon end up with receded gums and a significant plaque problem — both of which can lead to other dental issues. You're better off asking your doctor how many times a year he or she recommends a professional cleaning, and making sure that you attend these appointments.
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