Gum disease is a very common condition that involves the loss of tissue around your teeth. This can have serious consequences such as receding gums, infection, and more. Keep reading to find out the answers to the most common questions related to gums and what to do to keep your gums and mouth healthy.
What Are The Best Preventive Measures For Gums?
Some of the most searched gums frequently asked questions have to do with how to keep them healthy. To prevent gum disease, it is important to maintain great oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing, and cleaning your dentures. Experts recommend that you brush your teeth and gum line at least twice a day, usually in the morning and before going to bed.
Use a proper toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head, along with fluoride toothpaste to make the job more efficient. Make sure to change your toothbrush once in a while to avoid causing the opposite effect of what you’re trying to do.
As for flossing, use this or any other tool (that an oral health professional would recommend) to clean between your teeth to completely get rid of leftover food, bacteria, and more. Finally, if you use any type of denture it is essential that you clean it daily to eliminate plaque and decrease the chances of developing gum disease.
Other great prevention measures to keep healthy gums include avoiding sugary foods and drinks, quitting smoking as well as keeping your blood sugar levels controlled (especially for people who have diabetes).
Can Receding Gums Be Reversed?
Receding gums is a very common consequence of gum disease, where the tissue around your teeth starts to disappear (loss of tissue), resulting in swollen and red gums, bad breath, bad taste, and loss of teeth.
Unfortunately, receding gums are not reversible, since the tissue around your teeth won’t grow back, but you can do certain things to stop the condition from getting worse. For example, scaling and root planing, known as deep cleaning treatments, can help treat gum recession and prevent it from spreading.
Can Gums Grow Back?
No, they can’t. As we exposed in the previous point, when the tissue around your teeth starts to weaken and disappear, it can’t naturally grow back.
Some medical treatments can help restore your health and appearance such as a gum graft. This is known as a very effective technique to replace the missing tissue and achieve a natural look. It involves using soft tissue from another part of your mouth and grafting it onto your gums to allow it to grow.
What Are The Best Professional Options?
For treating gum disease and its consequences, there are some professional options you should know about.
To begin, we have an excellent non-invasive and quick option called “laser periodontal therapy”, in which your dentists will use a laser to target a specific area of your mouth and remove the inflamed gum tissue that it’s hurting the root of your tooth. After this is done, they’ll remove the plaque build-up found around and below your gum line to later smooth out rough spots in that exact place. This decreases the chances of attracting more bacteria to your gums and teeth, preventing possible infections.
Once you’ve gone through laser therapy you’ll need to let your mouth rest and recuperate. Your gums should be kept uninfected to allow them to tighten around your teeth again.
Apart from this, there are gum treatments that involve surgery such as flap surgery, bone graft surgeries, and soft tissue grafts. The first one is known as a pocket reduction surgery, where dentists carefully peel back your gums so the tartar can be removed and an oral health professional can smooth out any irregular surfaces found on your teeth and below your gum line.
The next procedure involves using fragments of bone already present in your body (or a synthetic bone, or a donor’s bone) and grafting them into your jaw to act as a replacement for the bone that has disappeared due to gum disease.
Lastly, soft tissue grafts are very similar to the one just mentioned with the slight difference of using soft tissue present in your mouth to graft it around the exposed portion of your teeth.
Inform at your dentist about professional options.
Can You Brush Too Hard?
Yes, you can brush too hard and damage your healthy gums. Not only can you apply too much pressure on your gums and hurt them, but also use an old brush and the wrong technique that can all together start debilitating your mouth.
Aggressively brushing your teeth can actually recede your gums, according to specialists, as well as fade the white and glossy look of your teeth (along with the lack of brushing and drinking/eating staining foods).
The proper way to brush your teeth involves 2 steps. With a soft-bristled toothbrush, place it at a 45° angle to your gums (step 1), allowing the bristles to reach underneath the gums and properly clean them; and then gently move your brush back and forth (step 2), using short-wide strokes to clean all parts of your teeth, including the outer and inner part as well as the bottom.
For those who use an electric toothbrush, let the device do the work and simply move it over your teeth, without applying too much pressure and using a gentle grip. Dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice a day for around two minutes.
Your dentist can help you validate if you are brushing correctly.
Can You Get Receding Gums From Braces?
Braces themselves won’t cause receding gums, however, the way you brush your teeth and keep your mouth clean will determine if you’ll end up with healthy gums or not.
If you recently got your braces it is crucial that you pay close attention to how you brush your teeth and get rid of bacteria, leftover food, and build-up plaque, since they can easily get between your braces and your teeth and cause an infection. Daily brushing your teeth properly and for around two minutes, flossing your teeth, and using mouthwash can all help prevent receding gums as well as gum disease.
Since getting braces requires frequent appointments with your dentist (usually once a month or once every 8 weeks), your health care professional can keep a close eye on your gums and provide you with tips on how to take better care of your gums, as well as indicate treatment in case some sign of receding gums has appeared.
Gums Frequently Asked Questions Answered
In this article, we answered the most frequently asked questions about gums that have to do with how to prevent gum disease and receding gums from developing, the best professional options for both issues, what happens if you brush your teeth too hard and if you can get receding gums from wearing braces.
All the information shared in this post has been found in several fact-checked sites and provided by oral health professionals. We encourage you to schedule an appointment with a dentist if you have any doubts or want to get an exact diagnosis of your gums and general oral hygiene.