Why some people have thinner gums than others
You’ve probably heard a lot about cavities, sore gums, or even tooth canals. Have you heard about thin gums though? Probably not, or at least, you haven’t heard it described in these terms. It’s a lot more common that you’d think, and while it can be quite harmful, it’s also manageable in our dental Maroubra clinic.
Thin gums are more often referred to as receding gums. The mental picture that comes to mind is a cheeky, grinning bonobo, though receding gums don’t generally look that drastic. Instead, a person might notice that their teeth seem longer than usual. They look a little like a vampire baring its fangs, though your teeth won’t be nearly as sharp.
You might not notice that your gums are thinning, because it’s a gradual process. But you’ll probably notice that your teeth are becoming more sensitive to heat, cold, sugar, or acids. That’s usually a sign of gum recession because it means the inner part of the tooth is exposed. It’s this exposed section that is responding unpleasantly to ordinary oral stimuli.
Also Read This: How to tell if your kids have sensitive gums
Some people are more vulnerable to thinning gums than others, though lifestyle factors do play a role. If you brush too much or too little, you can wind up with thinner gums. Over-brushing might corrode your enamel, which leaves your inner tooth exposed and separates its surface from your gums. Under-brushing lets plaque accumulate and grow into tartar – which then separates your teeth from your gums.
Other reasons that may cause your gums to recede include hormonal fluctuation. When a woman goes through puberty, her body chemicals are thrown out of whack. The same happens during menopause, and when a woman is expecting a baby. These see-saw hormones affect her teeth and gums, making them more delicate and increasing the potential for gum disease.
Sometimes, the causative factor is less expected. A piercing in your tongue, jaw, or lip introduces metal to your mouth. This jewellery might physically rub against your gums, causing it to thin. In rare situations, the metal itself might react adversely with your skin and blood, affecting your teeth and gums in the process.
Smoking stains your teeth and influences your breath, that’s nothing new. It does have one other effect you might be unaware of. Tobacco interferes with the surface of your teeth and makes easier for plaque to latch on. This plaque can turn into tartar, which leads to gum disease.
If the alignment of your teeth is unbalanced, or if you grind your teeth a lot, a new issue comes up. The positioning of teeth puts more weight and pressure in some areas of the gum, and that can lead to separation from the tooth surface.
Why does this separation matter? As any dentist can tell you, the gap between your teeth and your gums can become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. This can lead to bleeding, infection, pain, disease, tooth loss, and really bad breath.
Mild thinning of your gums can be treated with a good dental cleaning, but extreme cases might need surgery. Regular dental visits can help your doctor catch and stop the thinning before it gets worse. Pay us a visit today, or call us on 02 9344 8822 so we can see how your teeth are doing.