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 essential role by forming a tight seal around the tooth and protecting the roots and bone from harmful bacteria. When this protection is compromised, your dentist may recommend fixing it with a tissue graft for functional and cosmetic purposes.
If a 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 help regenerate and re-establish root coverage.
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 a recession.
- Aggressive Tooth Brushing. Brushing too hard, with a hard-bristled toothbrush, or with the wrong technique can cause gum recession.
- Grinding and Clenching. Adding this extra force to 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.