Home Teeth and mouthGum disease Receding gums: causes and symptoms

Receding gums: causes and symptoms

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Receding gums, a dental condition is known as gingival recession, is one of the most common dental alterations. On the one hand, it is an aesthetic problem, but if it is not treated, it can lead to severe consequences for the patient’s oral health.

If we consider that the gums are the base on which the teeth rest, any problem in this area of ​​the mouth can end with the loss of pieces. In the following FastlyHealarticle, we will explain everything you need to know about receding gums:

  • Causes and symptoms.
  • The risk factors that can aggravate them.
  • The different treatments to solve them.

Symptoms of receding gums

As the problem of receding gums progresses, it is becoming easier to see it with the naked eye. However, it is possible that in the first stages, other symptoms can alert us and that facilitate the solution as soon as possible. As the gum retracts, it reveals a part of the tooth that must be covered; this can cause any of the following symptoms:

  • Hypersensitivity, especially to cold and heat.
  • When the gums retract, the tooth’s root can be exposed; since the heart does not have enamel to protect it, it is easy for cavities to appear in the source.
  • The loss of gum and bone supporting the tooth can end up causing the loss of pieces.

Causes of gum recession

Periodontal diseases

The vast majority of cases of receding gums are due to periodontal diseases, that is, gum disease. These can be divided into two large groups depending on the level of affectation that this alteration has:

  • Gingivitis is an inflammation in the gingiva overlying a tooth, usually caused by food debris or plaque buildup. If there is no proper hygiene, these remains made up of bacteria gradually turn into tartar. These bacteria, when they accumulate, form dental stones, which can only be solved with a professional dental cleaning. Gingivitis is a prevalent condition; in fact, it is estimated that more than 90% of adults suffer from it, and among its most common symptoms we find bleeding when brushing the teeth.
  • Periodontitis, or pyorrhea, is the next stage of gingivitis. That is, untreated gingivitis will end up turning into periodontitis. As the bacterial plaque accumulates between the gum and the tooth, it creates what we know as the periodontal pocket, which enters the tooth until it reaches the root. In this way, he destroys everything in his path, so the loss of that piece can end in the most severe cases.

Bad brushing

Brushing your teeth is an essential element of maintaining oral health; however, not only the absence of it can lead to problems. An inadequate brushing, either because the teeth are rubbed too aggressively or because the brush is too stiff, can destroy the gum tissue, causing it to retract.

Bad orthodontics

The movement in the teeth during orthodontic treatment does not cause gum recession; however, if the teeth are removed from the bone table, it will be a factor that, over time, the accumulation of tartar or a Poor brushing can lead to shrinkage.


When it is smoked, the tobacco blocks the entrance of blood into the gums. This weakens the immune system in that area, and consequently, bacteria can move more quickly.


Bumps to the mouth, whether from car accidents, playing sports, contact injuries, etc., can cause gum tissue to be lost. It is common for an open wound in the gum that the tooth’s root is visible; this problem must be treated if you do not want to have severe periodontal complications.

The risk of receding gums

In addition to the causes of receding gums, certain factors can end up causing this alteration. Some of them have to do with the person’s constitution and are unavoidable; others have to do with external causes and can be minimized. Here we explain what these main risk factors are:

  • Genetics: the studies that have been done in this regard show that there is a genetic predisposition that makes some people, even using correct hygiene and maintaining meticulous care, prone to having gum problems. On the other hand, some people seem immune to these alterations.
  • Specific diseases: AIDS, diabetes, and any disease that impacts the immune system increase the risk of gum infections and recession.
  • Oral hygiene: brushing correctly, flossing to remove interdental remains, and using dental rinse to prevent tartar from accumulating are essential to minimize the risks of receding gums.
  • Stress: It has been shown for a long time that stress and anxiety levels go against our immune system, this affects different levels of our body, but it also affects the effectiveness of the gums’ defenses against bacteria
  • Tobacco: As we have said before, smoking is one of the main – and avoidable – factors that cause receding gums.

Gum retraction: cure

Before deciding on any treatment, it is essential to establish the exact cause that has caused the receding gums. Suppose it is due to excessively vigorous brushing, if the person follows a diet rich in acids, if it is expected to previous orthodontic treatment, and so on. Once it is known what has caused it, the necessary measures can be taken to avoid it can be repeated, re-educating at the level of hygienic habits or diet and, later, following some of the treatments for receding gums :

  • Gum lift: this technique can only be carried out with those patients who still have the interdental papillae. The papillae are pieces of gum between the teeth. This method is based on the stretching of this papilla to cover the tooth root and return it to its usual appearance.
  • Gum graft: A gum graft will be chosen when stretching is not possible. The tissue will be taken from the patient’s palate with a small incision; later, that tissue will be used to cover the gum. Years ago, this technique caused a lot of discomfort. However, today it is very minimally invasive microsurgery.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any kind of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Receding gums: causes and symptoms, we recommend that you enter our category of Teeth and mouth.


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