Receding gums are no fun! It can be irritating and painful. Gum recession is a very common problem. But what exactly is it and what causes it? Gum recession happens when the margin of the gum tissue that surrounds the tooth begins to move or pull away gradually thus exposing the roots of the tooth. You may notice a notch at the margin of the gum where it has receded. Because it is a gradual process, most people are not aware of the problem until they begin to experience tooth sensitivity. Not taken care of chronic receding gums can cause loose teeth or even tooth loss! Therefore, it’s important to have dental exams to ensure your gums are healthy!

There are several causes for receding gums. These include: aggressive brushing or flossing, family genes, misaligned teeth, grinding or clenching your teeth, trauma to the gum tissue, and/or poor oral health.

Treatment will depend on what the causing the problem. If you are aggressive when it comes to brushing, the solutions can be using “soft” bristled toothbrushes. Remember to gently brush your teeth in the proper way. Ask us or your dentist if you need a refresher on proper brushing techniques. However if you know you are grinding or clenching your teeth at night; a simple solution can be using a mouth guard. Lastly having poor oral health can cause peridontitis, gum disease. Peridontitis causes gums to recede. When you come in for your yearly dental cleaning, we will examine your gums to determine if peridontitis is the root cause. If so, we will discuss treatment options to get your gums healthy soon as possible.

At times gum recession does require special treatments such as scaling and root planning and even gum grafting. As with every malady, the key is to detect it as early as possible. Keeping a good oral health care routine is very important to not just protecting your teeth, but also protecting your gums. And remember brush gently.