How & Why does Gum Recession start?

We all know that regular cleanings and great homecare is the recipe for dental health. Even if you do all of the right things, you may experience gum recession at some point in your life. It actually affects to some degree the majority of our population. “Gum recession is when the margin of the gum tissue surrounding the teeth wears away, or pulls back, exposing more of the tooth, or the tooth’s root.” (Oral B) Gum recession can often be a slow process, and one day you may look at your teeth and realize they look “longer.”

Before and after gingival gum graft. (JADA)

Causes of Recession

  • Anatomy/type of tissue
  • Irregular tooth position
  • Periodontal Disease and plaque along the gumline
  • Aggressive brushing 
  • Trauma
  • Chewing Tobacco

Treatment for Recession
If left untreated, recession will continue to worsen. It may be a slow progression but the bone loss that occurs is irreversible. To prevent furthering recession the cause will need to be determined. The first step is to try to treat the cause (quitting tobacco, brushing less aggressively, treating periodontal disease etc)  and monitor the recession for any further progression. In other cases a gingival graft may be recommended. 

One of the single most important things you can do to prevent recession is following the recommended steps for optimal dental health. Maintaining regular  dental hygiene visits with your hygienist and implementing a good home care routine of brushing 2x/day and flossing daily will greatly decrease the start and progression of recession. As always, if you have questions or areas of concern, please let us know at your next visit! 


Oral B:


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