Two Steps You Can Take to Minimise Your Risk of Gingival Recession

Dentist Blog

Gingival recession (otherwise known as receding gums) can drastically increase your chances of experiencing serious dental problems, including chronic tooth sensitivity and tooth loss. As such, it's important to take steps to minimise your risk of developing this issue. Here are two ways to do this.

Be careful about how you brush your teeth

Your tooth-brushing technique can play a significant role in your chances of developing gingival recession. For example, moving your toothbrush from side to side can push your gum line upwards. If you have a tendency to do this, you should try brushing downwards from the gum line to the edge of your teeth instead.

The amount of pressure that you use when brushing your teeth can also affect the health of your gums. Whilst it's a very common misconception that using lots of pressure is the most effective way to clean your teeth, the reality is that aggressive tooth brushing is one of the most common causes of gingival recession, as the excessive amount of pressure this places on the gums usually results in them shifting upwards.

If you often brush your teeth in this manner, you should try to make a conscious effort to use less force when brushing. If you're unsure about whether or not you are currently using too much pressure, take a close look at the bristles of your toothbrush; if they are splayed out or broken, you are probably being too aggressive and need to take a gentler approach to this part of your oral hygiene routine.

Never skip a scale-and-polish appointment

If you're not experiencing any symptoms of dental health problems, it can be tempting to cancel your trip to the dentist for your bi-annual scale-and-polish appointment. However, if you want to minimise your risk of developing receding gums, it is absolutely vital not to do this. Getting your teeth professionally cleaned by a dentist on a regular basis is one of the best ways to reduce your chances of developing periodontal disease, a condition which has now been shown to be one of the leading causes of gingival recession. As such, by going for a scale-and-polish at least twice a year, you can drastically reduce your chances of dealing with all of the negative consequences of receding gums.

The primary reason that getting a scale-and-polish can help to prevent periodontal disease (and, therefore, gingival recession) is that it removes the solidified plaque (referred to by dentists as 'tartar') that cannot be removed by flossing or brushing. Tartar can lead to gum inflammation which can, in turn, result in gingivitis (a type of gum infection which is considered to be the first phase of periodontal disease). As such, by having tartar removed by your dentist, you can prevent this inflammation (and all of the subsequent consequences of this inflammation) from occurring.


12 April 2018

Unraveling Dental Myths about Children: A Blog for Parents

When I had my first child, I was a nervous wreck. Every book I read gave different advice, and I just wanted to be right! By the time I had my third child, some of the stress had abated. I now realised, there were tons of different perspectives on everything related to raising children including dentistry. To help parents, I have created this blog dedicated to unraveling dental myths about children. I am including posts that weigh both sides of issues such as thumb sucking, dental caries, breastfeeding, flossing and any other topic I can think of. I hope you find the information you need to unravel dental myths, but most importantly, I hope you find some peace of mind. With kids and dentistry, there can be more than one right answer, and I want you to be able to relax and go with the answer that's right for you.