3 Reasons Why You Have Receding Gums

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Anyone who has experienced receding gums knows it can be a painful condition. Gum recession happens when the gum tissue that surrounds a tooth pulls back or wears away. The tooth or even the root can become exposed. This creates pockets or gaps between the tooth and the gum where bacteria can grow and cause decay, infection, and even tooth loss.

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Why does this condition occur? Dr. Jeff Martin points to three main reasons: periodontal disease, over-brushing, and overnight teeth grinding.

Periodontal Disease and Receding Gums

Periodontal disease is the primary cause of gum recession. This disease is a bacterial infection that destroys gum tissue and the bones that hold the teeth in place.

“[Patients with periodontal disease have] a lot of build-up and tartar underneath the gum line … affecting the gums and the bone so the gum tissue is receding,” Dr. Martin says. “They need to get some periodontal treatment, and that stops the gums from receding, but they don’t grow back.”

Poor oral health contributes to periodontal disease. Brushing twice each day, flossing regularly, and using mouthwash can help keep your teeth safe and healthy.

Over-Brushing Causes Receding Gums

Brushing your teeth too much or too hard can also cause your gums to recede. Over-brushing breaks down the enamel on your teeth and can wear away your gum tissue. Over-aggressive brushing feels more like scrubbing than brushing – so always make sure your strokes are gentle. Hard toothbrushes also contribute to gum recession.

“The toothbrushes were too hard and what patients would do, what we all did, we just scrubbed so hard,” Dr. Martin recalls. “We really caused the gum tissue to recede in certain areas. Right-handers typically abrade tissue on the right-hand side because you can really brush really hard.”

If you have gum recession on the same side of your mouth as your dominant hand, Dr. Martin says, this may be a sign that you are over-brushing.

Switching to a softer toothbrush can help you reduce over-brushing. Dr. Martin also recommends electric toothbrushes because they provide the right speed and bristle softness for a safe, gentle, and complete clean. Remember: Taking care of your teeth should not hurt!

Grinding and Clenching Can Cause Receding Gums

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, can also accelerate gum recession. If you wake up with a headache, you may be clenching or grinding your teeth in your sleep, which contributes to many dental issues including receding gums.

Treatment Options for Receding Gums

Receding gums don’t grow back. It’s important to visit a dentist right away if you have receding gums. Catching gum recession early will save the gum tissue you have left and stop the recession in its tracks.

Martin Taylor Dentistry provides excellent care to patients looking for dental services in the Tucson area. Our services include regular hygiene check-ups, extractions, cosmetic procedures, and treatment for gum diseases, including gum recession.

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Martin Taylor Dentistry

Dr. Jeff Martin and Dr. William Taylor

Martin-Taylor Dentistry is a partnership between Dr. Jeff Martin and Dr. William Taylor. Highly skilled and experienced, they provide emergency, preventative, restorative, cosmetic, children’s, and implant dentistry services.

Dr. Martin is an alumnus of the University of Arizona and Baylor College of Dentistry. He established his practice in 1978. Dr. Martin has completed on 1,500 hours of continuing education in dentistry. Dr. Taylor studied at the University of Arizona and the University of Southern California. He is experienced in general, cosmetic, and implant dentistry. Dr Taylor has also completed many hours of continuing education.
Both are licensed and skilled in sedation dentistry, so you can be as comfortable as possible.

Together with their excellent team, Martin-Taylor Dentistry will take great care of you.

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Dr. Taylor, Dr. Martin, and their entire staff are the very best. The front desk staff, the dental assistants, and dental hygienists are excellent. I’ve been to many dentists over the years, and they are the most skilled and professional group of people that I have encountered. You can be confident you will be fully informed about what is recommended for a treatment plan and what it will cost. I’ve had the gamut of dental procedures — crowns, implants, root canals, and more routine care. It’s been made as pleasant and comfortable as possible by their skill, as well as their kindness and understanding. I wholeheartedly recommend Martin and Taylor Dentistry.

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Alice L. 4 months ago

I have been a patient of Dr. Taylor’s for most of my adult hood. I have had everything done from a filling to multiple dental implants. All of my procedures have been straightforward with zero complications and as little discomfort as possible. Even after my implants I had minimal pain! Before I saw Dr. Taylor I was terrified of dentists, but he put me at ease with his expertise. The hygienists are kind, thorough but gentle, and knowledgeable. The office staff is very friendly and helpful. The office itself is modern and impeccably clean. I highly recommend Martin Tayler dentistry and won’t trust my teeth to any other dentists.

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Rosemary B. 3 months ago

Welcome the newest member of our team at Martin Taylor Dentistry, Dr. Melvin Abraham!