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Can Gum Recession Be Prevented?

Aug 01, 2023
Can Gum Recession Be Prevented?
Either your teeth are getting longer or your gums are shrinking, and you suspect it’s the latter. Gum recession isn’t uncommon, especially as you get older, but is it unavoidable?

Your gums play a critical role in protecting your teeth, so when they start to shrink, you’re wondering whether there’s cause for concern, and whether you can do anything to slow the recession. The short answer to both of these questions is, “Yes.”

As periodontal experts, the team here at Baton Rouge Perio, under the capable direction of Dr. Kenneth Markle, Dr. Jenny Herman and Dr. Barry Biner excels in all things related to gum health. We understand, better than most, why healthy gums are important, and we do everything in our power to help our patients maintain great gum health.

When it comes to gum recession, here’s what we want you to know.

Why gums are so important

The reason gum recession concerns us is that your gums play an invaluable role in your oral health. 

First, this tissue creates a tight seal around your teeth that prevents harmful bacteria from gaining access inside. This not only protects your roots, but your entire jawbone.

Second, your gum tissues also help to keep your teeth in place and firmly rooted in your jawbone.

Behind gum recession

There are many factors that can lead to gum recession, with periodontal disease leading the charge. Gum disease affects nearly half of adults aged 30 and older in the United States, and this number jumps to more than 70% for adults aged 65 and older

The reality is that the older you are, the more susceptible you are to gum disease, as these tissues naturally weaken and break down over time. This accounts for the fact that 88% of people over the age of 65 have gum recession in at least one tooth, and often many more.

Outside of age and gum disease, there are a few other factors that can lead to gum recession, such as:

  • Tobacco use, including smoking and chewing tobacco
  • Brushing your teeth too aggressively
  • Genetics
  • Lip and tongue piercings

We put tobacco use at the top of the list because nearly 65% of smokers have gum disease.

Preventing gum recession

There are many ways you can prevent or slow gum recession and the most important is to have the right team in your corner. As part of our periodontal maintenance services, for example, we can assess your gums from one visit to the next and spot any signs of recession so we can act quickly. 

In addition to our oversight, there are a few things you can do on your own to combat gum recession, including:

  • Quitting tobacco use, if applicable
  • Brushing, flossing, and rinsing your teeth daily
  • Not brushing your teeth too hard (hold your brush with only your thumb and forefinger)

It’s important to note that receding gums won’t readily resolve themselves on their own. The above are techniques to prevent or halt recession, but now let’s get into treatments.

Addressing existing gum recession

If you have considerable gum recession, we offer several procedures that address gum recession, including:

  • Root planing and scaling
  • Pocket reduction surgery
  • Gum grafting
  • Laser therapy
  • Pinhole surgical technique

As you can see, there are many ways we can help with your gum recession. To learn more, please contact our office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to schedule an appointment today.