Your Teeth Become More Prominent
If you're long in the tooth, it's because your gums are deteriorating and have begun to shrink away from the crown portion of your teeth, exposing some of the root, says New York City dentist Marc Lowenberg. The length of the average front tooth is ten to 12 millimeters; with recession, including root exposure, it can become as long as 15 to 17 millimeters. In the same way that our skin loses collagen fibers, our gum tissue loses mass. The best preventive measure is to keep your gums free of bacteria—by brushing and flossing twice a day—because bacteria cause gum disease, which worsens recession. Also, overly vigorous brushing can scrub away gum tissue, so avoid it.
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