NO ONE LOOKS FORWARD to getting “long in the tooth” because of gum recession.
However, while tooth length might be an accurate yardstick for judging the age of a horse, age is not the culprit behind receding gums in humans. Gum recession is simply such a gradual process that it can take decades before the effects are noticeable.
Not All Gum Recession Is Avoidable
There are many contributing factors to gum recession, and some, unfortunately, include genetics . Some people simply have fragile gums or don’t have enough jaw bone covering the front of the roots of their teeth to support gums up to the crowns. The good news is that many of the other contributing factors can be controlled, and even if you’re predisposed to gum recession, there are ways to minimize it.
Bruxism Versus Your GumsChronic teeth-grinding, or bruxism, causes a whole host of problems for your oral health, and one of them is increasing your risk for gum recession. All that grinding puts too much pressure on the gums, so they begin to retreat. Bruxism can be a difficult habit to break, especially if you’re doing it in your sleep, but you can minimize the damage to the jaw bones, gums and teeth by using a mouth guard.
Overbrushing Damages Gum Tissue
It might sound counterintuitive, but you can actually brush your teeth too much. Or, at least, too hard. Brushing teeth isn’t like scrubbing the grime out of tile grout; gums are not built to withstand the abrasive assault of hard-bristled brushes (and neither is the enamel on our teeth). Soft bristles are actually ideal for scrubbing away plaque and massaging the gums without damaging them. The same principle applies to flossing; you should definitely floss once a day, but go easy on those gums.
Tartar Buildup and Gum Disease
When plaque isn’t removed by brushing and flossing, it will eventually harden into tartar, which can only be removed by dental professionals. This means that the longer you go without a routine dental cleaning, the more tartar builds up along your gumlines, which puts you at risk for gum disease. Speaking of which…
In the early stages of gum disease , also called gingivitis, the health of your jaw bones is not yet at risk, which is good for avoiding gum recession. If your gums are tender, swollen and bleed easily, it’s likely gingivitis. You can combat it with healthy brushing and flossing habits, but it’s also wise to bring the problem to us.
If untreated, gingivitis advances to become periodontitis. This is when gums start pulling away from the teeth and the integrity of the jaw bones is compromised. There are many risk factors for gum disease, including smoking, hormonal changes (like during pregnancy), diabetes, and dry mouth as a side effect of medications. At this point, better oral hygiene habits aren’t enough and professional treatment is absolutely necessary.
Help Us Help You Keep Those Gums Healthy!
If you’re worried about the structure and health of your gums, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us! We can help you get your gum health back on track and discuss treatment options.We’re looking after you!
BECAUSE PREVENTION IS
such a major part of good dental care, it’s critical to visit
the dentist for regular check-ups. In most cases, two regular dental
cleanings a year will be all you need, but not always. So what are the signs
that you shouldn’t wait until your next scheduled appointment to come back?
For this blog post, we’ve listed the top five.
EVEN THOUGH WE ALL
know how important it is to go to the dentist, dental anxiety can
make many people avoid crucial dental check-ups. For some, dental anxiety
starts in childhood and lasts a lifetime. How can we help our children start
out with a positive mindset towards the dentist so that they will always seek
the professional care and attention their teeth need as adults?
HAVE YOU EVER HEARD of “Mountain Dew Mouth”? It’s what happens to our teeth when we drink too much soda. The term comes from rural Appalachia, where that particular drink has long been the carbonated beverage of choice and tooth decay is alarmingly common. But this doesn’t just happen in Appalachia, and Mountain Dew isn’t the only drink that contributes to tooth decay.
The Dangers Of Sugary Drinks
When we eat or drink something with sugar in it, the sugar sticks to our teeth afterward. Sugar itself doesn’t do any damage to our oral health, but it is unfortunately the favourite food of the bacteria that lives in our mouths. These bacteria eat the sugar and then excrete acids that erode our tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay. They also cause inflammation that increases the risk of gum disease.
Any source of sugar can negatively impact oral health . Sugary drinks (including fruit juice, but especially soda) are particularly dangerous because they aren’t filling like solid food and are therefore easy to keep drinking.
Effects Of Carbonation
So if sugar is the problem, then can’t we keep our teeth healthy by switching to diet soda instead of giving up carbonated beverages altogether? Diet soda is certainly an improvement, but sugar isn’t soda’s only threat to dental health . The other is acid. Sugar leads to tooth decay because oral bacteria eat sugar and excrete acid that erode tooth enamel. Soda cuts out the middle man and applies acid directly to the teeth.
Even diet sodas and
carbonated water contain acid. The three types of acid
commonly found in soda are citric, phosphoric, and carbonic.
Any drink with citrus flavouring will have citric acid, many colas get their
flavour from phosphoric acid, and carbonic acid is what makes these drinks
fizzy in the first place.
