Gum recession is a condition that causes the gum to sink slightly below the tooth, exposing the root that it was once protecting. As a result, the root may become painful and unsightly. Recently, there has been increased concern over whether electric toothbrushes can cause gum recession. Today, we are going to dive deeper into the topic and determine for sure.
Can Electric Toothbrushes Cause Gum Recession?
The short answer is no. While there are cases where electric toothbrushes have been linked to gum recession, it mostly depends on the type and how you use it. If you have been traumatizing your gums with an ordinary toothbrush, switching to an electric toothbrush is often more effective than trying to modify your current technique. Indeed, many people who use a regular toothbrush normally wait until they hear a “tingle” before stopping. Telling this person to be more gentle can make them feel like they are not brushing adequately. This problem can be solved by using electric toothbrushes with timers, which can substitute for the “tingle”.
On the other hand, using electric toothbrushes wrongly can wear out the protective layer of your tooth enamel, exposing the sensitive root. The consequences can be painful. Dentists generally agree that people are using the electric toothbrush too hard and too fast and it is causing damage.
So, What Factors Contribute To Gum Recession?
1. Periodontal disease
Periodontal disease occurs when the bone and gum tissue supporting the teeth are eaten away, leaving the teeth extremely vulnerable. In some cases, the damage may be irreversible. Regardless, be sure to clean the pockets below your gum line regularly.
2. Tobacco Use
Fun fact: tobacco use is one of the leading causes of receding gums, primarily because it promotes the development of sticky plaque on the teeth. This plague is extremely difficult to clean and contributes to receding gums.
3. Aggressive Tooth Brushing
Brushing teeth so aggressively can also lead to receding gums. In fact, even brushing the wrong way can deteriorate your teeth enamel.
4. Poor Dental Care
Some people simply do not brush or floss their teeth properly. The result is that plaque develops in the mouth, causing bacteria to start attacking the bone and gum tissue.
5. Genetic Influences
Did you know that you can develop gum disease just because of your genes? Recent research has shown that at least 30% of the population have a predisposition to gum disease – the primary cause of gum recession.
6. Misaligned Teeth
There are many people who have crooked/misaligned teeth. Since their teeth do not meet evenly, excessive force is exerted on the bone and gums, leading to gum recession.
7. Iatrogenic Procedures
Dentists and dental hygienists who use over-aggressive root instrumentation (root planing and scaling) can also contribute to recession in areas with shallow pocket depths.
Age can also bring about some mild gum recession, although this is totally different from the recession seen with gum disease or toothbrush trauma. Just keep in mind that as you age, the other factors mentioned above become more influential on your chances of developing gum recession.
Finally, remember that gum recession can remain for a long time, unless it is orthodontically or surgically corrected. Someone who may have ruined their teeth as a teenager and has since become a teeth model will still have visible remains of the past trauma.