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FAQ:  Receding Gums



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Question:
Exposed roots and excessive brushing? I go to school for Dental Assisting and started a week ago.

Yesterday I was learning about the cementoenamel junction. I looked at my mouth when I got home and realized the anatomic root of my mandibular incisors were exposed.

I am really upset because I am 25 years old and have taken pride in practicing good oral hygiene. I have always recieved compliments on how nice my teeth are.

I brush 2 -3 times a day and floss before bed. My gums have never been inflammed or sore. I have no idea why this is happening to me. Can you please give me an idea of why this happened and what's to come in the future? ... Visitor from NJ

Answer:
Your recession and exposure of the root surface of your front teeth could be due to aggressive brushing side to side causing the loss of gum tissue.

This can also happen to the side and back teeth as well. The proper way to brush is to gently brush 2-3 teeth at a time, directing the tooth brush bristles at a 45 degree angle under the gums. Brush back and forth a little, but flick the brush up. Avoid the "washboard" scrubbing back and forth across your teeth.

Better yet is to purchase an Oral B Braun Electric Toothbrush which cleans the teeth great, similar to a dental polishing handpiece.

Another reason that young people get recession of the gums is from a muscle attachment that is too close to the gumline. This daily pulling pressure from the muscle attachment can cause gum recession and root exposure over time.

If you think you have been brushing properly over the years, then a muscle attachment pull should be evaluated by a Periodontist (Gum Specialist) in your local area.

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