Receding Gums

Receding gums happen when the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth wears away or pulls back, exposing the root or more of the tooth. This can be one of the first signs of gum disease.  If not treated, it can lead to further problems and even the loss of the tooth.

According to WebMD there are a number of factors that can cause your gums to recede, including:

Periodontal diseases. These are bacterial gum infections that destroy gum tissue and supporting bone that hold your teeth in place. Gum disease is the main cause of gum recession.

Your genes. Some people may be more susceptible to gum disease. In fact, studies show that 30% of the population may be predisposed to gum disease, regardless of how well they care for their teeth.

Aggressive tooth brushing. If you brush your teeth too hard or the wrong way, it can cause the enamel on your teeth to wear away and your gums to recede.

Insufficient dental care. Inadequate brushing and flossing makes it easy for plaque to turn into calculus (tartar) — a hard substance that can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning — and build up on and in between your teeth, causing gum recession.

Hormonal changes. Fluctuations in female hormone levels during a woman’s lifetime, such as in puberty, pregnancy,  and menopause, can make gums more sensitive and more vulnerable to gum recession.

Tobacco products. Tobacco users are more likely to have sticky plaque on their teeth that is difficult to remove, which can cause gum recession.

Grinding and clenching your teeth. Clenching or grinding your teeth can put too much force on the teeth, causing gums to recede. 

Crooked teeth or a misaligned bite. When teeth do not come together evenly, too much force can be placed on the gums and bone, allowing gums to recede.

Body piercing of the lip or tongue. Jewelry can rub the gums and irritate them to the point that gum tissue is worn away.

Although gum recession is a common problem, many people don’t realize they are suffering from it because it comes on gradually. You might notice more tooth sensitivity or your teeth may appear longer.  If you are having these problems it is important that you contact our office as there are treatments that can be done to help prevent further damage. This is something you don’t want to ignore. The best way you can prevent your gums from receding is to take good care of your mouth.


  • Brush your teeth daily preferably with a soft bristled toothbrush.
  • Floss your teeth every day.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Monitor any changes you see or feel in your mouth.
  • Most importantly, keep your appointments to see Dr. Brogdon twice a year for cleanings and to check up.

Your smile is the only one you have. Take care of it by following these preventative tips.


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