Grinding and Gum Recession

Teeth grinding is a leading cause of gum recession because it causes damage to soft tissue and leads to loose teeth with areas where bacteria can form. Using night guards, getting more sleep and reducing stress are some ways to try to stop teeth grinding.

Is bruxism another term for grinding your teeth?

Dr. John Vitale: Yes it is. Bruxism is grinding of your teeth or clenching of your jaws.

How does teeth grinding affect the gum?

Dr. John Vitale: Well, bruxism is one of the leading causes of gum recession and also it causes tooth loss. It damages soft tissues, leads to loose teeth, and pocketing where bacteria can form.

What causes adults and children to grind their teeth?

Dr. John Vitale: Anxiety, stress, personality types, abnormal alignment of upper and lower teeth, individual response to pain, effects of some medication, coping strategies, focusing habits, complications of diseases like Parkinson’s or Huntington, all contribute to grinding.

What can be done to stop teeth grinding?

Dr. John Vitale: Well, you have to stop stress, get more sleep, don’t chew gum, relax your face, use warm wet towels on your face in the evening. The use of night guards when applicable. In serious cases, the use of TMJ appliances.

Great advice. Lastly, can gum recession be repaired and reversed?

Dr. John Vitale: Well, depending on severity. You should use a soft tooth brush. Get deep scalings to strengthen the soft tissue, make it harder so it encapsulates or tightens around your tooth structure thus not allowing bacteria to get under it. In severe cases where you have tremendous gum recession, periodontists can employ the use of what we call gum grafts or gingival grafts.

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