Receding gums are a common issue in oral health, and it is essential to take them seriously. Ignoring receding gums can lead to discomfort and various oral health problems that can cause sensitivity and pain. Preventing receding gums is possible, maintaining good oral hygiene plays a very important role. Electric toothbrushes are beneficial in improving gum health and preventing the effects of gum recession. Therefore, looking after and caring for the gums is crucial, just like you do with your teeth. Remember, healthy gums lead to a healthy and beautiful smile!
What are receding gums?
Receding gums, or gingival recession, are common oral health issue. They occur when the gum tissues at the margin wear away or move away from the teeth, exposing the tooth roots and bone structure. This creates an environment where bacteria can thrive and break down the tooth structure. Receding gums can cause sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drink. In more severe cases, receding gums can even lead to tooth loss.
Causes of receding gums
Gum recession is the gradual pulling away of the gums from the teeth. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
Poor oral hygiene: When plaque and tartar build up on your teeth, they can irritate the gums and lead to inflammation. If the rash is left untreated, it can result in gum disease which can increase the risk of the gum recession
Over-aggressive brushing: Brushing teeth and gums, too hard can affect the gums and cause them to recede. It is essential to brush the teeth gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Smoking: Smoking is a major risk factor for gum disease, which again, is a common cause of gum recession. If you smoke, quitting is the best thing to do for your oral health.
Periodontal disease: A severe gum infection can cause the gums to recede. If you have periodontal disease, seeing a dental professional for treatment is essential.
Flossing too roughly or using a hard-bristled toothbrush: Flossing is vital for removing plaque between the teeth, but it is essential to floss gently. Using a hard-bristled toothbrush and brushing aggressively can cause the gum tissue to wear away.
Genetics: Some people are more prone to gum recession than others. If you have a family history of gum recession, you are more likely to develop it.
Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during pregnancy or menopause, can also make you more susceptible to gum recession.
Be gentle with gums to avoid recession.
Your gums are softer than the teeth. Brushing too hard or with a too-firm toothbrush can wear away the gums. This can expose the softer inner layer of the tooth, called dentine. Dentine is not protected by enamel, making your teeth vulnerable to decay and sensitivity.
To avoid damaging your gums, brush gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Be sure to clean along the line where the gum meets the teeth, but don't press too hard.
Here are some tips for brushing your teeth gently:
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line.
Brush with gentle strokes, moving the brush in a back-and-forth motion.
Don't press too hard.
Brush all surfaces of the teeth, including the front, back, and top.
Be sure to brush the tongue as well.
Receding Gums: How electric toothbrushes can help
There are a few ways in which electric toothbrushes, such as sonic or oscillating, can help with receding gums.
Improve plaque removal: Electric toothbrushes are more effective than manual toothbrushes in removing plaque. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that can build up on the teeth and gums, and if not removed, it can irritate the gums and cause them to recede. An 11-year cohort study claims that electric toothbrushes effectively reduce mean probing depth (PD), which reflects a patient's ability to maintain optimal plaque control.
Massage the gums: The gum-care mode on an electric toothbrush uses a gentler brushing motion that massages the gums.
Reduce inflammation: Electric toothbrushes offer various brushing modes, including gentle ones suitable for people with sensitive teeth or gums. These modes can help improve oral hygiene habits by making it easier to reach all the surfaces of your teeth without causing discomfort.
How to brush with an electric toothbrush for receding gums
Electric toothbrushes can be a great way to clean your teeth effectively. However, it is essential to use them gently, as brushing too hard can cause gum recession. To make the most of the electric toothbrush and protect the gums from receding, it's crucial to establish an effective brushing routine. Begin by selecting a soft-bristled electric toothbrush to be gentle on your gums. Brush for two minutes twice a day, starting from the gum line and moving upwards to the top of each tooth. Pay extra attention to areas where plaque builds up, like the back of the teeth and between them. Don't forget to floss daily to remove plaque and bacteria between the teeth. While electric toothbrushes help, it's a good idea to consult a dental professional to ensure you use them correctly and personalise the oral care routine to your needs. Here are some tips:
Use a soft-bristled electric toothbrush to prevent any harm to your gums, which can lead to recession.
Brush for two minutes twice daily
Floss your teeth daily to remove plaque and bacteria from between the teeth.
Using an electric toothbrush can be an effective way to improve gum health. However, it is essential to seek advice from a dental professional to ensure correct use.
How often should you change your toothbrush?
Replacing your toothbrush head every three months or sooner if the bristles are frayed or worn is recommended by dental professionals. It is best to consult a dental professional if you are uncertain how often you need to change the toothbrush. They can help determine the best frequency based on your circumstances.
Best way to keep your toothbrush clean
Here are some tips for keeping your toothbrush clean and germ-free, protecting oral health and hygiene.
Rinse the toothbrush thoroughly after each use to remove any toothpaste, food particles, or bacteria.
Store the toothbrush in an upright position, bristles facing up.
Allow the toothbrush head to air dry. Do not store it in a wet container, as this can encourage the growth of bacteria.
Do not share your toothbrush with anyone else. Sharing toothbrushes can spread germs.
Clean the electric toothbrush handle with a damp cloth or toothbrush cleaner every few weeks.
How to choose the right electric toothbrush for receding gums
When selecting an electric toothbrush for receding gums, it is essential to consider the following factors:
Bristle type: A toothbrush with soft bristles can avoid irritating the gums.
Brushing modes: Look for a toothbrush with multiple brushing modes, including a gentle mode for receding gums.
Timer: Select a toothbrush with a built-in timer to ensure you brush for two minutes, the recommended amount of time.
Head size: The toothbrush head must be the right size for your mouth. A smaller head may be better for people with smaller mouths or receding gums.
Handle design: Choose a toothbrush with a handle that is comfortable to grip.
Pressure sensor: Electric toothbrushes with pressure sensors will alert you if too much pressure is applied to the teeth.
It is important to note that electric toothbrushes are not a cure for gum recession, but help improve your oral hygiene. If you are concerned about receding gums, seeing a dental professional for a diagnosis and treatment plan is essential. They can help develop a good oral hygiene routine and recommend the best toothbrush and toothpaste.