A receding gum line happens when the gums pull back from the teeth to expose tooth roots.
This recession can not only be unsightly and harmful to the teeth, but painful as well. Gum
recession can cause tooth sensitivity and even loose teeth.
Receding gums can have several causes. The following are some of the most common reasons
why you may be seeing a receding gum line.
Periodontal disease—also called gum disease—is the most common reason that the gums begin
to recede. In the beginning stages of gum disease, bacteria accumulate around the gum line
and can irritate the gum tissue. When this irritant isn’t removed, the disease progresses and
can cause an infection, loose teeth, and even tooth loss.
Periodontal disease is treatable, but the more advanced it becomes, the harder it is to treat.
Seeking treatment for your gum recession as soon as you notice it is paramount to reversing
gum disease and restoring your gum health!
For some people, brushing their teeth too hard can contribute to a receding gum line. Gentle
brushing is effective at removing plaque while brushing your teeth aggressively, especially with
a stiff-bristled toothbrush, can cause the gums to begin to pull back from the teeth.
It’s important to invest in a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush your teeth gently yet thoroughly
in order to effectively remove plaque at the gum line and keep your gum tissue safe and
Poor Oral Health
Not taking proper care of your teeth can cause plaque to build up around the gum line and turn
into tartar. Without brushing and flossing, this plaque has a greater chance of going on to cause
Brushing and flossing your teeth every day as well as visiting your dentist can help regularly
remove plaque and prevent your gums from receding, so don’t neglect your oral health,
especially if you notice gum recession!
Smoking or Using Tobacco
Smoking or using other tobacco products can cause the gums to recede. Toxins in cigarette
smoke, chewing tobacco, and even marijuana can irritate the gum tissue and begin the process
of gum recession or exacerbate existing gum recession due to gum disease or poor oral health.
Even the nicotine in e-cigarettes can contribute to dry mouth, which can again contribute to
problems with gum health. In order to have the healthiest smile possible, avoiding all types of
tobacco and marijuana smoke is important.
Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)
Teeth grinding not only damages teeth, but can cause the gum tissue to recede as well. When
bruxism—the term for teeth grinding—happens, it places a huge amount of pressure on the
teeth and their roots. The roots can become inflamed which in turn can inflame gum tissue.
If you suspect you grind your teeth, your dentist can help you stop this incredibly harmful habit
to avoid further damage to your teeth and gums with stress management and a mouthguard if
Are you seeing the signs or experiencing the symptoms of gum recession? When gums begin to
pull back from the teeth, they can expose tooth roots which can lead to painful sensitivity or
even an increased risk of tooth decay at the gum line. Don’t wait to see your oral healthcare
professional if you’re worried about gum recession!