A close-up portrait of a sad young girl with a painful tooth sitting in the dentist's chair.

Gum Recession 101: Causes, Symptoms, & Prevention

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 46% of adults aged 30 and older show signs of gum disease. Gum disease wreaks havoc in many forms, but the chief among them is gum recession. Over 88% of those over 65 show signs of gum recession. Not only can this ailment be painful, but it can also cause other serious oral problems, like tooth loss. 

Luckily, you can take a few steps to prevent gum recession. In this blog, the team at Shelby Dental discusses everything you need to know about gum recession, including causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention. Keep your gums in tip-top shape with the experts at Shelby Dental!

What Are the Causes of Gum Recession? 

Gum recession occurs when your gums pull back from your teeth, leaving the tooth’s root more exposed than it should be. Without the protection your gums typically offer, you may be more prone to cavities and tooth pain. 

If you haven’t noticed any gum recession, here are some things to avoid. But, if you’ve noticed red and worn-out spots on your gums, there are many different reasons why your gums may be receding. Some common causes of gum recession include:

  • Periodontal diseases: Periodontal disease is infection and inflammation in the gums and bones surrounding your teeth. This includes gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss globally.  
  • Plaque build-up: Plaque build-up along the gum line can also cause them to recede since the bacteria in the plaque can cause gum inflammation.
  • Overbrushing: Over-brushing your teeth can also cause your gums to recede, which wears away at your enamel and gum line. 
  • Genetics: Various studies have found that genetics can also affect gum health. Some people are more genetically predisposed to having thinner gum tissue than others. 
  • Smoking: Smoking can also cause gum recession since it causes plaque buildup.

What Are the Symptoms of Gum Recession? 

The earlier gum recession is caught, the easier it is to treat and reverse. If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or a loved one, don’t hesitate to contact your local dentist. There are a few tell-tale signs of gum recession, including:

  • Red or swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums when brushing teeth
  • Sudden build-up of plaque 
  • Gum sensitivity, especially to cold/heat 
  • Bad breath 
  • Change in appearance of teeth and gums 
  • Tooth loss

You know your body best, so if something doesn’t look or feel quite right, don’t wait to reach out to a dentist. When it comes to gum recession, you’d rather be safe than sorry!

How to Prevent Gum Recession

While it may seem like it’s all doom and gloom when it comes to gum recession, that isn’t the case. In fact, there are many ways in which you can prevent gum recession! If it isn’t already, we recommend prioritizing your oral health. To do this, brush your teeth twice daily, floss regularly, and visit your dentist every six months (if not more). Additionally, avoid potential triggers for gum diseases and recession, such as tobacco, and a toothbrush with lush, soft bristles to avoid over-brushing. 

Dental Advice You Can Trust

If you do experience gum recession, there’s treatment at Shelby Dental! We offer numerous solutions for gum recession, like prescription antibiotics, medicated mouthwashes, and more. If you visit our team and have a gum recession, we can create a personalized treatment designed to restore and renew your gums.

Need to Schedule a Dentist Appointment? Call Us Today!

Do you have receding gums? Don’t hesitate to call our team of experienced, compassionate professionals. Proudly serving the Calera area, our staff strives to provide a welcoming, stress-free environment. Call us at 205-235-3371 or contact us online to get treatment today!