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What Is Gum Recession and How Is It Caused

November 23, 2022
What Is Gum Recession and How Is It Caused

Gum recession is a condition in which the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth pulls back or ‘recedes’ from the tooth, exposing more of the tooth and possibly the tooth's root. There are several factors that can cause gum recession, including:

  1. Brushing too hard or using a toothbrush with hard bristles.
  2. Periodontal disease: This bacterial infection can cause inflammation and damage to the gums and bone, leading to loss of tissue around the tooth.
  3. Clenching or grinding of teeth (bruxism): This can put excessive pressure on the teeth and gums, leading to recession.
  4. Genetics: Some people may be more prone to gum recession due to inherited traits such as inclined teeth, thin bone, thin tissue, and tissue loss.
  5. Hormonal changes: Hormonal fluctuations, such as those that occur during pregnancy, can make gums more susceptible to recession because hormones can cause an increase in the bacteria that lead to tissue loss.
  6. Tobacco use: Smoking or using smokeless tobacco can increase the risk of gum recession because the hot smoke can cause tissue damage and cause the body’s immune system to break down.
  7. Dental misalignment or bad bite: This can put uneven pressure on the teeth and gums, leading to recession.
  8. Bad Dental fillings, crowns, veneer: these trap bacteria that can cause gum recession.

It's important to maintain good oral hygiene, to visit the dentist for regular checkup and cleaning, to quit smoking and to address any underlying issues such as bruxism in order to prevent gum recession and other periodontal problems.

Top Questions Asked About Gum Recession

What are the symptoms of gum recession?

The most common symptom of gum recession is the roots showing, sensitive teeth, tooth pain, tooth discoloration, and cavities on the root.

Can gum recession be reversed?

In most cases, gum recession can be reversed with gum grafts. Surgical techniques have been developed such as the Pinhole Surgical Technique that make covering gum recession less invasive.

What is the treatment for gum recession?

Non surgical treatment for gum recession may include deep cleaning, administration of antibiotics, and/or gum surgery to cover exposed roots and thicken lost tissue.

How can I prevent gum recession?

Preventing gum recession can be accomplished with good oral hygiene, visiting the dentist regularly, quitting or not smoking/vaping, and fixing bad bites and/or crowded teeth.

Are there any home remedies for gum recession?

Home remedies for gum recession are using a soft bristled or sensitive tooth brush, using a toothpaste without detergents and abrasives, flossing/brushing regularly, and seeing your periodontist as directed.  

Does gum recession mean I have periodontal disease?

Gum recession can be a symptom of periodontal disease, but it can also be caused by other factors such as genetics or aggressive tooth brushing. It's important to visit your periodontist for a proper diagnosis and treatment advice.

Can gum recession affect my overall health?

Research has shown a link between gum disease and systemic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. It's important to address gum recession in order to maintain overall health.

For more information, please contact us for a consultation appointment.

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Scott H. Froum DDS
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