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. 

Table of Contents

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.

Make an Appointment Today!

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. 

Receding Gums FAQs

When the gum tissue surrounding and supporting the teeth deteriorates, more of the tooth or root is exposed. This condition is known as receding gums, and left untreated, may result in sensitivity, discomfort, and even tooth loss.

The following actions can help with receding gums:

  1. Use an antiseptic mouthwash, floss daily, and brush your teeth twice daily with a soft-bristled brush to maintain proper oral hygiene.
  2. Use desensitizing toothpaste to lessen the sensitivity brought on by receding gums.
  3. Avoid brushing too vigorously: Brushing too vigorously might further harm the gums. Instead, be gentle.
  4. Stop smoking: Smoking might worsen your body’s ability to fight infections and lead to gum disease.

Preventing gum recession is vital to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. You can help prevent further gum recession and other dental problems by taking care of your oral health.

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, maintain proper oral hygiene, use an antiseptic mouthwash, gently massage your gums, apply a warm compress, use a gum stimulator, and refrain from smoking as home remedies for receding gums. To remove plaque and bacteria, it’s crucial to brush gently, floss every day, and use an antiseptic mouthwash. Using a gum stimulator or massaging your gums with your fingertips can increase blood flow and support healthy gums. Warm compresses can be used to ease discomfort and reduce swelling.

Finally, abstaining from cigarette use is critical, which can exacerbate gum disease and gum recession.

Although receding gums can be addressed, the extent of restoration will depend on how bad the condition is. Improved oral hygiene practices, such as routine brushing, flossing, and antiseptic mouthwash, are frequently effective in treating mild cases of gum recession. Professional dental scaling and root planing, where plaque and tartar are removed from the teeth and the roots are flattened to prevent additional buildup, may be necessary for more severe instances. Gum graft surgery, where tissue is taken from another area of the mouth and connected to the area of receding gums to cover the exposed root, may be required in some circumstances.

While these treatments can help restore some gum tissue, they cannot always fully restore the gums to their original state. Early detection and prompt treatment are vital in preventing further damage and achieving the best possible outcome.

Depending on how severe the disease is, there are various treatment options for receding gums. Improved oral hygiene practices like regular brushing, flossing, and an antiseptic mouthwash can help treat mild instances. To get rid of plaque and tartar buildup, professional dental cleaning and scaling, and root planing may be suggested. Gum graft surgery may be required for more severe cases when tissue is taken from another area of the mouth and connected to the area of receding gums to cover the exposed root. Regenerative methods may occasionally be applied to encourage the development of new gum tissue.

Gum recession must be treated immediately to limit harm and guarantee the optimum outcome.