People who are called “long in the tooth” are usually revered for having lived a full life. What many people don’t know is that the expression came from the fact that many older people had had their gums recede to the point where much more of their teeth were exposed. These people were literally “long in the tooth”. While it might be a badge of honor to be called that, no one wants to actually have receding gums. Your Waco dentist, Dr. Corbet Locke, discusses why gums recede and what can be done to slow the process.

Gum Recession is Natural

While gum recession has a number of causes, one of them is simply getting older. As we age, our gums will recede. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to stop this recession completely. However, there are a number of things we can do to at least slow down the process. Understanding the primary causes will help people know how to get a handle on this problem

Recession and Gum Disease

Probably the single biggest cause of gum recession, in both younger and older people, is gum disease. This occurs when the gum tissue is attacked by harmful bacteria. Over time, if these bacteria are left untreated, the disease will eat away at the gums, causing them to recede. No matter what age you are, you must take action now to prevent gum disease from taking hold. The most effective way you can fight gum disease is to brush at least twice a day and to floss at least once a day. Regular dental checkups are also critical in fighting the advancement of gum disease and gum recession.

Checking for Bruxism

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a serious dental problem. One of the things that makes it so dangerous is that people may not realize they have the problem. Teeth grinding is an unconscious action done when the sufferer is sleeping. Gum recession is just one of a number of problems that can occur as a result of bruxism. If you suspect you are indeed grinding your teeth at night, speak to your dentist as soon as possible. He might prescribe a nightguard for your mouth to prevent the grinding from occurring.

Visit Your Waco Dentist

Your dentist is your top ally in your fight against gum recession. If it is time for your semi-annual checkup, schedule an appointment by calling our Waco dentist office at (254) 776-4888. We welcome patients from Waco, Woodway, McGregor, Hewitt, the 76712 zip code, and surrounding communities.