Gum RecessionGum recession is usually the result of gum disease. However, it is not the only cause. Your gums can recede as a result of bruxism (grinding and clenching of your teeth), aggressive brushing or tobacco products. They can also recede as a result of uncontrollable factors, such as genetics and hormonal changes, including those that occur as you age.
Increased Risk of Gum DiseaseAs you age, you are at an increased risk of developing gum disease. This is quite often due to the fact that older adults are more likely to experience dry mouth, particularly because of certain medications. When your mouth no longer produces sufficient saliva, it can no longer effectively fight off bacteria. Instead, your mouth becomes the perfect breeding ground, and bacteria multiply, attacking your sensitive gum tissue.
Higher Risk of Oral CancerYou are also at a higher risk of developing oral cancer as you get older, especially when combined with other factors, such as lifestyle habits (smoking, excessive alcohol use) and genetics. Oral cancer can attack anywhere in your mouth, including your gum tissue. When not diagnosed early, it leads to death, so early detection is critical.
What You Can DoOne of the most important things you can do to protect your gums is to maintain a proper brushing and flossing routine. Visits to your dentist are also important, not just for cleanings, but your dentist can screen your mouth for signs of any issues and take action before they become huge problems.
While regular visits to the dentist are important at any age, they become even more so as you get older. Your dentist will be able to monitor the health your teeth and gums, and help to take the necessary steps to maintain it. If it's been a while, call your dentist to schedule your appointment today. If you have any questions, or if you would like to learn more, please call us today at (410) 260-0790.