What Causes Gum Recession?

Did you know that your gums can actually recede over time, exposing your teeth to disease?

Did you know that more than half of all American adults have periodontal disease, one of the leading causes of gum recession? This is quite serious when you take into consideration how serious gum recession can be.

Gum recession is a condition where your gums either recede or wear away from your teeth. This can expose the roots of your teeth and cause air pockets, or gaps, between your gums and teeth. These air pockets can provide bacteria with the ideal environment in which to grow. 

Leaving receding gums untreated can lead to serious dental problems, so you’ll want to get the problem checked out sooner rather than later. At the offices of Juan M. Carrillo, DMD, your dental health is our greatest priority, and that’s why we’ve compiled this list to help you better understand the dangers of gum recession. 

The causes of gum recession

Receding gums is a common issue. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize their gums are receding until the condition reaches the later stages. The following are some things that can lead to this condition:

Improper dental care

When you don’t practice proper oral hygiene, such as brushing, flossing, and maintaining regular dental checkups, plaque can build up on your teeth. When plaque builds up, it can harden into tartar, a stubborn substance that hardens on your teeth. Plaque can only be removed by a dental professional, and if left untreated, it can lead to gum recession.

Brushing teeth too aggressively

When brushing your teeth, harder is not better. In fact, if you brush your teeth too hard or in the wrong way, your gums could recede.


Smoking can cause a sticky plaque to form on your teeth. This sticky plaque is difficult to get off of your teeth and can lead to gum recession.

Hormonal changes

When women go through puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, their hormones can fluctuate dramatically. This can cause gums to become more sensitive and vulnerable to recession. 

Crooked teeth

If your teeth aren’t even, or if your bite is misaligned, there’s more pressure placed on your gums, which can lead to gum recession.

Teeth grinding

If you grind or clench your teeth, you place too much weight on them. This can aggravate your gums and lead to recession. 

How we treat gum recession

Unfortunately, receding gums don’t grow back, which is a great reason to have the issue treated sooner rather than later. 

If we catch the problem in its early stages, we can easily treat gum recession with a deep cleaning procedure, also called scaling and root planing. Deep cleaning targets the bacteria that can grow in the pockets between your gums and teeth. 

If the problem has progressed to more serious stages, you may need surgery. At our offices, we use a specialized technique called the pinhole surgical technique. With this procedure, we create a tiny pinhole in the gum tissue. Then, through this pinhole, we use special instruments to gently stretch your gum tissue to cover exposed roots.

To get treated for recessed gums or to learn more about prevention, book an appointment online or over the phone with Juan M. Carrillo, DMD, today.

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