Why Do Gums Recede?

While most people are concerned with the whiteness of their teeth or whether or not they routinely get cavities, there is another potential dental health problem that can rear its ugly head if decay is left to linger for too long. Gum recession can be a large and costly problem if not kept in check, leading to possible surgery and tooth loss.

Gingival recession (receding gums) is often caused by something as innocuous as patients brushing their teeth too hard with too much force. Aggressive brushing doesn’t reduce decay and, in fact, the hard motions can cause your gums to recede over time. For this reason, we advise that all patients choose a toothbrush that is labeled ‘soft.’

However, aggressive brushing isn’t the only trigger for gingival recession. Other factors that can cause receding gums include genetics, tooth position, excessive bruxism (grinding your teeth), hormonal changes, tobacco use, or lack of oral health.

Watch the video below to learn what the American Dental Association has to say in regards to why gums recede and what can be done to prevent and treat gum recession:


“Gum recession is a serious condition that needs the close supervision of a dental professional. The gums protect the sensitive roots of teeth. When the gums recede, complications can arise, such as sensitivity to hot and cold and root cavities. This may be due to irregular tooth position, trauma, heredity, or periodontal disease. If gum recession is ignored, then continued recession can be expected and tooth loss is possible. Treatments include special cleaning called scaling and root planing and surgery known as gum grafting. Gum grafting helps cover exposed roots, reduce the risk of further recession, and enhance the appearance of the gum line. Brush twice a day, floss once a day, and schedule regular dental checkups. Prevention is the key to stopping gum recession.”

If you have any questions about your dental health or if you would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our team or make an appointment. Our incredible staff will give you the best dental care possible.

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