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If you have an unpleasant taste in your mouth that just won’t go away, or persistent bad breath, you may have receding gums. Especially if you also have red, swollen, tender or bleeding gums and are able to see your gums receding from your teeth, these are all signs that you may have gum disease.

Gum disease is when the gum tissue surrounding the teeth pulls back from the tooth, exposing either the tooth or the tooth roots. When this happens pockets develop between the teeth and the gum line so that bacteria accumulates. If it is left untreated, plaque buildup can cause long-term problems including tooth loss. So, why does this happen?

Causes may include:

–Harsh Brushing: the constant wear and tear from brushing too hard can wear down tooth enamel.

–Misaligned teeth: if your bite doesn’t align correctly, it can cause pressure on individual teeth, wearing down the enamel and resulting in gum recession.

–Bruxism: grinding your teeth while you sleep can wear down tooth enamel.

–Heredity: if one of your parents have receding gums, you are also at higher risk. Studies have shown that 30% of us may be predisposed to gum disease.

–Gum tissue trauma: if your gums have experienced some kind of traumatic injury the tissue may recede.

–Poor oral habits: if you aren’t cleaning your teeth daily, this can result in periodontitis. Dental plaque can turn into calculus (tartar) that can only be removed by a dental professional.

What you can do:

–Make sure you take good care of your teeth and gums by brushing and flossing thoroughly daily.

–You can tamp down on oral bacteria by using an antibacterial toothpaste and mouth rinse.

–If you grind and clench your teeth while sleeping, consider getting a mouth guard.

–See your dentist so that plaque buildup (tartar) can be removed.

If you suspect you may have gum disease, be sure to see Dr. Anthony Martino so that any necessary treatment can begin. Untreated gum disease can eventually result in tooth loss. Please call our Generations Cosmetic and Family Dentistry dental team if you have any questions or concerns. We can be reached at 813-251-5740 today!