Dental Tips Blog


6 Common Causes of Gum Recession

Posted in Gum Disease

You’re not sure when you first started noticing it, but now it’s impossible to ignore: your gums are creeping away from the teeth exposing sensitive yellow roots.

What’s going on here?

Gum recession can often be blamed on genetics and aging. But if you’re experiencing recession in just a few spots, then there’s a good chance you can identify the trigger that’s causing it.

Orthodontic Appliances

Plaque that collects on fixed brackets is often to blame for irritating gums, causing them to shrink back away from the appliances and the tooth.

Oral Appliances

Do you wear a partial denture or retainer? Even a sports mouth guard could be the culprit. If your prosthesis is damaged or needs an adjustment, one of the first signs could be gum recession.

Irritating Restorations

Excessive fillings and poor crown margins are known to cause some inflammation in gum tissue, especially if they’re old. You’ll need a dentist to examine the restoration for “overhangs” and repair or replace it so that the area doesn’t stay irritated.


Did you know that clenching your teeth can cause gum recession? Unconsciously biting hard when you’re stressed puts a lot of tension on those poor gums.

Tooth Brushing

If you’re in the habit of scrubbing too hard, you could be literally scrubbing your gums away!

Gum Disease

Gum recession is often an indicator that there’s a serious infection.

Your dentist will help you narrow down the possibilities if you aren’t sure. He or she will also let you know what you can do to prevent further recession and provide treatment options for your gum disease.

Call your dentist today to schedule a consultation.

Posted on behalf of:
Avalon Dental Group P.C.
2205 Williams Trace Blvd #108
Sugar Land, TX 77478
(281) 240-5559


Prevent Gum Recession with 3 Methods

Posted in Gum Disease

Gums recede for a number of reasons. A lot of these have to do with your current oral health and genetic background, which can be impossible to prevent. Some causes, however, are things you do have control over.

  1. Practice Gentle Brushing

A life-long habit of aggressive brushing takes a definite toll on gums. Gums are very sensitive to pressure and will pull away from the tooth if they are scrubbed too hard.

Try swapping your toothbrush to your non-dominant hand. It will feel awkward, but this will force you to “think” about how to brush instead of just doing it by habit. Using a toothbrush with extra-soft bristles is also a good idea.

  1. Cut Out the Tobacco

If you use tobacco in any form, you can bet that it’s contributing to your receding gums.

Ingredients inside of and smoke associated with tobacco products are irritating to gum tissue and contribute to the development of gum disease. When you quit the habit, you’ll halt the advancing gum-loss.

  1. Get a Mouthguard

Your gums respond to pressure on your teeth. As teeth bite together, they put stress on the ligaments around them. This is normal, but if you clench your teeth too often, you’ll strain the gums around your teeth. A habit of grinding your teeth in your sleep can manifest itself in gum recession.

A dentist can set you up with a specialized mouthguard that will prevent your teeth from closing together all the way.

When your gums shrink away, your teeth look longer, yellower, and older. They’ll also probably become more sensitive and prone to decay. Besides all this, gum recession means less support keeping your teeth in place.

To get more help in combating recession, contact your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Moores Chapel Dentistry
9115 Samlen Lane #105
Charlotte, NC 28214
(704) 389-9299


Are You Over-Brushing?

You’ve been told to brush your teeth frequently, but did you know that it could actually damage your teeth? 

Scrubbing too hard is abrasive to your enamel.

Some dentists describe scrubbing back and forth to a saw going back and forth on the enamel. When you’re applying too much pressure or using a very firm bristled toothbrush, even strong tooth enamel can begin to wear away. This typically appears as notches in the enamel along the gumlines. 

Gum recession can be a result.

Gum tissue is even more sensitive than tooth enamel. Scrubbing the gums can cause them to recede down the side of the tooth, exposing the root. Gum recession is irreversible without surgical intervention, and if severe enough it can cause loss of the tooth. 

Soft is better.

A stiff bristled toothbrush or a rigid style electric brush can make abrasion and gum recession even worse. Always choose a soft-bristled brush that allows bristles to conform to the tooth surface without constant firm pressure. Make short strokes with the bristles angled toward the gumlines, focusing on just one or two teeth at a time. 

It’s still a bad thing to skip out on brushing, so make sure you’re brushing your teeth at least twice each day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, just not placing too much pressure against the teeth in the process. During your routine dental check-up your dentist can let you know if you’ve been brushing too hard. Early intervention is the best way to prevent irreversible damage and keep your smile it’s healthiest. Be sure to schedule dental preventive visits at least every 6 months.

Posted on behalf of Find Local Dentists


Three Causes of Gum Recession

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum recession can cause tooth sensitivity and esthetic concerns. As gums recede, they also jeopardize the health of your mouth. If there isn’t enough healthy tissue and bone around your tooth, it can become mobile and even fall out. Knowing how to prevent and halt gum recession is important.

Gum disease

Periodontal disease causes gum tissue to detach from the teeth, as well as bone loss. As a side effect, gum tissue often creeps down the root of the tooth, leaving it exposed. People with gum disease typically begin experiencing symptoms of food packing, bleeding, and tenderness. 

Tobacco use

Smokeless tobacco use can cause aggressive gum recession in areas where the tobacco is held in the mouth. Even with moving the tobacco from place to place, the gums can experience recession. Cigarette use can cause other symptoms of gum disease to go unnoticed until recession begins to occur. 

