Gum Recession: Why Does it Start & How to Prevent it

Even with regular dental visits and pristine home care, you may still acquire some level of gum recession.  To some degree the majority of the population will eventually develop gum recession.  “Gum recession is when the margin of the gum tissue surrounding the teeth wears away, or pulls back, exposing more of the tooth, or the tooth’s root.” (Oral B) Gum recession can often be a slow process, and one day you may look at your teeth and realize they look “longer.”

Before and after gingival gum graft. (JADA)

Causes of Recession

  • Anatomy/type of tissue
  • Irregular tooth position
  • Aggressive brushing 
  • Chewing Tobacco
  • Trauma
  • Periodontal Disease and plaque along the gumline

Treatment for Recession
When left untreated, recession will only continue to increase. Now, while that may be a slow progression the resulting bone loss is irreversible. Determining the cause is key to preventing further recession. In some cases it may be advised that the cause be treated (brushing less aggressively, treating periodontal disease,quitting tobacco etc)  and the recession be monitored for any further progression. In other cases a gingival graft may be the best option.

When it comes to preventing recession the single most important controllable factor is maintaining good oral health habits. With regular visits to your hygienist and implementing a sound home care routine of brushing 2x/day and flossing daily will greatly decrease the start and progression of recession. As always, if you have questions or areas of concern, please let us know at your next visit! 


Oral B:


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