Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Why Are My Gums Receding?

There are two major causes of receding gums.  In both cases or any other possibility, you should consult a periodontist.

They have tools and skills that could possibly help you.  

What are the two major causes of receding gums? 

1. Gum Disease

2. Brushing too hard.  

These are the major causes but there can be other reasons, and seeing a periodontist to rule other possibilities out, as well as to deal with these major causes is a good idea.  

Brushing too hard is a problem that many of us have.  

It really is a big problem.  I talked to a gentleman today who told me about his problem.  I asked him if he was using a soft bristled brush.  The answer was no.   But he was quite sure that he was being gentle with his hard bristled brush. 

If you are doing this, switch to a soft bristle.  There is no reason to use a hard or medium bristled brush unless your dentist specifically told you to.  I can't think of many reasons why they would have you do that, but you never know.  

Soft is best.  It's not the full answer however. You can still brush too hard even with a soft bristled brush.  

Like the gentleman mentioned above, you might not believe you are brushing hard.  So try this trick out: 

Get a pair of earplugs.  Put them in.  Then, brush your teeth as you normally do.  You might suddenly become aware of just how hard you are brushing after all.  You might be surprised.  

It is not necessary to brush hard.   The purpose of brushing your teeth is NOT to scrub dirt away. That's the wrong idea, the wrong picture and that notion can lead to brushing way to hard.   

What Is The Purpose of Brushing?  

If you are in the camp that thinks you have to really scrub your teeth hard, I hope this information will help you realize what the true purpose of brushing is.  

The real reason we brush and floss (and whatever else we might do, such as using an irrigator or Perio Aid, is to disrupt plaque. 

Plaque is a living bio layer formed by 'bad bacteria'  that wish to shield themselves from oxygen.  Once the plaque layer is intact for about a day (more or less) , the bacteria begin to secrete acidic byproducts that come from anaerobic (without oxygen).  bacteria.    

These acidic byproducts, when the bacteria accumulate to large enough quantities, can destroy gum tissue.   

When you disrupt the plaque or bio film on a daily basis, you are depriving the bacteria of this capability.   So, the daily disruption of plaque is important to you in the fight against both gum disease and cavities!  

Brush gently because the bio layer is really easy to disrupt!  It doesn't take much.  But what is required is consistency.   As soon as you slack or are not thorough enough, those areas may appear where the bacteria can begin and maintain their vicious acidic assault on your gums and bones underneath.

So you see, you can simply brush gently - just brush consistently.  Hard toothbrushes are not necessary.  

If you can do this, you might be able to keep your gums from getting worse.  

You might also consider using an oral irrigator in addition to your regular flossing. 

So gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss.  But receding gums can come from brushing too hard.  So take it easy, just be consistent.  Follow the brushing instructions of your dentist or hygienist.  

David for

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