Aggressive toothbrushing

Have you been told to brush with a soft toothbrush? That’s because using a medium or hard bristled brush can actually damage your gum tissue. Even scrubbing too hard with a soft brush can create irreversible enamel abrasion as well as gum recession. Stick with a gentle brush and apply only a light amount of pressure, making short strokes on one or two teeth at a time.

Since gum recession is irreversible, some people may find themselves in need of having a gum graft. Grafting helps to re-cover severe areas of recession. Smaller areas may have tooth colored bonding placed instead. If you’ve noticed recession, no matter how small, it’s time to see your dentist!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Virginia Kirkland, North Point Periodontics



Are Hard or Soft Bristles Best?

Posted in Oral Surgery

There are so many types of toothbrushes available on the oral care aisle, not to mention the selection of bristle types. Which type of bristle is best – hard, medium, or soft? Even when their dentist tells them which one to try, many patients go with the complete opposite. Does it really matter which one you choose, and does it affect your oral tissues?

One type of bristle can actually do physical damage to your tooth enamel and gum tissues over time. Which one is it? Hard bristles – especially when someone scrub brushes very firmly, a hard bristled toothbrush can physically wear away tooth enamel and cause gum recession which may require gum graft surgery. Both of these conditions are irreversible and lead to sensitivity and aesthetic concerns.

The best type of toothbrush to use is one with soft bristles. Softer brushes are gentler on the gum tissue, tooth enamel, and provide just as effective plaque removal as other types of brushes. Gently massaging the gumlines can remove plaque from below the surface without causing irreversible gum recession due to excess forces. Even though you’re choosing a brush with soft bristles, you should still make sure that you’re not pushing too firmly when you brush. Scrubbing hard with a softer brush can still cause some dental wear.

Medium bristled toothbrushes are still too firm to use on your teeth. If you’re unsure whether or not you have enamel abrasion and gum recession from hard brushing, you can ask your hygienist to check. The areas around your premolars or canines are typically the most susceptible, and damage is first evident in these locations. Catching wear as early as possible can prevent dental problems later on.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Virginia Kirkland, North Point Periodontics



What Causes Gum Recession?

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum recession can create an unsightly appearance in your smile, elevate tooth sensitivity and place your tooth at risk for premature loss. Most gum recession can be prevented, but in some cases it may occur due to anatomical reasons. Here is an overview of common causes of gum recession:

Abrasive Toothbrushing
Scrubbing the teeth too hard, or with a medium to stiff bristled toothbrush can encourage the gum tissue to creep further down the root of the tooth. It can also scrub enamel right off of the tooth. Instead, use a soft bristled brush with only enough pressure to cause light blanching in the gum tissue.

Tobacco Use
Chewing tobacco that is kept against particular teeth is so abrasive that it destroys the gum tissue. This is due to ingredients such as ground glass particles evident in the chewing tobacco, which is used to increase nicotine uptake into the body. Chronic irritation from the chewing tobacco causes a cumulative effect that often results in severe recession. Smoking also contributes to gum recession as it prevents nutrients from flowing through blood vessels to correct conditions like gingivitis or gum disease.

Tooth Misalignment or Orthodontic Treatment
The position of teeth may predispose them to gum recession. Accelerated orthodontic therapy may also have side effects of gum tissue being lost around teeth with severe malocclusion.

Oral Piercings
Most oral piercings in the lip area will cause a slight rubbing of the back of the jewelry against the gums or near the gumline inside of the mouth. This constant rubbing of the metal against the gums will cause the gums to creep away, falling down the root of the teeth.

Treatments such as gum grafting are available to help repair areas of severe gum recession, but early intervention is the best care possible!


Are Your Gums Receding?

When the gum tissue surrounding your teeth begins to recede and expose more and more of your teeth, this is a condition referred to as gum recession.  Gum recession or receding gums is a common dental condition that can be cause by a variety of factors.  Gum disease is one of the primary causes of receding gums.  Bacteria that infects the gums can destroy gum tissue and cause the gums to recede.  Left untreated, gum disease can cause serious health problems and tooth loss.

Brushing too hard can also lead to receding gums.  Brushing twice a day is good for your oral health, but brushing hard only wears down the tooth enamel and gums.  There is no need to brush hard.  On the other hand, not brushing often enough can also lead to gum recession. The naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth will form plaque and tartar that will build up below the gums and cause gingivitis, gum disease, and gum recession. Brushing  gently with a soft bristle brush twice a day and flossing once a day will remove plaque and bacteria and help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and gum recession.  In addition, you should see your dentist regularly for a dental cleaning and checkup.   Some people don’t notice receding gums because it happens slowly, but your dentist will be able to identify it during an examination and treat it before it gets worse.

Other causes of receding gums include tongue or lip piercing, crooked teeth, hormonal changes, and teeth grinding.  Tobacco use, including smokeless tobacco and cigarettes, also contributes to gum recession.  In addition, some people are simply genetically predisposed to gum recession no matter how well they take care of their oral health.

Gum recession can and should be treated to avoid damage to your teeth, gums, and the supporting structures.  Without treatment, gum recession can result in the loss of your teeth.  If you notice your gums receding, consult with your dentist about treatment options.

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