WE’VE ALL HEARD OF
the Tooth Fairy, even if the details are a little different from one family to the next. But did you know that the Tooth Fairy is only common in certain countries? Across the world, there are many different ways families celebrate a child losing a tooth!
El Ratoncito Perez And La Petite Souris
In many countries, instead of a tooth fairy, they have a tooth mouse ! Spanish-speaking countries such as Spain, Guatemala, and Mexico have their teeth swapped for coins by El Ratoncito Perez (also known as Raton Miguelito). La Petit Souris (Little Mouse) collects the baby teeth of children in France and Switzerland.
Some countries like Argentina also have a tooth mouse, but instead of putting the tooth under a pillow, children place it in a glass of water and wait for a coin to take its place by morning!
Children of other countries that celebrate this mythical mouse believe if they put their tooth under their pillow, the mouse won’t trade it for money or candy, but it will guarantee that the new tooth grows in strong and healthy.
Tooth To The Roof
In countries like Greece, China, Singapore, and Vietnam, children throw their teeth on the roof . Some of these countries believe if the tooth lands straight, the new tooth will grow in straight, but if it lands crooked, the new tooth will grow in crooked! Do you have good enough aim for that tradition?
Native American Traditions
There are many different ways American Indian tribes celebrate losing a tooth. The Cherokee Indian children would run around the house with the tooth and throw it on the roof while saying, “Beaver, put a new tooth in my jaw!” four times.
The children of the Dene Yellowknives, on the other hand, give the lost tooth to their mother or grandmother, who in turn puts the tooth in a tree. Then the family dances around the tree to encourage the tooth to grow in as straight as the trunk!
The Tooth Fairy And Money
The tradition we’re most familiar with, of course, is the Tooth Fairy. In the United States, Denmark, England, and Australia, when a child loses their tooth, they put it under their pillow at night in hopes that the Tooth Fairy will come and replace it with money (or sometimes candy).If your or your children are bored with the Tooth Fairy and are looking for ways to spice up your family traditions , here are a few neat alternatives you could try instead of just replacing the tooth with money! If you’re really good at video editing and special effects, you might even do something like this:
MAINTAINING GOOD ORAL HEALTH
is crucial for everyone, but that can mean different things for men than for women. That’s why we’ve put together a list of concerns men should particularly watch out for, as well as some tips for keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy!
Brush That Charming Smile!
Many women say a man’s most attractive feature is his smile. However, on average, men tend not to take care of their teeth as well as women do, and that puts those charming smiles at risk! According to a national survey, men were 20% less likely than women to brush their teeth twice a day, and they also change their toothbrushes less often. Make sure you’re brushing two minutes twice a day and regularly replacing that toothbrush like you’re supposed to!The good news? Your luxurious beard might actually be helping you keep harmful germs away from your face and out of your mouth!
THE DISEASE WE USUALLY
think of when we hear “health risks of smoking” is lung cancer,
but the damage smoking can cause isn’t limited to the lungs. A smoking habit
can do a lot of harm to oral health as well, far beyond merely staining the
teeth and causing bad breath. Let’s take a look at some of the more common ways
this can happen.
Smoking Harms The Gums
Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, begins with inflammation of the gums. If untreated, it can lead to extensive damage to gum and supporting bone tissue, and it enables bacteria to spread from the mouth all through the bloodstream. Smoking introduces hundreds of toxins into the mouth , which not only doubles the risk of developing gum disease, it makes it harder to treat.
Whitening Of The Oral Mucosa
Stomatitis Nicotina, or smoker’s keratosis, is the inflammatory swelling of mucous glands in the mouth. This shows up as thick, whitish patches on the roof of the mouth. While it is usually not painful, smoker’s keratosis can be pre-cancerous.
Increased Risk Of Oral Cancer
A staggering 80 per cent of people diagnosed with oral cancer are smokers. Oral cancer affects the lips, tongue, cheeks, and throat. Early symptoms include persistent mouth sores or pain, unusual white patches in the mouth, difficulty chewing or swallowing, numbness, swelling, and a sensation of something caught in the throat that won’t go away. Because many of these symptoms can be caught early at a regular dental exam, the dentist is your first line of defence against oral cancer .
The Harm Isn’t Limited To The Smoker
Second-hand smoke combines the smoke from the end of the cigarette with the smoke exhaled by the smoker. Not only does smoking affect the oral health of the smoker, it can put the oral health of everyone around them at increased risk too , in addition to many other negative health effects. Infants and young children are most likely to suffer from this smoke with asthma attacks, infections, and even SIDS.
Breaking The HabitThe good news is that smoking is the most preventable cause of all of these dental health problems, because we can either quit smoking or never start. Even someone with a long history of smoking can significantly reduce their risk of health complications by quitting, so don’t assume there’s nothing to be gained by kicking the habit.