Receding gums and sensitive teeth

Gum recessionBrushing your teeth aggressively with a hard toothbrush can cause the gums to pull away and exhibit some recession. However, this DOES NOT cause  “ditching out” of the tooth. That is known as abfraction and is likely caused by a bad bite or occlusial disease. When teeth are crowded or misaligned, it often puts heavy forces at odd angles which cause stress on the tooth at the gum line. This also holds true with occlusial disease (grinding, clenching, etc.). Picture this like chopping down a tree. After a lumberjack cuts a wedge in the base of a tree, the wind sways the top of the tree back and forth and the wedge is the stress point. Sooner or later, the tree will snap. This is dependent on how big the wedge is and how strong the wind is. Similarly, the strength of your tooth is dependent on the depth of the “ditch” and the forces you keep placing on it. It will just worsen as you get older.

This needs to be addressed soon. A couple treatment options are: 1) Tissue Grafting. This is effective as long as the “ditched out” area is not too bad and the bite issue is corrected. 2) Using porcelain, either veneers or full crowns. But this will work ONLY if the bite issue is corrected. Addressing the reasons why you may grind your teeth and how it can be corrected is the most important. Ask your dentist if he/she can help or maybe direct you to someone who can.