Long in the tooth?
Anchor Dental’s Guide to Gum Recession & Tooth Sensitivity
Have you ever heard the phrase “long in the tooth"? Turns out, it's not just a way to hint at someone's age; it is also a real dental challenge for some of our patients. Over time, when gums recede, teeth can appear longer, and although it becomes more common as we get older, it's not an issue exclusive to any particular age group.
Understanding Gum Recession
Gum recession occurs gradually, with tooth sensitivity taking center stage as the chief complaint. It happens when the tissue surrounding teeth begins to wear away or pull back, exposing the roots of the teeth. There are many causes, including aggressive brushing, smoking, grinding, clenching, genetics, and even hormonal changes. So if you're feeling like your gums are staging a disappearing act, it might be time to assess your dental habits.
One of the major discomforts associated with gum recession is tooth sensitivity. When the roots of teeth that are normally protected by gum tissue become exposed, they lose the protection provided by the soft tissue. This can result in heightened sensitivity to temperature, making hot or cold foods and beverages a daily source of discomfort.
The good news is there are solutions available for managing tooth sensitivity caused by gum recession. Desensitizing toothpastes can help. They are formulated to block the transmission of sensation from the tooth surface to the nerve. These toothpastes often contain compounds like potassium nitrate or fluoride to help reduce sensitivity over time.
Professional Intervention & the Role of Regular Hygiene Appointments
In cases where tooth sensitivity becomes a persistent issue, seeking professional intervention is crucial. Anchor Dental hygienists can play a significant role in diagnosing and treating your gum recession and the resulting sensitivity. During regular hygiene appointments, our hygienists can apply desensitizing agents directly to the exposed root surfaces, helping to alleviate discomfort. They can guide you to readily available toothpastes that will help you as well.
Early Diagnosis is Key
The key to tackling gum recession and tooth sensitivity lies in regular dental visits. When you come in for routine hygiene appointments, your Anchor Dental hygienist can identify potential issues early, allowing us to intervene and prevent further progression. Early diagnosis will help you keep your gums healthy.