What Causes Gum Recession?

What Causes Gum Recession?

Team Periodontics

Gum recession, sometimes referred to as gingival recession, occurs when the gum tissue begins to recede from the teeth and exposes the root of the tooth. Gum recession can occur for several reasons as outlined below. When left untreated, gum recession leads to support loss for the teeth and potentially loose teeth and cavities. It can be an esthetic issue with the appearance of big teeth. Here are some of the causes of gum recession as well as some simple ways to prevent it from occurring in your own mouth.

Brushing Too Hard

One of the most common causes of gum recession is brushing your teeth too hard or with a toothbrush that’s too firm. When you brush your teeth using too much pressure, you can damage the gums and cause them to recede over time as well as cause damage to your tooth enamel. You can help prevent gum recession by brushing gently, but thoroughly with a soft toothbrush.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is an infection of the supporting structures of the teeth.  As the underlying bone support is lost, the gums can recede with it leaving the exposed root surface.  Effective home care and regular dental visits to maintain your dental health are keys to prevention.


Bruxism, otherwise known as teeth grinding, is a common problem that can cause a number of dental issues, potentially including gum recession. The pressure from grinding your teeth while you are awake or asleep may cause the root surface to break away leading to recession. If you think you may be grinding your teeth at night, talk to your dentist about getting a mouth guard to protect your teeth.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Not taking care of your teeth can lead to a build-up of bacteria on your teeth.  This bacteria is also called plaque and calculus (“tartar”).  The constant bacteria-caused inflammation can then lead to gum recession.


Many people have naturally thin gums which make them more susceptible to irritation from aggressive tooth brushing or bacteria.  

Treatment For Gum Recession

Keeping up with your oral health is important to avoid periodontal issues like gum recession. If you’re concerned about receding gums, Dr. Gordon and his team at Periodontics and Implant Dentistry can determine the best course of action to treat and repair your gum line. Contact us at our Eatontown or Howell offices or set up an appointment online today.