Here’s What You Should Know

Why do gums recede, and is this oral health issue happening to you?


Well, gum recession occurs with the gum tissues begin receding or pulling back from the tooth/teeth. This often makes the tooth look longer, because there is no longer an adequate amount of gum covering it. Unfortunately, gum recession creates gaps between the teeth that attract bacterial buildup, which encourages gum disease and root decay. If gum recession becomes severe enough, the teeth are at risk for falling out.

If you’ve noticed this happening in your mouth, know that you’re not alone! Gum recession happens to many people, especially adults, but should be treated as soon as a person becomes aware of the signs.

What to look out for

Besides a tooth or teeth that appear longer in length compared to the others, another possible sign of gum recession is extra sensitivity in a particular area, or, a notched area on the tooth near the gum line that can be felt with a fingernail. Often, an area of the gums experiencing recession will expose a yellow part of the tooth – otherwise known as the dentin layer, the layer of the tooth underneath the hard enamel layer.

Why do gums recede?

Gums often recede as a result of periodontal disease due to poor oral hygiene (especially neglecting routine flossing), smoking or hormonal changes, or could occur as a result of aggressive tooth brushing, a poor or uneven bite, or simply getting older. A person may also have more of a genetic susceptibility to gum recession.

What you should do

If you suspect your gums are receding, see your dentist or periodontist. It’s important to seek a professional opinion if your gum recession is severe, or if you need help addressing the cause. For example, our Hamilton dentist will be able to help you determine whether the cause of your gum recession goes beyond your care routine – and will recommend the appropriate steps to take against its progression, as well as suggest any necessary treatment options such as a deep cleaning or gum graft procedure.

With that said, prevention is the best way to prevent the gums from pulling back. A proper daily oral hygiene routine that includes flossing, as well as gentle brushing using a soft bristled tooth brush, are both great means of prevention.

Think your gums may be in trouble? Talk to us today! We’ll help you get those gums on the right track back to better health.



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