What causes receding gums and how to stop them

Young Indian man showing his inflamed gums

Learn more about receding gums from what causes them to recede to how to stop your gums from receding and prevent any further damage. 

Your smile is an important part of who you are, and the best way to have a great smile is keeping up with your dental hygiene. Most people only think about their teeth when taking care of their mouth, but it’s important not to forget about your gums. Healthy gums help keep your mouth clean. The tight seal of your gums keeps bacteria and food particles away from your teeth, without healthy gums these particles could get to your teeth leading to gum disease

What is a receding gum? 

A receding gum is a form of gum disease which happens when your gum tissue comes off your teeth and exposes the roots underneath your gums. Exposure of your tooth root will be the most common sign of a receding gum line. With this, your teeth will be more susceptible to getting cavities and you may find your teeth being more sensitive while eating or brushing.  

Other receding gum symptoms include: 

  • Pain near your gum line
  • Bleeding after brushing or flossing 
  • Red, swollen gums
  • Changing tooth appearance
  • Sensitivity to cold and heat

What causes receding gums?

There are multiple causes of gum recession—most of them being issues of poor dental hygiene. Though this isn’t always the case, as many people genetically have thin gum tissue. 

The most common causes of gum recession are:

  • Dental Plaque build-up
  • Brushing too hard
  • Smoking/tobacco use
  • Tongue piercings
  • Misaligned teeth

Is gum recession curable?

Unfortunately, gum recession isn’t curable, but you are able to prevent it with good dental hygiene and the right care. 

What are the best ways to prevent gum recession?

Though some people may not be able to prevent gum recession due to having genetically thinner gums, there are plenty of ways to take care of and reduce the risk of a receding gum line. Keeping up with dental hygiene is key. Make sure to brush twice daily, floss, and use antimicrobial mouthwash. Keep up with your dentist’s teeth cleaning appointments. Most dentists recommend teeth cleaning every 6 months, but it’s always best to talk to your dentist and see what’s right for you. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush is another great way to mitigate any risk of damaging your gums. Avoiding smoking and the use of tobacco products is also important for your gums and overall dental hygiene.

If you think you may have receding gums, it’s a good idea to make an appointment today to see your dentist. You’ll get the peace of mind and friendly care you need, as well as some helpful pointers, to strengthen your gums and prevent further damage.