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What Causes Gum Recession?

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28 December 2023

Gum recession, also known as receding gums or gingival recession, refers to the exposure of tooth roots caused by gum tissue that pulls away from teeth. This common problem affects people of all ages and, if left untreated, can lead to sensitivity, decay and eventual tooth loss.

Receding gums should not be ignored because as more of the tooth root becomes uncovered, teeth become unstable and 10 times more sensitive to hot and cold. Exposed roots also mean less defense against bacteria that attack vulnerable sites to enter the nerve chamber - eventually requiring root canals or extractions if decay reaches the pulp.

At Smile Venue Dental, patients often ask us — what leads to gum recession in the first place? By understanding the common causes, you can take steps to prevent gum line deterioration.

Aggressive Tooth Brushing Damages Gum Tissue

While brushing helps disrupt plaque, brushing too vigorously with a stiff brush or improper technique can inflict lasting damage over time. Brushing aggressively back and forth rather than in gentle circles often erodes gum tissue faster than it can repair itself.

This leads to shrinking, inflamed gums that fail to protect tooth surfaces and roots. Always use a soft or extra-soft bristle toothbrush and let the bristles glide gently along the contour of teeth and gums.

Bacterial Gum Infections Break Down Gums’ Attachment

Periodontal disease results from uncontrolled buildup of plaque on teeth and gums, leading to inflammation and bacterial infection of gum tissue. In trying to fight infection, the body unleashes enzymes and immune responses that inadvertently destroy gum ligaments and the bone holding teeth in place.

Bacterial toxins can also damage tissue. As your gums detach from the root surface due to this collateral damage, spaces open up that fill with more bacteria. Stopping this vicious cycle requires professional treatment.

Genetics Limit Healthy Gum Tissue for Some Patients

Your genetic makeup plays a surprising role in gum recession risk. Research shows over a quarter of people have physical traits that make them more prone to receding gums. Even when cared for gently, thinner or smaller gum foundations allow root exposure to happen quicker compared with most people. They may benefit from earlier intervention or supplemental grafting.

Smoking and Chewing Tobacco Wreak Havoc on Gum Health

From cigarette smoking to pipe tobacco to smokeless chewing products, tobacco use is disastrous for oral health. Tobacco smoke introduces thousands of toxic chemicals while chewing tobacco packs 30 times the nicotine concentration of cigarettes.

The heat, alkali, nicotine and carcinogens degrade gum blood vessels, promote tumors and greatly interfere with the body’s ability to heal or replenish gum tissue as it wears down over time.

Clenching and Grinding Accelerate Gum Line Damage

Clenching or grinding teeth under pressure places undue force directly on gum and bone structures surrounding teeth. This compresses gum tissue, which can disrupt the attachment of connective tissue and accelerate recession. Managing bruxism includes identifying triggers, reducing stress, taking calcium supplements and using a custom night guard to relieve the constant pressure.

If you notice gum sensitivity or shrinking gum contours, Smile Venue Dental provides leading dental care to halt recession and reinforce gum health. Our skilled dentists will carefully evaluate your gum recession extent using advanced 3D imaging of tooth surfaces. We diagnose the contributing factors at work and recommend suitable therapy pathways for prevention or restoration.

Schedule an appointment online to discuss options like deep cleanings, graft placement and pinhole techniques to cover exposed roots. Patient education and home care also reinforce success.

With early intervention, you can stabilize areas vulnerable to further recession — safeguarding your smile for the long term. Our friendly dental team answers all your questions during a comfortable consultation. We help thousands of patients protect themselves from progressive gum loss each year. Don’t wait for a warning sign — improve receding gums today!

FAQs on Gum Recession

What are some warning signs of gum recession?

Increasing tooth sensitivity, visible elongating tooth roots, yellowing at the gum line as cementum is exposed are key indicators of gum recession happening or worsening.

What methods can treat and restore receding gums?

Mild recession may respond to vigorous plaque removal and antimicrobials followed by remineralization strategies. Advanced grafting procedures reinforce receding zones with gum or synthetic tissue grafts to stabilize recession.

Can shrinking gums reattach themselves and heal?

Sadly, receding gums don't reattach or regenerate on their own once the supporting structures they anchored to are damaged by disease or injury over time. However, advanced grafting procedures do reinforce and cover exposed root surfaces.

Which nutrient deficiencies contribute most to gum recession?

Insufficient vitamin C leads to defective gum tissue more prone to inflammation and recession. Deficiencies in coenzyme Q10, vitamin D, calcium and folate also promote unhealthy gum deterioration.

Need Help With Receding Gums?

Don’t let receding gums advance and undermine your oral health. Schedule an evaluation to diagnose your recession risk factors early. Our compassionate and highly skilled dental team will answer all your questions about preventing further gum loss.

We provide comfortable, convenient care with advanced gum grafting therapy that reestablishes healthier gum contours and function when you need it most. You can have an even more vibrant smile than before — call today to learn more!

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