Dental Tips Blog


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!

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