How to Fix Receding Gums

Brunette woman with receding gums covers her mouth in embarrassment

If you are concerned that your gums are receding, you are probably wondering if there’s anything you can do about it! Here, we’ll discuss what receding gums are, what causes them, and how they can be fixed.

What Are Receding Gums?

Gum recession is when the gum tissue that surrounds your teeth pulls back and recedes to expose more of the tooth and its root. Because gums are meant to protect your teeth and help secure them to the bone, there can be dental issues when your gums recede. Receding gums form pockets between the tooth and the gumline, which are great homes for bacteria to build up in, leaving your mouth susceptible to tooth sensitivity, decay, infection, and tooth loss.

What Causes Receding Gums?

There are a number of things that can cause your gums to recede:

  1. Poor Oral Hygiene
  2. The most common cause of receding gums is poor oral hygiene habits that lead to periodontal disease. Not brushing and flossing every day will lead to the accumulation of a sticky film of bacteria (called plaque) and tartar (hardened plaque) along your teeth and under your gumline. If left untreated, bacterial gum infections can destroy not only your gum tissue but also the bone that’s holding your teeth in place!

  3. Genetics
  4. Your genes can also influence your risk of gum disease and recession; 30% of people are believed to be more susceptible to gum disease and receding gums just based on their genetic makeup. However, oral hygiene has a much greater impact on your gum health than your genetics, so nobody is doomed to have unhealthy gums solely based on their genetic code.

  5. Hormones
  6. Hormonal changes in women during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause can make their gums more sensitive to irritation and inflammation, and therefore recession. For female patients, regular dental checkups and consistent oral hygiene are always important, but particularly key during these times.

  7. Unusual Forces
  8. Abnormal pressure on your teeth and gums can also cause irritation and recession. This can happen if you aggressively brush your teeth, grind or clench your teeth, or have a misaligned bite that results in unusual forces. To prevent these forces, brush gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush and ask us about a custom nightguard for bruxism and our orthodontic treatments.

Can Receding Gums Be Fixed?

There are a number of treatment options for receding gums, which all depend on the cause of the gum recession and how severe it is. In general, a look at your oral health habits is always warranted. Ask yourself:

  • Do I brush my teeth twice a day for two minutes each time with a fluoridated toothpaste?
  • Do I use a soft-bristled toothbrush?
  • Do I floss at least once a day, with either string floss or a water flosser?
  • Do I drink plenty of water?
  • Do I eat a balanced diet low in sugar and refined carbohydrates?
  • Do I avoid chewing sugary gum?
  • Do I avoid tobacco products?
  • When was the last time I had a dental checkup & cleaning?

If your gum recession is caused by periodontal disease, the first step is tooth scaling and root planting, where we remove the accumulated plaque and tartar from the surface and roots of your teeth. This will help your gum tissue heal and reattach to the tooth. If your gum recession is very advanced, with deep pockets, infection, and loss of bone, more complex measures will be needed, such as surgery, grafting, and antibiotics.

Consult with Our Expert Team!

Regardless of the level of gum damage and its cause, our team can put together a personalized treatment plan to restore your smile to full health. So if you need treatment for gum recession, contact us today.

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Brunette woman clenching and grinding her teeth while sleeping in a white bed has bruxism

In this blog post, we’ll discuss bruxism, including its warning signs, potential causes, and treatment.

What Is Bruxism?

Bruxism is a condition that involves clenching and grinding teeth while you’re awake or asleep. For some, bruxism will not require treatment, but for others, the grinding may be so severe and frequent that it could lead to jaw disorders, damaged teeth, and chronic headaches if not addressed. Those who have sleep bruxism may have a harder time diagnosing themselves since they may not be aware of it, which is one reason why regular dental checkups are important. At every appointment, we’ll examine your teeth for unusual signs of wear and tear, which may indicate you grind your teeth.

What Are the Warning Signs of Bruxism?

Some indicators of bruxism that you should be on the lookout for include:

  • Sounds of clacking and grinding teeth that wake up your sleep partner
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Broken, flattened, or chipped teeth
  • Pain or soreness in the jaw, neck, or face
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Pain that mimics an earache
  • Tight or locked jaw muscles
  • Dull headaches at the temples
  • Sleep disruption & daytime sleepiness

What Causes Bruxism?

Some experts think that bruxism is caused by emotional issues such as stress, frustration, anger, tension, or anxiety. Other contributing factors may include malocclusion (when the teeth and jaw don’t line up correctly), anti-depressant medications (such as Zoloft, Prozac, and Paxil), rare conditions that affect the nerves and muscles in the face, or complications from Huntington’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.

How Can Bruxism Be Treated?

Once you have been diagnosed by our expert dental team, we can determine the best course of action to address your unique situation. One of the most common treatments is a nightguard, which will separate your teeth and help your chewing muscles to relax so that you can’t damage your teeth. Other solutions include stress or anxiety management, as well as behavioral therapy in which you practice positioning your mouth and jaw in a way that protects your teeth.

Get In Touch with Our Team for Treatment

Do you think you might be suffering from bruxism? Take a big step toward healthier teeth and a better night of sleep–contact Embrace Dental Care today!

