Welcome to January. You survived the holidays more or less intact. At least, we hope you did. And we hope the same for your gums, but maybe that’s not as sure. In fact, there are many things people do over the holidays that can cause serious damage to their gums, either causing receding gums or setting off the chain reaction that will cause receding gums.

Woman Sitting On Sofa Eating Popcorn, something that could have cause receding gums over the holidays

Eating Popcorn

For some families, it’s not Christmas until somebody breaks out the huge tub of popcorn. You know, the ones that are divided into fake butter, fake cheese, and fake caramel flavors? It’s such an easy thing to snack on, and it can be relatively healthy as far as these things go.

But popcorn has one major problem: the husks from the kernels can get stuck between your teeth and gums. And when food gets in there, it can feed bacteria, leading to infection that causes receding gums.

And while we blame popcorn, there are many foods that can lead to receding gums, including chips (especially corn chips), peanut brittle, and anything that breaks into hard, sharp fragments.

Cracking Nuts

Nuts in the shell are traditional foods for the end of the year holidays, thanks to their harvest season at the end of the autumn. While on the East Coast people may enjoy chestnuts, we’ve got a wider selection on the West Coast.

Hopefully, you always crack these nuts with a nutcracker, but we’ve known more than a few people who make a habit of breaking them open with their teeth. Your teeth just aren’t designed to take that kind of pressure. It can wear down and crack your teeth, but it can also lead to receding gums because of the way it stresses and breaks your tooth enamel.

Drinking Alcohol

A little alcohol now and then isn’t too bad for your teeth and gums, but some people have a tendency to overdo it during the holidays, and that can lead to trouble. Alcohol itself is bad for your gums, but it also leads to increased harmful oral bacteria. This can lead to more tooth decay and gum disease, which is the leading cause of receding gums.

Skipping Hygiene

The holidays are so busy. Not only are you shopping, preparing, and cooking for all the gatherings, then you have to actually spend time at the parties, followed by all the cleanup. It can really wear you out. And at the end of the day, then, the only thing you want to do is crash into bed. You just have no energy to clean your teeth.

Unfortunately, every day you skip cleaning your teeth can be terrible for your teeth and gums. Oral bacteria can thrive when you don’t brush before bed, especially if you’re a little dehydrated from alcohol. This can significantly accelerate receding gums.

Brushing Aggressively

On the other hand, sometimes people can get to brushing too aggressively over the holidays. We understand. With all the snacks, sweets, and drinks, your teeth can feel constantly fuzzy. You want to get them clean.

Unfortunately, while brushing your teeth often can remove food debris and oral bacteria from your teeth, it can also damage delicate gum tissue. It doesn’t take long for your accelerated hygiene schedule to cause significant gum recession.

Undo the Damage

Unfortunately, once your gums start receding, they usually won’t grow back on their own. Instead, gum rejuvenation can help put your gum tissue back to a healthy, youthful position that looks beautiful and protects your tooth roots.

If you’re in Orange County and you’ve experienced significant receding gums, please call (949) 551-5902 today for an appointment with a cosmetic dentist at Rice Dentistry in Irvine.