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Do you have a bad taste in your mouth that just won’t go away? What about persistent bad breath? If notice that you have gums that are red, swollen, tender or bleeding, and can see your gums receding from your teeth, you may have gum disease!

What is gum recession? This is where the gum tissue surrounding the teeth pulls back from the tooth, exposing either the tooth or the tooth roots. When this happens, gaps–or pockets–arise between the teeth and the gum line allowing bacteria to hide and build up. If left untreated, this can cause long-term problems including tooth loss. What causes this to happen?

Aggressive brushing
Constant wear and tear from brushing too hard can wear down tooth enamel.

Misaligned teeth
If your bite doesn’t align correctly, the pressure on the individual teeth can create gum recession.

Gum tissue trauma
If your gums have experienced some kind of traumatic injury the tissue may recede from the tooth.

Poor oral hygiene
If you aren’t cleaning your teeth correctly every day, this can result in periodontitis. Dental plaque can turn into calculus (tartar) that can only be removed by a dental professional.

Grinding teeth while sleeping wears down tooth enamel.

If even one of your parents has receding gums, you are at higher risk for gum disease. Studies have shown that 30% of us may be predisposed to gum disease.

What you can do:

— Take excellent care of your teeth and gums by brushing and flossing daily.
— Lower the amount of harmful oral bacteria by using an antibacterial toothpaste and mouth rinse.
— To prevent tooth grinding and clenching during sleep, you can wear a mouth guard, sometimes called a night guard.
— Keep all scheduled dental cleanings so that our doctors can remove any plaque buildup (calculus).

If you have signs of gum disease, see your dentist to begin any necessary treatment. Untreated gum disease can eventually result in tooth loss. Please call our Oakmont Family Dentists team if you have any questions or concerns. We can be reached at 412-828-3311 today!