4 Common Causes of Gum Recession — And What To Do About Them

Categories: Blog, Dental Health

Recession, or receding gums, is something I talk about quite often with my patients. In fact, we check for receding gums by taking gum line measurements at every dentist visit.

Why are these measurements important?

Because, besides attractively showcasing your teeth, your gums also protect your teeth and underlying bone from bacteria and abrasive food particles. Sometimes, though, the gums can pull back or recede from the teeth, leaving them exposed and vulnerable to damage and disease.

Here are 4 things that could contribute to gum recession—and what you can do about them.

Periodontal (gum) disease: This is by far the most common cause for recession. Triggered by bacterial plaque, gum disease can cause the gums to detach and then recede from the teeth. To prevent gum disease, you should practice daily brushing and flossing and see your dentist at least twice a year to thoroughly remove plaque. And see your dentist as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment at the first sign of red, swollen or bleeding gums.

Tooth position: While a tooth normally erupts surrounded by bone, sometimes it erupts out of correct alignment and is therefore outside the bony housing and protective gum tissue. Orthodontic treatment to move teeth to better positions can correct this problem, as well as stimulate the gum tissues around the involved teeth to thicken and become more resistant to recession.

Thin gum tissues. Thin gum tissues, a quality you inherit from your parents, are more susceptible to wear and tear and so more likely to recede. If you have thin gum tissues you’ll need to stay on high alert for any signs of disease or problems. And you should also be mindful of our next common cause, which is….

Overaggressive hygiene. While it seems counterintuitive, brushing doesn’t require a lot of “elbow grease” to remove plaque. A gentle scrubbing motion over all your tooth surfaces is usually sufficient. On the other hand, applying too much force (or brushing too often) can damage your gums over time and cause them to recede. Aggressive toothbrushing can be specially problematic for people with thinner gum tissues. So brush gently but thoroughly to protect your gums.

Get the Care You Need

As always, if you have any questions about conditions that may be happening inside your mouth — we’re available to address your concerns. Call us: 865-584-8630 or schedule an appointment online.

Why Knoxville Dentist Dr. Jim Erpenbach?

Dr. Erpenbach utilizes biomimetic dentistry, which means he creates dental work that imitates the natural teeth as closely as possible. He uses carefully selected materials and the latest science, technology, and techniques to produce incredible dental work. He acknowledges that the natural tooth form is the most perfect restoration and should be preserved or duplicated as close as possible based upon the most current scientific means available. Less is best, the more of the natural tooth we can save the better. Prevention of problems is the key. Dr. Erpenbach is committed to keeping up with the ever changing advances in providing care by being a student for life. Dr. Erpenbach’s team averages 150 hours of Continuing Education each year, and Dr. Erpenbach trains other dentists in biomimetic dentistry.