Why Are My Gums Receding?

Gum recession is a surprisingly common problem, and many people don’t realize they have this issue until their teeth begin to look significantly longer than before. The problem results in the gum tissue surrounding the teeth gradually becoming worn away or beginning to pull back, exposing more of the actual length of the tooth or even its root. Quite often gum recession can be a sign of gum disease, and if this is the case then it will require urgent treatment from one of our dentists at the Contemporary Periodontics and Implant Surgery Center. Neglecting to find out the cause of your gum recession could mean the problem will continue to progress, and will eventually affect the bone structure surrounding your teeth, and ultimately it may even result in tooth loss.

First Signs of Gum Recession

One of the first signs of gum recession is noticing your teeth look longer than you remember, but you may also notice your teeth begin to become more sensitive to hot and cold. This is because gum recession exposes the root of the tooth which isn’t covered in a hard layer of protective enamel. Instead the tooth root is covered in a much softer substance called cementum that is easily worn away.

Why Do Gums Recede?

It can be due to a variety of reasons including:

  • Brushing your teeth too hard, as this can wear away the tooth enamel and the delicate gum tissue. If you are brushing your teeth too hard then we can advise you on the best way to brush them to avoid any further damage, and are likely to recommend you use a soft bristled toothbrush that is kinder to your gums.
  • It may be down to your genes, as some people are more likely to develop gum disease. In fact studies have shown that up to a third of the population could be more at risk of developing gum disease, even if they have good dental hygiene.
  • If you are lax about your dental care, then you are more at risk of developing gum disease. This causes the gums to become infected and inflamed, gradually resulting in them pulling back from your teeth, creating large pockets around the teeth which are perfect for collecting more disease causing bacteria. We have lots of different treatments available to deal with the effects of gum disease, and to hopefully eradicate all signs of this common condition.
  • Grinding and clenching or bruxism can also put pressure on your teeth and gums, causing gum recession. This condition is often easily resolved through wearing a night guard. If you think you might have this problem then ask us about having a custom-made night guard to help protect your teeth and gums from any further damage.
  • If you smoke you are more at risk of developing gum disease as tobacco users often have more problems with sticky plaque and calculus that cause this condition. One solution might be to quit smoking, or to book more frequent professional cleanings with one of our hygienists.
  • If your teeth don’t bite together correctly then it can place too much force on your teeth and gums, causing gum recession. We can assess your bite and will recommend the most suitable treatment to correct this problem. This might mean crowning or adjusting your teeth, or orthodontic treatment to reposition them.

If you do have receding gums then make an appointment to come and see us as soon as you can. Our dentists at the Contemporary Periodontics and Implant Surgery Center will diagnose the reason for this issue and can recommend the most suitable treatment options.