5 Common Causes of Gum Recession

Portrait of woman pointing at her teeth

The gums play a significant role in your health and dental function. They are essential to protect your tooth roots and anchor the teeth in your jawbone. When they recede, they lose the protective cover. As a result, the exposed teeth become susceptible to decay, pressure, and temperature sensitivity. Tooth recession makes your teeth look longer. It can cause pain and uncover your tooth roots.

Gum recession can affect your self-esteem, taking away your confidence in your smile. It can also show that your body has a deficiency or disease. Various signs may indicate your gums are retracting from your teeth. Increased sensitivity is one of the first clues.

Below are some of the common causes of gum recession.

Gum Disease

Periodontal disease is the most common cause of your gums retreating from the teeth. The disease arises when food particles, bacteria film, or plaque accumulate on your teeth. As a result, bacterial infection or gum disease weakens your gums and causes them to start receding.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Brushing your teeth cleans 60 percent of the surface of your teeth, and flossing cleans 40 percent. Skipping any of the two means your teeth are not 100 percent clean. As a result, plaque can begin accumulating. If the plaque remains undisturbed for a long time, it hardens and becomes tartar.

Flossing and brushing cannot remove tartar. You may need your dentist to remove it using dental tools. Gum recession occurs due to irritation from the plaque and tartar.

Brushing your teeth twice every day and flossing can help reduce your chances of getting a gum infection as it removes the plaque that causes gum disease. Ideally, go for semi-annual professional teeth cleaning to maintain good oral hygiene.


Your gum tissue thickness is a trait genetically passed from your parents. Individuals born with thin gums are more susceptible to gum recession. Diligence in your oral hygiene and visiting your dentist for checkups will help maintain your good gum health.

Aggressive Dental Hygiene

Brushing your teeth with force is not appropriate for maintaining dental hygiene. Using too much strength can damage your gums and cause them to recede. Ideally, be careful when brushing your teeth to avoid abrasion, injury, or wear. Be gentle whenever flossing or brushing your teeth. Additionally, use a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid bruising your gums.

Teeth Grinding and Clenching

Excessive teeth grinding during the day or at night can cause gum recession. The unconscious grinding exerts continuous pressure on your gums and causes them to retreat from your teeth. A misaligned bite or crooked teeth places so much force on your gums and jawbone. As a result, your gums begin to recede.

Your teeth and gums get additional stress from the inflammation that arises. If you do not treat it, you are likely to develop periodontal disease, your teeth can become loose, and you may experience tooth or bone loss.

Your dentist can treat mild gum recession by deep cleaning your teeth. They will remove the plaque and tartar that builds up on your teeth and below your gumline. Your dentist can also recommend antibiotics to remove any bacteria remaining after the deep cleaning. But if the gum pockets are deep and you have excessive bone loss, deep cleaning does not help. You may need to treat the problem through gum surgery to repair the damage.

For more about gum recession, call Dr. Sam’s Premier Dentistry at 903-708-6400 to reach our office in Sherman, Texas.