Gum Recession 101: Causes, Treatments, and Prevention


Gum recession, also known as gingival recession, is a common dental problem that occurs when the gums begin to pull back from the teeth, exposing the roots of the teeth. It can cause discomfort, sensitivity to hot and cold, and even tooth loss if left untreated. 

Read on as we discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for gum recession.

The Symptoms and Common Causes of Gum Recession

The most common symptom of gum recession is the appearance of longer teeth. You may also notice that your teeth feel more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, or that your gums are red and swollen. In severe cases, you may even notice that your teeth are becoming loose or shifting out of place.

Gum recession can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

Periodontal Disease

Gum disease is the leading cause of gum recession. When bacteria build up on the teeth and gums, they can cause inflammation, which can lead to the destruction of the gum tissue and bone that support the teeth.


Some people are more prone to gum recession due to genetic factors. If you have a family history of gum disease, you may be more likely to develop gum recession.

Aggressive Brushing

Brushing your teeth too hard or using a toothbrush with hard bristles can cause the gum tissue to wear away over time.

Tobacco Use

Smoking or using other tobacco products can cause gum disease, which can lead to gum recession.

Hormonal Changes

Women may experience gum recession during pregnancy or menopause due to hormonal changes in the body.

The Treatment Options for Gum Recession

The treatment for gum recession will depend on the cause and severity of the condition. Some common treatment options include:

1. Scaling and Root Planing

This is a deep cleaning procedure that removes bacteria and plaque from the teeth and gums. It can help to reduce inflammation and promote the growth of healthy gum tissue.

2. Gum Grafting

This is a surgical procedure that involves taking tissue from another part of the mouth and attaching it to the affected area to cover the exposed root.

3. Pinhole Surgical Technique

This is a newer, minimally invasive procedure that involves making a small hole in the gum tissue and using specialized instruments to gently move the gum tissue back into place.

4. Antibiotics

In some cases, antibiotics may be prescribed to help control the bacterial infection that is causing the gum recession.

5 Things You Can Do to Prevent Gum Recession

Preventing gum recession is always better than treating it. Here are some tips to help prevent gum recession:

1. Brush and Floss Regularly

Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, and floss at least once a day.

2. Use a Mouthwash

Use an antibacterial mouthwash to help kill any bacteria that may be present in your mouth.

3. Quit Smoking

If you smoke, quitting can help to prevent gum disease and reduce your risk of gum recession.

4. Wear a Mouthguard

If you grind your teeth at night, wearing a mouthguard can help to protect your teeth and gums from damage.

5. Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Regular dental check-ups can help to identify and treat gum disease before it progresses to gum recession.


Gum recession can be a painful and uncomfortable condition, but it is preventable and treatable. By taking good care of your teeth and gums and visiting your dentist regularly, you can help to reduce your risk of developing gum disease and gum recession. If you are experiencing any symptoms of gum recession, it is important to see your dentist as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your teeth and gums.

Are you looking for the best dentists in Brighton, MA? Chestnut Hill Dental is an esteemed team of dental professionals. With us, your dental and oral health can be at its best. Contact us today for your first appointment!