Receding Gums | Causes, Symptoms, Risks & Treatment Methods

Receding gums becomes a health concern when the roots of the teeth become exposed, leaving the teeth at risk of decay, infection, and loss. Whereby, gums become pushed back or wear away. Exposing the pink tissue that covers the roots of the teeth. Gums might also recede around a tooth if it is in an abnormal position.

But, if treatment is started at an early stage, it can stop or reverse the process of gum recession. However, if the recession is severe then various treatments are available. In that case, when symptoms, such as tooth sensitivity, pain, or infection do occur. These include deep cleaning, medicating infections, and tissue grafts.

Although receding gums is a common condition, people often do not realize that they have receding gums until at a late stage in the process. Routine dental check-ups along with proper brushing are essential for maintaining healthy gums but some patients may require treatment.

Several correctional techniques are available to the treatment recession. And it is also suggested that a thorough consultation is done to recommend the best treatment for you.

What Are Receding Gums?

Receding Gums is a widespread dental condition that most people aren’t aware that they have since it occurs gradually. If left untreated, the surrounding tissue and bone structures of the teeth can be damaged, sometimes resulting in tooth loss.

Simply put, gum recession is when the margin of the gum tissue surrounding the teeth wears away, or pulls back, exposing more of the tooth, or the tooth’s root. When gums recede, gaps can form between the gum and tooth. Allowing disease-causing bacteria to build up.

How does Gingivitis lead to Gum Disease – Explained!

Not only can this hurt, but the teeth are less stable and less likely to be with you for the long haul. Often, doctors treat patients with a gum grafting procedure using a product called Perioderm. It’s a quick and easy procedure that typically takes about 20 minutes to perform and a few days to recover.

gingival recession might lead the affected teeth (usually mandibular incisors or maxillary canines) to be involved in situations that act as predisposing factors. Allowing direct causes to act and, therefore, trigger recession. Especially when the buccal bone plate is very thin or presents with dehiscence. Learn more about How can orthodontic treatment help?

How Should Healthy Gums Look Like?

Basically, the gums, or gingivae, are composed of pink tissue in the mouth that meets the base of the teeth. There is one gum or gingiva for each set of teeth. The gingival tissue is dense. It has a good supply of blood vessels beneath a moist surface, otherwise known as a mucous membrane.

The gingival tissue connects with the rest of the mouth lining but is pink instead of shiny red. And the gums are firmly attached to the jawbone and tightly cover each tooth up to the neck. When intact, the gums cover the roots of the teeth and protect them.

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gingival recession happens after a person has experienced a loss of tissue in the gum. It exposes the fragile roots of the teeth to bacteria and plaque and can lead to decay. Since the gingival recession has direct causes and predisposing factors, orthodontic treatment is able to prevent a recession.

And even contribute to its treatment, with or without a periodontal approach. Depending on the type and severity of gingival tissue damage. However, there is no evidence on the fact that orthodontic treatment alone might induce a gingival recession.

What Are the Causes of Receding Gums?

As an example, poor oral hygiene and periodontal disease contribute to a gingival recession. However, receding gums can also happen in people with good oral hygiene. Whereby, physical wear of the gums and inflammation of the tissues are the chief reasons for the recession.

In addition, some people may also be prone to receding gums because of inherited factors. These factors include the position of the teeth and gum thickness. Physical wear of the gums by vigorous tooth brushing or the use of hard bristles is a further, common cause of receding gums.

Over-brushing causes receding gums even when dental hygiene might otherwise be good. This type of physical recession often affects the left side of the mouth more. Simply, because most people use a toothbrush in their right hand and put more pressure on the left gums. The pattern also tends to affect the side gums more than the front area.

Read Also: How does Inflammation influence Cancer?

Other physical factors that push the gums back include lip or tongue piercings, misaligned teeth, and damage from dental treatment. Also, some people are more prone to the inflammatory causes of receding gums due to having more delicate tissue. Thinner gum tissue makes it more likely that the plaque will cause inflammation.

  • When plaque builds up on the teeth, it can cause the following dental conditions:
  • Inflamed gums: This condition is known as gingivitis and can lead to periodontitis.
  • Periodontitis: This creates space between the gums and teeth, plus the loss of connective fibers and bone around the tooth roots. This can lead to receding gums and bone loss.