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Brunette woman wears a baseball cap and smiles with her mouth open showing good oral health and overall body wellness

You may not realize it, but your dental health is closely connected to the health of your overall body. Here, we’ll explain what the connection between them is, what conditions affect both your dental and overall wellness, and how to protect your oral health.

The Connection Between Dental Health & Overall Wellness

Your mouth is essentially a gateway to the rest of the body–a gateway that is naturally filled with bacteria, most of it harmless, but some of it potentially dangerous. With proper oral hygiene, such as brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day, you can rid your mouth of much of the bad bacteria that cause poor oral health. However, if you do not thoroughly clean your mouth, you run the risk of developing serious dental health issues, such as bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay. These conditions are worrisome for your teeth and gums, but they can also negatively impact the rest of your body.

Conditions Associated with Poor Oral Health

One of the most serious conditions associated with poor dental health is cardiovascular disease. Research suggests that oral bacteria associated with your dental issues can get into your bloodstream and travel to your heart. This leads to clogged and hardened arteries, a condition called atherosclerosis, which can contribute to a stroke, heart attack, and tissue death. Bad bacteria from your mouth can also make its way to your heart and cause endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of your heart.

Gum disease is another culprit that affects both the mouth and the body. When you have inflamed and infected gums, you can breath in that bad bacteria and develop an infection in your lungs like pneumonia. Gum disease has also been linked to low birth weight and premature birth. Moreover, there is early evidence that suggests an association with Alzheimer’s disease.

Health Conditions with Oral Effects

There are also a number of health conditions that affect the mouth. Those who have diabetes have an increased risk of developing gum disease because diabetes can decrease the body’s ability to fight infection. People who have HIV/AIDS often have painful oral health issues such as mucosal lesions, and those with Alzheimer’s disease experience a decreased ability to care for their oral hygiene as their dementia progresses. Other health conditions that affect oral health include osteoporosis, eating disorders, head and neck cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjogren’s syndrome, an immune disorder.

How to Keep Your Oral Health in Tip-Top Shape

Regardless of the current state of your oral health and your overall health, the best way to protect your oral health is by practicing good oral health habits every day. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time with a fluoridated toothpaste, floss at least once a day, drink plenty of water, and eat a healthy diet low in added sugar, refined carbohydrates, and acids. It’s also vital for your oral health to come in for regular checkups and cleanings. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment at Embrace Dental Care!

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View looking up into 3 dentists in turquoise scrubs holding tools performing dental surgery

If you’ve just had oral surgery, you may be wondering how you should recover after the procedure. Here, we’ll give you some tips on how to care for your teeth after dental surgery.

  1. Take It Easy
  2. One of the most important things to do for your teeth and your body is to take it easy so yourself time to heal. Particularly in the 24-48 hours after surgery, don’t perform any strenuous physical activity, drive a car, or operate machinery. Instead, stay home and rest in bed or on the couch with your head propped up by pillows. This will reduce any bleeding or swelling.

  3. Ice Your Mouth
  4. After dental surgery your face may swell or bruise. While this is completely normal, you can apply ice to your face and jaw to help the swelling go down. For the first 24 hours after the surgery, place ice packs against your face for 15 minutes and then remove for another 15 minutes. Repeat this process as needed.

  5. Be Careful of What You Eat
  6. While you may be ready to chow down on a hamburger after surgery, your mouth and teeth won’t. For the next few days after the surgery, choose soft foods and liquids such as pureed soup, yogurt, smoothies, applesauce, cream of wheat, and oatmeal. Just make sure nothing is too hot or too cold. If possible, opt for foods that are high in vitamins A and C–which will aid the healing process–such as mashed sweet potatoes and stewed carrots. Additionally, avoid alcohol and anything spicy, don’t drink from any straws, and stay away from any and all tobacco products.

    Aerial view of a bowl of soft white yogurt sprinkled with uncooked oats and sliced strawberries

  7. Brush Carefully
  8. After surgery, you’ll need to continue to brush your teeth, but be sure to be very gentle around the affected area. You don’t want to cause any further irritation.

  9. Keep Your Mouth Clean
  10. Avoid rinsing for 24 hours after the procedure. But then, to help keep the surgical site clean, gently rinse with warm salt water a few times a day. This rinse gently removes any bits of food stuck around the affected area that could lead to tooth decay or infection.

  11. Follow Your Dentist’s Orders
  12. It is vital that you follow the instructions of your dental surgeon. Follow all their post-operative care instructions and only take any prescriptions in the correct doses. By following their recommendations, you can avoid infection and promote a smooth recovery.

More Questions? Ask Us!

If you have any other questions about caring for your teeth after dental surgery, contact us today.

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Embrace
Your Smile!

8544 US Highway 42, Suite 500, Florence, KY 41042
(859) 371-4000

Practice Hours
Mon - Tue: 8AM - 5PM
Weds - Thurs: 10AM - 7PM
Friday: 10AM - 5PM
4122 Shelbyville Rd Suite 103,
Louisville, KY 40207
(502) 890-7760

Practice Hours
Mon - Tue: 8AM - 5PM
Weds - Thurs: 10AM - 7PM
Friday: 10AM - 5PM