What is Gum Recession?
Gum recession is when the gums begin to recede, exposing more of the tooth. When gum tissues recede, the bone and other tissues that support your teeth are also lost. The tooth’s root is left exposed to acids and other abrasive materials that begin to break it down.
The gums play an important role by forming a tight seal around the tooth and protecting the roots and bone from the entry of harmful bacteria. When this protection is compromised, your doctor may recommend fixing it with a tissue graft for both functional and cosmetic purposes.
If recession is due to periodontal (gum) disease, the first step usually involves a special cleaning, called scaling and root planing. Soft-tissue graft surgery (called gingival or gum grafts) and other procedures may be necessary to help create more attached gums to prevent gum recession from progressing and to help regenerate and re-establish root coverage.
Symptoms of gum recession can include:
- Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
- Teeth that appear longer and discolored
- Exposed tooth roots
- Teeth become loose due to losing their support
- Higher frequency of cavities
Causes of Gum Recession:
- Periodontal Disease. The bacteria associated with gum disease destroys the supporting bone and gums.
- Genetics. Some people are more susceptible to gum disease and gum recession.
- Poor Hygiene. A build up of plaque and tartar will irritate the gums and cause recession.
- Aggressive Tooth Brushing. Brushing too hard, with a hard bristled tooth brush, or with the wrong technique can cause gum recession.
- Grinding and Clenching. Adding this extra force on your teeth can cause the gums to recede.
- Misaligned Teeth. When teeth do not come together how they are meant to, extra forces can be placed on them causing the gums to recede.