Equally, Periodontal Disease is a common cause of gum recession. Periodontal disease causes the loss of the supporting bone and tissue around a tooth through an inflammatory reaction. The gum recession tends to affect all the teeth in a similar way. Read more about What are the Main Causes of Periodontitis?

What Are The Risk Factors?

Surprisingly, age is a key risk factor for receding gums. Around 88 percent of people older than 65 years have a receding gum in at least one tooth. People who smoke and use tobacco products also face an increased risk of receding gums.

Genetics is another factor, as people who have thin or weak gums can pass these characteristics on via their genes. In addition, Diabetes can also increase the risk of receding gums. Important to realize, gingivitisperiodontal or gum disease starts when plaque builds up under and along the gum line.

Plaque is a sticky film-like substance that’s filled with bacteria. It can cause infections that hurt the gum and bone, leading to gum disease and tooth decay. Additionally, as can be seen, from the above statement, plaque can also cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease.

What Are The Symptoms Of Receding Gums?

Many people with receding gums may have no concerns about them early on and might not be aware that their gums are receding. However, when people have receding gums, they may experience the following:

  • concerns about changing appearance, as the tooth appears longer and the space between teeth increases
  • fear of losing teeth
  • sensitivity to cold and heat due to exposed tooth roots

Most importantly, receding gums can be a symptom of underlying dental problems, including gum disease, and can increase the risk of tooth decay and tooth loss. They can also lead to bad breath and bleeding gums.

As receding gums progress over time, you may notice the following symptoms:

Long Teeth:

One symptom is the visible lengthening of the teeth. When gums recede because of periodontal disease, the teeth have the appearance of being much longer than normal.

Exposed Roots:

Exposed roots are another symptom, and can be extremely sensitive and uncomfortable. They are often a sign of periodontal disease or can be attributed to brushing overly aggressively with a toothbrush with hard bristles.

Loose Teeth:

When suffering from receding gums, you may notice loose teeth, attributed to the bacteria and periodontal disease under the gums around the teeth. As receding gums worsen, the gum pockets deepen due to loss of attachment structure.

How Are Receding Gums Treated?

Most cases of mild gum recession do not need treatment. Dentists may advise on prevention and offer to monitor the gums. Teaching effective but gentle brushing is an effective early intervention.

For people who do need treatment, several options are available:

Desensitizing agents, varnishes, and dentin bonding agents: 

These products aim to reduce the sensitivity of the exposed tooth root. Desensitizing agents treat the nerve symptoms and help preserve oral hygiene by easing the brushing of sensitive teeth.

Composite restoration: 

A dentist uses tooth-colored composite resins to cover the surface of the root. They can also close the black gaps between teeth, as shown in these before-and-after pictures from the British Dental Journal.

Pink porcelain or composite: 

This material is the same pink color of the gums and can be applied to fill the gaps where the gums have receded.

Removable gum veneers: 

These are usually acrylic or silicone, and they artificially replace the large area of missing gum tissue due to recession.


These include treatments that slowly move the position of the teeth over a long period. This repositioning can correct the gum margin and make it easier to keep the teeth clean.


A dental surgeon grafts tissue from another site in the mouth and the tissue heals over the gum recession. A person would usually only need this to treat severely receding gums.

Above all, some of the causes of gingival recession are preventable. Especially, through our 5 Best routine practices of maintaining healthy gums.

Summing Up,

When it comes to your mouth’s health, it’s not all about how straight your teeth are or how bright your smile is. You can’t forget about your healthy gums! Even if you’re cavity-free and have the pearliest chompers in town, that doesn’t mean you’re immune to gum disease.

By all means, follow a regular oral care routine of brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once a day to maintain healthy gums. In other words, some dentists may recommend an antibacterial rinse or mouthwash.

Especially, to help preserve healthy gums after you are treated for gum disease like gingivitis. If you suspect you have gum disease and are experiencing some of its symptoms such as sore gums, it may help to compare your gums. Particularly, to the pictures of healthy gums and gum disease, from gingivitis to advanced periodontitis.

I hope you enjoyed reading the revised guide above on how to maintain healthy gums, therefore, help us share with other readers online. If you have additional contributions, suggestions, and recommendations, please Contact Us. Or even, leave them in the comments box below this post. All in all, below are more useful and related topic links.

  1. What Causes Dry Mouth?
  2. Obesity Signs & Symptoms
  3. Periodontitis Symptoms & Causes
  4. 6 Ways to Keep Your Gums Healthy
  5. How does Gingivitis Lead to Gum Disease

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