If you have gums that are red, swollen, tender or bleeding, or you can see your gums receding from the teeth, you may have gum disease. You may also notice a bad taste in the mouth that won’t go away, and have bad breath. Gum disease is a condition where gum tissue surrounding the teeth pull 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.
Causes may include:
Bruxism—grinding your teeth while you sleep can wear down tooth enamel over time.
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.
Maintain proper nutrition through a healthy diet, avoid smoking and tobacco use, and your gums will reward you with a healthy smile! If you have any questions or concerns, please call our staff at Smiles Dental at 503.877.1844 today.