When you drink a hot cup of coffee or when you take a bite of cold ice cream, do you experience a jolt of pain? If so, it is important to bring this information to light with your dentist because this is a troubling concern. Tooth sensitivity is commonly caused by gum recession. Beyond the sudden discomfort that you feel, gum recession can compromise the health of your entire smile.
Gum recession is the pulling away of the gum tissue that surrounds and protects the teeth. Each tooth is a living feature of the human body with its own nerve fibers and roots that connect it to its blood supply. When the roots and nerves of a tooth are exposed, twinges of pain and discomfort can be felt when temperature changes, biting pressure, and even breaths of cool air occur inside the mouth. Tooth sensitivity is often the first sign that gum recession is occurring, giving you a warning sign that you need to visit your dentist. While this may seem like a minor issue, gum recession can lead to serious issues with your oral health. Receding gums allow for bacteria to reach the root of the tooth, damaging it at its life-source. Gum recession that goes untreated can lead to serious gum disease and even tooth loss.
The most common causes of gum recession are:
- Aggressive brushing.
- While it is necessary to put a little force into brushing in order to create friction, brushing your teeth too aggressively will damage your gum tissues. Brushing too hard causes the gums to pull away from the teeth.
- Inadequate dental hygiene.
- Bacteria are present inside the mouth at all times. If you are not flossing your teeth every day, your mouth is becoming a harboring ground for bacterial growth. Flossing is the single most important dental hygiene habit because it is the only tool specifically designed to clean away bacteria-laden plaque from the gum line and tight spaces between the teeth.
- Gum disease.
- Gum disease occurs when plaque at the gum line begins to infect and eat away at gum tissues. Gum tissue can quickly lead to irreversible gum damage and tooth loss.
- Misaligned teeth.
- A crooked smile is more than just unattractive, it is difficult to clean. Teeth that are misaligned leave some teeth able to be brushed and flossed easily while others are not easily reached. Having a straight smile not only gives you an attractive smile, but it helps keep your teeth healthier.
Contact Riverheart Dentistry with any concerns regarding teeth sensitivity or gum recession. We are here for all of your oral health needs.