Are you a Little Long in the Tooth? Here’s why that Could be a Problem!

gum diseaseTo be long in the tooth may not be a bad thing. That is, if you’re horse! This old adage was once a common description of a horse that was up there in age. The saying was also common in past centuries when describing an older individual. It is not that our teeth grow longer the older we get. Rather, the phrase is indicative of the inherent changes that were expected to occur in gum tissue in the aging adult. Today, to be long in the tooth could mean trouble for your oral health.

Gum recession is a problem that can affect the appearance of your teeth and also your comfort.
When gums become recessed, underlying roots and nerves are poorly protected from outside influence. This can result in an ongoing struggle with tooth sensitivity that minimizes the enjoyment of warm and cold beverages and foods. Exposed root surfaces, like other areas of your teeth can also develop cavities if they are not covered as they should be. If cavities develop on roots, the need for a root canal therapy may become a very real prospect.

Gums that recede are gums that are weak. You need your gum tissue to be resilient and healthy so that the margins between them and your teeth remain tight. Any looseness in this area creates a vulnerability to plaque and oral bacteria. If plaque accumulates between the gums and teeth, it becomes difficult to avoid the issue of bad breath. Also, small pockets of plaque invite the infection we know as gum disease.

Can you Avoid Gum Recession?

The good news is you can avoid this common problem just as you can avoid other dental conditions. Additionally, it may not be necessary to take extraordinary measures to do so.

Often, gum tissue recedes because of plaque buildup and the inflammation it causes. This can be prevented by brushing your teeth morning and night and by flossing each day.  While it is necessary to brush and floss, that does not mean that you need to be aggressive about it. A soft bristled toothbrush and gentle circular motions are much more efficient than brushing harshly. Too much force causes abrasions, which can then trap food debris and bacteria.

Because we understand that healthy gums promote healthy teeth and that a healthy mouth promotes a healthy body, it is important to us to help each of our patients manage issues like gum recession.

Schedule your visit with us for the gentle care your smile needs.

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