What Causes Gums to Recede?

Teenage boy wearing an olive green jacket looks anxious as he worries about receding gums

Gum recession is the condition in which your gum tissue wears down or pulls away from your teeth. During this process, gaps between the teeth and gumline open up for bacteria to accumulate, leading to periodontal disease and tooth loss. Receding gums can also expose the root of the tooth, making it sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, as well as more susceptible to tooth decay. Now that we’ve explained what gum recession is, let’s discuss what causes gums to recede.

  1. Gum Disease
  2. Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is often the main cause of receding gums. It is a bacterial infection of the gums that destroys gum tissue and the bone that holds your teeth in their place. Gum disease features symptoms such as loose teeth, bad breath, bleeding gums, and gums that are red, swollen, and tender. As soon as you notice these symptoms, make an appointment with us!

  3. Aggressive Brushing
  4. It may sound strange, but aggressively brushing your teeth actually wears away at the enamel of your teeth. If you’re brushing with a toothbrush whose bristles are not labeled “soft” or you are scrubbing rather than gently brushing your teeth, ask us for a refresher on correct brushing technique.

  5. Genetics
  6. Studies have shown that 30% of Americans are genetically predisposed to be more susceptible to gum disease and receding gums, regardless of their oral hygiene practices. If your parents have gum recession, chances are you might get it too.

  7. Teeth Grinding
  8. Grinding your teeth puts a lot of pressure and force on your teeth and can lead to a number of dental health issues, including gum recession.

  9. Crooked or Misaligned Teeth
  10. Poor alignment of your teeth puts abnormal force on your jawbone and gums, causing your gums to recede. Also, teeth that are overcrowded are difficult to keep clean, leading to plaque and tartar accumulation that irritate gums. This is one reason it’s so important to get any crooked teeth or bite misalignment corrected with orthodonture.

  11. Tobacco Use
  12. When people smoke, a sticky film of plaque builds up on their teeth that leads to enamel erosion and gum recession. Smoking and using tobacco also reduces your body’s ability to fight off inflammation and infection in your gums.

  13. Poor Oral Hygiene
  14. It’s vital that you maintain good dental hygiene practices every single day by brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing at least once a day, using fluoride toothpaste, and rinsing at least occasionally with an alcohol-free mouthwash. Poor oral hygiene could result in a host of dental health issues, including gum recession.

We Can Help You Have Superb Oral Health!

If you are noticing any receding gums, tooth sensitivity, or symptoms of gum disease, notify us today. At your biannual dental cleanings and checkups we’ll give you tips to improve your oral health. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment!.

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