Why Do Gums Recede?

If you’ve noticed your teeth look longer, you may have gum recession. Gum recession, in which the gum tissue actually begins to pull away from the teeth, can happen for several reasons.

Receding gums can be painful, exposing sensitive tooth roots and causing sensitivity or inflammation. In severe cases, gum recession may even contribute to loose teeth. What are the top reasons that gum tissue may begin to recede?

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is one of the most common reasons that gums recede.

In periodontal disease, poor oral hygiene can lead to the buildup of plaque around the gum tissue. When left unremoved, plaque can cause inflammation and even infection. Gums may be appear red, swollen, bleed when you brush your teeth, or begin to recede [1].

Gum disease happens in stages, with the first stage being gum inflammation, or gingivitis. Once gum disease progresses past this initial stage, gum recession can happen.

Aggressive Tooth Brushing

Brushing your teeth too aggressively is another reason gum tissue may begin to pull back from the teeth. If you use a toothbrush that has stiff bristles, you may be causing more damage to your teeth and gums than you think [2].

Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and using gentle maneuvers to brush teeth can help you avoid irritating the gum tissue. You don’t need to brush your teeth hard to remove plaque. A thorough brushing is more effective than a harsh one.

Misaligned Teeth

Many people are surprised to hear that misaligned teeth can actually contribute to gum disease and gum recession. Teeth that don’t fit together correctly are typically harder to clean, which can make it easier for plaque to build up and cause irritation around the gumline [3].

Teeth that stick out at unnatural angles may also be more at risk for gum recession, which makes it more important to be gentle when cleaning your smile and follow up with your dentist for regular oral care.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy triggers hormonal changes in the body that can influence gum health. In fact, women who are expecting are at higher risk for what’s called pregnancy gingivitis, in which gum tissue can swell and bleed during pregnancy [4]. During this time, gums may begin to recede due to these hormonal changes.

In some cases, these symptoms go away on their own, but in others, it may progress to full-blown gum disease, especially if the mother had gum disease prior to getting pregnant. Seeking treatment from your dentist can help ensure your gum inflammation is under control, which can ultimately protect your baby.

Don’t Ignore Receding Gums!

Receding gums can be uncomfortable and affect the appearance of your teeth. Without identifying the underlying cause of your gum recession, the issue won’t get better over time. If your teeth appear longer than normal or you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, follow up with your oral care provider to see if gum recession could be the issue!

Sources:
1. https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/conditions/periodontal-disease.html
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4944726/
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK553375/
4. https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-health-wellness/treat-
gum-disease-naturally-pregnancy/

Summary
Why Do Gums Recede?
Article Name
Why Do Gums Recede?
Description
Receding gums can be painful, exposing sensitive tooth roots and causing sensitivity or inflammation. In severe cases, gum recession may even contribute to loose teeth. What are the top reasons that gum tissue may begin to recede?
Author
Orangevale Dental