that-woman-had-toothache-hand-touch-her-cheek i think my gums are receding

I Think My Gums Are Receding

For many patients, solutions for gum recession can enhance both their appearance and overall dental health. Gum recession can happen even to people with good oral hygiene. There are many options available to treat receding gums when you begin to say 

Solutions for gum recession are available at Viva Smiles Family Dental in Georgetown and the surrounding area. Click here to make an appointment today.


Signs of Gum Recession

For some patients, gum recession may set in subtly and go unnoticed for some time. The aesthetic changes following gum recession are the most apparent. These include visibly shrinking gums and exposed tooth roots. However, other common symptoms include:

  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding after brushing or flossing
  • Loose teeth
  • Pain at the gum line
  • Red, swollen gums

Patients may experience concerns about their appearance during this time, as well as a fear of losing teeth. Additionally, teeth may be particularly sensitive to cold and heat (due to the exposed tooth roots).

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“The aesthetic changes that follow gum recession are the most apparent.”

Causes of Gum Recession

Several factors can cause a person’s gums to recede, regardless of the state of their oral hygiene. These include aggressive toothbrushing, body piercing, clenching or grinding teeth, crooked teeth or a misaligned bite, hormonal changes, insufficient dental care, periodontal disease, and tobacco products. Genetics may also be a factor. For example, parents may pass down weak, thin gums to their children.

“Several different factors can cause a person’s gums to recede, regardless of the state of their oral hygiene.”

Treating Gum Recession

“Some cases of gum recession are mild enough not to need treatment.”

Preventing Gum Recession

Proper dental care is the number one way to prevent gum recession. This involves maintaining a routine where patients brush their teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush at least twice daily and floss at least once daily. Patients should also see a dentist at least twice a year. At-risk patients may require more frequent visits, and a dentist that notices signs of gum recession may want to keep a vigilant watch that it does not worsen.

Patients may want to consider asking their dentist how to properly brush their teeth to ensure that they are not brushing too aggressively. Additionally, healthy lifestyle choices like eating a well-balanced diet and not smoking can lessen one’s chances of gum recession dramatically.

“…healthy lifestyle choices like eating a well-balanced diet and not smoking can lessen one’s chances of gum recession dramatically.”
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Risk Factors for Gum Recession

Certain populations may be more at risk for gum recession than others. For instance, age is a leading risk factor for receding gums, with almost 90% of people older than 65 reporting a receding gum in at least one tooth. Those who smoke or use other tobacco products also face an increased risk of receding gums, as they are more likely to develop sticky plaque.

“Certain populations may be more at risk for gum recession than others.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is gum recession correlated with bone loss?

A. Yes. The bone around the tooth dissolves when the gum recedes. It is crucial to address gum recession right away to prevent further bone loss.


Q. Will gum grafting cover all my exposed tooth roots?

A. Some teeth are easier to treat with gum grafting than others. Teeth with long, exposed roots, fillings, or notches can be difficult to cover, as can teeth with lost bone between the teeth. Early treatment is key for optimum results. Our team can help go over the options with you.


Q. Can poor-fitting partial dentures cause gum recession?

A. Anything that causes excess wear and tear on the gums and jaw can contribute to gum recession. Contact us if you are unsure if your dentures are fitting correctly.


Q. How is gum recession diagnosed?

A. Our team will start with reviewing your medical history to identify any factors that could be causing or aggravating your symptoms. Then, you will undergo an examination to look for any plaque and tartar buildup, along with any easy bleeding. The dentist will then measure the pocket depth of the groove between your gums and teeth. If necessary, our team will take X-rays to check for any bone loss.


Q. Can gum recession cause me to lose teeth?

A. Yes. Gum recession involves the loss of attached tissue, which protects the tooth and gums from any foreign materials that can infect the bone. Losing the attached tissue leads to a significant loss of bone support for the tooth.

Gum Disease Terminology

Chronic Periodontitis

Chronic periodontitis is the most common form of periodontitis, involving inflammation of the tissue surrounding the teeth and pockets forming as well.

Necrotizing Periodontal Disease

Necrotizing periodontal disease is an infection that causes lesions to form on the face and other symptoms due to the necrosis of gingival tissues, periodontal ligaments and alveolar bone.

Periapical Cyst

A periapical cyst is a pathological cavity, roots of the teeth, that typically has epithelium in the lining and contains fluid or soft matter.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a serious inflammation of the gingival tissues and the periodontal membrane of the teeth that causes pain and helps form deeper gingival sulcus.

Periodontal Ligament

Periodontal ligaments are a group of tissue fibers that help attach the tooth to the alveolar bone, which can sustain damage from gum disease or improper oral hygiene.

Periodontal Pocket

An iTero Element® scanner allows professionals to create a 3D image of the patient’s teeth in minutes and predict what it will take to move the teeth into proper alignment.

Periodontal Surgery

Periodontal surgery is the treatment of extreme levels of periodontal disease that can involve multiple techniques to remove the inflamed tissue and infection before it spreads.

Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical therapy that involves the removal of dental plaque in hard to reach places with patients who do not take proper care of their teeth.


Tartar forms when plaque builds up on the surface of the teeth and calcifies into a hard surface that is much more difficult to remove and will require professional treatment.

Call Us Today

Gum recession can be stressful to experience. We at Viva Smiles Family Dental may be able to help.

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