What Causes Gum Recession and Root Surface Loss?

July 20, 2013
Toothbrush abrasion and gum recession #6

Gum Recession and Root Surface Loss

This was supposed to be the first in our series of blog posts on gum recession but somehow it made it onto Facebook but not our blog. I am posting it now for completeness.

OK, no one likes to see pictures of teeth with problems, but at least I got your attention. Unfortunately, in the dental office we see situations like this all too often. What is amazing is that many times patients are completely unaware until we point it out. Gum recession is no joke. It can lead to sensitive teeth, bone loss and even tooth loss if not controlled. We are often aked,”Why are my gums receding?” The causes of gum recession would require more explanation than is possible in a single post, so over the next several weeks, I will address the various factors that lead to recession and root surface loss and provide individual specific recommendations to help prevent or at least slow recession.

What toothbrush should I use?

First, lets start with an easy one: tooth brushes. Use only a soft or extra soft brush. Medium and hard toothbrushes damage your teeth by abrading away your teeth and gums while not doing a better job. That tingling fresh feeling you get after using your medium toothbrush is caused by the nerves being exposed after scrubbing away their protective covering on the root surface. You do not have to buy the fanciest or most expensive toothbrush, simply a high quality one with soft bristles from a good company like Butler, Oral B, etc. I would avoid the cheap throw aways as they tend to have sharper bristles. Change your toothbrush once a month as the bristles get sharpened by use and can wear the tooth more quickly. If you are a patient of ours and notice your toothbrush becoming worn, come by the office and we will give you a new one. To further soften the brush you can run it under hot water to make the bristles more flexible