What Causes Gum Recession?

Author:  |  Category: Dentist

By Dr. Vito Clarizio

When gums are healthy, they are positioned up against your teeth covering your tooth roots and keeping food particles from getting below your gum line. With gum recession, the gums move away from the tooth, exposing the tooth roots and making it easy for food and bacteria to get below the gum line sometimes creating periodontal pockets that can become infected, resulting in tooth loss or jawbone deterioration.

Gum recession is typically caused when the tissue of the gums becomes damaged either due to poor dental hygiene, trauma to the mouth, or periodontal disease. Crooked or irregular teeth or thin, fragile gum tissue can also be the reason for gum recession. There are several symptoms that can indicate gum recession, and when they occur are warning signs letting you know that it’s time for a visit to your dentist to correct the problem before more serious issues can develop. Signs of gum recession are:

–The roots of your teeth begin to show.

–Your teeth start appearing longer than they normally do.


–When brushing your teeth or running your tongue over your teeth you may feel a notch at the gum line.

–You may start to notice that you have bad breath.

–The spaces between your teeth seem to be getting bigger.

–Your gums may bleed when you brush or floss.

–Your gums may look red or swollen.

–You might notice tooth decay below your gum line.

–The color of your teeth may look different because the color of your tooth enamel is actually different than the color of the cementum which covers a tooth root.

The first step for treating gum recession is to determine the underlying cause and to correct or eliminate it. By examining your teeth, your dentist can quickly determine what is causing the issue. Since poor oral hygiene habits are often the culprit behind the issue, your dental professionals can help you determine good daily oral hygiene habits along with instructing you on the right way to brush your teeth, which will often be enough to correct the problem.

When the gum recession is located on just a few of your teeth in the front of your mouth, the way that you are brushing your teeth is most likely the cause and your dental hygienist can quickly instruct you on how to brush your teeth without causing damage to your gums. Sometimes the way your teeth are aligned or a habit of grinding your teeth can be the cause. However, if all or the majority of your teeth have receding gums, it is most likely that periodontal disease is involved. A thorough periodontal screening and examination will help your dentist diagnose the extent of the disease and the best treatment method for stopping the problem and correcting the damage.

The important thing to know about gum recession is that it should not be ignored because it can quickly develop into a larger problem such as serious periodontal disease, which can result in tooth loss and bone deterioration.

About the Author: After graduating as a DMD in 1988

Dr. Vito Clarizio

started his own practice in Whitestone, NY and has been in private practice here for over 20 years. He is loved by both his patients and his staff. His core staff has been with him since the beginning of the practice.




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