Dental Tips Blog


Is Your Toothbrushing Causing Gum Recession?

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum recession can be a real pain! It not only looks bad, but it can lead to other problems such as:

  • Cavities on tooth roots
  • Sensitivity
  • Loss of support for teeth

In some cases, recession is inevitable. Did you know that your toothbrushing technique could make a difference?

What Causes Recession

Your gums play an important role. They are part of a complex network that nourishes, supports, and protects your teeth. They help to keep your teeth clean and secure in your mouth.

Your gums are easily affected by inflammation and the presence of an object or force that stresses them.

Some examples include:

  • The rough edge on a crown or filling
  • Gum disease
  • Oral piercings
  • Braces and orthodontic appliances

Not to be forgotten is toothbrushing! That’s right, the way you brush your teeth could be irritating your gums. Brushing too aggressively can abrade the gum line and lead to recession. Using a toothbrush that’s too hard can also cause this problem.

Correcting Your Gum Recession

Unfortunately, once gums have receded, they don’t grow back. Your surest way to prevent further recession is to stop the action that’s causing it! If you experience recession on just one side of your mouth, that’s a good sign that perhaps you brush with a heavy hand in just that area. Try switching to your non-dominant hand when you brush.

Make sure you use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Keep your brushing motions light and small. Ask your dental hygienist for more toothbrushing tips!

If recession is advanced, your dentist can explain to you your options for gingival grafting. Minor gum reconstruction can replace the support and protection that was lost. Call your dentist today for more information.

Posted on behalf of:
Hudson Oaks Family Dentistry
200 S Oakridge Dr #106
Hudson Oaks, TX 76087
(817) 857-6790



The Causes and Treatment of Gum Recession

Posted in Periodontics

Gum recession is an unsightly and uncomfortable condition that can pop up from a number of causes. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Aggressive brushing or flossing–rough motions over the gums will irritate and shrink them.
  • Grinding or clenching your teeth–increased pressure on the teeth will strain the surrounding ligaments and gums.
  • Crooked teeth–teeth which are out of proper alignment will experience an unequal distribution of the bite force, stressing the surrounding gum tissue.
  • Tobacco use–tobacco products alter the mouth’s chemical elements. Plaque becomes even more destructive to the gums.
  • Braces/oral piercings–metal in the mouth can rub against gums and harbor bacteria, causing irritation and recession.
  • Periodontal disease–gum disease causes gum inflammation and reduction in tooth-supporting structures.
  • Aged fillings and crowns–old restorations shift over time, providing ledges and cracks which irritate the gums and harbor bacteria.
  • Poor oral hygiene–the buildup of dental plaque and tartar provide bacteria that irritate and inflame the gums. Without regular dental cleanings and a routine of brushing and flossing, such buildup will cause the gums to pull away from the teeth.

What Can Be Done to Reverse the Effects of Recession?

Since gum recession leads to increased tooth sensitivity and a greater risk of cavities, you likely do not want to waste any time in addressing it. If gum disease is at the heart of the issue, then having that treated is the first step. In some advanced cases, a specialist can surgically alter the gum tissue and/or bone levels to rebuild the support that has been lost.

In some cases of advanced recession, gum grafting can be done to protect those sensitive spots. Gum tissue is carefully selected from a healthy site in the mouth and positioned over exposed teeth.

Ask your dentist at your next appointment how he can help you determine the cause of and appropriate treatment for your gum recession.

Posted on behalf of:
Crabapple Dental
12670 Crabapple Rd #110
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(678) 319-0123


Gum Recession

Posted in Gum Disease

Receded gums are gums that have crept down the surface of the teeth, exposing the root surface. The teeth appear longer than normal, with the yellowish portion of the tooth root exposed.

It’s also common for moderate to severe tooth sensitivity to be associated with gum recession. This is because gums were designed to cover the root surfaces, which house nerve endings that are very sensitive to the outside environment. Sensitivity can be reduced by using supplemental fluoride or using a sensitivity prevention toothpaste. These toothpastes help block the pores of the teeth and are most efficient after about 2 weeks of use.

When recession is severe, it may be necessary to treat the area with gum recontouring or a gum graft. This takes gum tissue from another part of the mouth and drapes it over the exposed root, where it is affixed to the surrounding tissue. The graft helps stabilize the tooth while preventing outside factors from causing sensitivity.

If recession is severe enough, it can place your tooth at an increased risk for loss. When gums recede it also shows that there is no bone structure in that area. Bone is necessary for tooth stabilization and health. Severe bone loss typically is associated with gum disease, tooth mobility and tooth loss.

Recession can occur due to aggressive tooth brushing, smokeless tobacco use, orthodontic therapy or gum disease. Perhaps you’re beginning to notice the development or receded gums along specific teeth, or in a generalized area. Have your dentist evaluate it earlier on to help you omit the cause, and treat the area if necessary. Catching it early on is the best way to prevent severe recession later on.

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