What is it that keeps gums healthy and at an acceptable level around tooth structure? Why do some patients experience site specific areas of recession whilst others deal with more generalized gum loss throughout the mouth? Is it trauma that causes gums to recede or exposure to oral bacteria that irritates tissue – causing it to shrink away in an attempt to avoid inflaming toxins? Or maybe you feel that you’ve inherited bad gums and have given up hope of them ever being healthy? Gum health impacts the entire oral system and can damage a patient’s confidence, especially when front teeth reveal the signs of recession.
Is It Just Due To Oral Bacteria?
Even healthy mouths are covered in bacteria – some friendly and some not so friendly. The act of brushing and flossing daily helps keep a healthy balance between healing and damaging bacteria as colonies of bacteria that may be trying to setup permanent residence around teeth are broken up – weakening them and reducing their numbers. Left to their own devices bacteria quickly grow in number which can be damaging in mouths that lack adequate oral hygiene as food debris provides sustenance to bacteria and the end result is the release of acid and toxins. It’s the acids and toxins that erode tooth enamel and irritate gum tissue – causing it to swell, bleed easily and pull away from teeth – and overtime develop pockets that trap more food particles and bacteria that leads to supporting bone becoming inflamed and irritated. Is it just bacteria that cause gums to recede? It’s the perfect storm of bacteria and poor oral hygiene that causes gums to become irritated.
But What About Patients Who Brush and Floss Daily?
This is probably one of the most frustrating situations for patients – they’re brushing, flossing, rinsing, brushing some more and yet their gums show signs of irritation and recession – what’s that all about? We know that bacteria plays a role in gum disease – but force also causes gum levels to change. What we mean by force is unbalanced pressure being exerted on certain teeth or areas of the mouth. When a person clenches and grinds their teeth incredible pressure is being exerted – this force causes teeth to flex and the surrounding tissue accommodates the flexion and in time will adapt to the movement of teeth during times of grinding.
It’s important to note that recession can occur in otherwise healthy mouths and that it’s not always due to a lack of oral hygiene.