Gum recession is a common problem for people over the age of 40, but it can start as early as the teen years. Genetics, brushing technique, and general oral health all play a part in the onset of receding gums, but there are steps you can take to lower your risk for developing gum recession.
Below are seven tips for preventing receding gums and maintaining good oral hygiene.
* Use soft brushes. Receding gums can be caused by overaggressive brushing with hard bristle toothbrushes. Over time, overzealous brushing can wear away thin gum-tissue, so it’s best to brush your teeth with soft bristles in a circular motion.
* Find ways to relax. Stress plays a significant role in your oral health, and gum recession is more likely to occur if you experience prolonged bouts of stress and anxiety.
* See your dentist at least twice a year. For optimal results, consider seeing your dentist quarterly, or every three months.
* Brush AND floss at least twice a day. Flossing is just as important as brushing because it helps remove bacteria stuck between your teeth and under the gums.
* Rinse with warm salt water. Take one teaspoon of salt and add to one cup of warm water. Rinse for two minutes after meals.
* Watch your intake of acidic foods. Tomatoes, coffee, chocolate and other high-acid foods can aggravate sensitive teeth and lead to other damage over time.
* Don’t clench or grind your gums. Many dentists believe that teeth clenching and/or grinding can cause gum recession, so be sure to see your oral health professional if you experience this.
As a final note, if you experience receding gums, don’t beat yourself up about it. Many times, gum recession is NOT caused by poor dental hygiene, but by genetic factors that are beyond your control.