The first and the biggest reason to have receding gums one is age
; if you're above 40, you're likely to get it. The other reason is bad oral hygiene
. If you don't floss or skip brushing, chances of getting serious periodontal diseases are high. And that's what receding gums are a symptom of.
They are a sign of periodontal disease
, which means if you start experiencing problems with your teeth, like loose teeth or bleeding gums, the worse is yet to come. The most unfortunate news is that gums cannot grow back. They stay like that and the only way to get them back is by a gum graft surgery. The other thing is, receding gums can also occur due to harsh brushing
. This causes the enamel to corrode and the gums to get injured.
Receding Gums and Your Toothbrush
You will need to change the way you brush as well as change your toothbrush. Here are the two categories that will help you decide the kind of toothbrush that's good for reducing the condition.
|Soft and Hard
|If you're using a toothbrush with hard bristles, switch to a softer toothbrush immediately. Using a hard toothbrush will only aggravate the problem. You need to be very gentle with your teeth now and getting a toothbrush with softer bristles is the first step.
|Electric and Manual
|This is more of an opinionated subject and delves more into comfort and dexterity than anything else. If you believe you can handle a brush to get to the plaque using a manual toothbrush, then go for it. A manual toothbrush does give you more control with the way you brush, because it gives you more direction than an electric toothbrush. An electric toothbrush, on the other hand, requires a lot less handling. But I doubt you can get to spots where the manual toothbrush can.
There are two brands that are good at making specialized toothbrushes. The first one is Sonicare
. Your dentist may recommend Sonicare to you as the electric toothbrush to use. It is pretty gentle on the gums, while cleaning out most of the plaque and bacteria on the teeth. The other brand is Oral-B
. This brand is already huge and preferred by most. You get the widest choice of both manual and electric toothbrushes from Oral-B to fulfill all your brushing needs.
Apart from getting the best toothbrush, you also need to look out for the following.
|If your gums have started receding, stop using a whitening toothpaste. Your best option would be to get a mild fluoride toothpaste, one that doesn't corrode the enamel, but rather protects it with a thin film of fluorapatite that shields the teeth from acidic food. If you just underwent some form of tooth surgery or have sensitive teeth in general, you can use Sensodyne toothpaste. It will not corrode the teeth or harm the gums and will reduce gum irritation. Another option is Biotene Dry Mouth toothpaste. It desensitizes teeth and prevents problems that result from a dry mouth.
|Earlier mouthwash used to simply mask the odor, not help reduce its source. Today, we have medicated mouthwash like Listerine that helps fight bacteria that get stuck inside the teeth. You can also rinse your mouth using water mixed with either sage, peppermint or clove oil. Whatever you do, don't make a homemade mouthwash that has baking soda/peroxide, they are especially bad for the teeth as they are very corrosive.
|If you've been told a hundred times already, this will be the 101st time and still be just as adamant: floss your teeth! There is just no substitution to it, flossing reaches between the teeth, somewhere even the best toothbrush can't. There is nothing that should stop you from flossing at least once before you go to sleep. It is the plaque stuck between the teeth that is the main cause of periodontal disease.
It is your responsibility to maintain a good oral hygiene. If you neglect it now, you may have to pay a heavy price later. There are also people with genetically bad teeth; you can't really do much, except brush and floss daily. Keep a watch on your gums, especially if you're 40 or more and consult your dentist if you notice anything wrong. Remember to brush right, not just regularly.