Why Do Gums Recede?

Have you noticed that your teeth look longer than they used to? Do your gums seem to be pulling away from your teeth? If so, you might be experiencing gum recession. Gum recession can happen naturally as we age. Conversely, it could be a sign of gum disease. If you notice your smile changing, you should talk to your dentist. 

Knowing the causes of receding gums can help you find solutions. 

Why Do Gums Recede?

Common Causes of Gum Recession

Inadequate brushing and flossing can allow plaque to accumulate along the gumline. Over time, this can lead to gum disease, which is a leading cause of gum recession. In addition, brushing your teeth too vigorously or using a hard-bristle toothbrush can damage the delicate gum tissue and lead to recession.

Sometimes, genetics play a role in gum recession. If your family has a history of gum issues, you may be more susceptible. Other health issues include hormonal changes. Hormonal fluctuations, such as those during pregnancy, menopause, or puberty, can make gums more sensitive and prone to recession.

Gum disease is a bacterial infection that can cause gums to recede if left untreated. Furthermore, smoking or chewing tobacco can increase your risk of gum disease and gum recession due to the harmful chemicals they contain.

Your teeth can play a role as well. Habitual teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism) can exert excessive force on the teeth and gums, leading to recession. Also, crooked or misaligned teeth can create areas where plaque easily accumulates, increasing the risk of gum disease and recession.

Solutions for Gum Recession

If you’re experiencing gum recession, don’t despair. There are solutions to address this issue.

The foundation of preventing and managing gum recession is maintaining excellent oral hygiene. Brush gently with a soft-bristle toothbrush and use dental floss daily to remove plaque and bacteria.

Furthermore, routine dental visits allow your dentist to detect and address early signs of gum recession before they progress. In cases of gum disease, your dentist may recommend scaling and root planing, a deep cleaning procedure to remove plaque and tartar from the root surfaces.

In advanced cases of gum recession, gum grafting may be necessary. This procedure involves taking tissue from another area of your mouth or using donor tissue to cover exposed tooth roots.

If misaligned teeth contribute to your gum recession, orthodontic treatment can help reposition your teeth. This will make it easier to maintain proper oral hygiene. You can talk to your dentist about braces or clear aligners. 

For those with bruxism, wearing a custom mouthguard can protect your teeth and gums from the damaging effects of teeth grinding.

Your lifestyle can influence your gum health. Eating a diet rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C, can help support gum health. If you smoke or use tobacco products, quitting can significantly reduce your risk of gum disease and recession.