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Receding Gums Will Ruin Your Smile And Leads To Periodontitis. How To Resolve.

Receding gums will ruin your smile, exposing the roots of your teeth causing tooth sensitivity and pain.  If left too long a worsened condition of periodontitis will develop and eventually tooth loss.  Once the gum has receded it will not grow back but the good news is receding gums can be restored and regenerated by a specialist periodontist.

Gum recession is a periodontal condition where the visible part of the gum (gingiva) around the tooth will recede exposing the root of the tooth. The exposed roots become sensitive, prone to decay and your smile is ruined!

Receded gum: Red gingiva & exposed root

If receding gums are left alone too long, gum graft surgery, a specialised periodontal technique, must be used to restore the gums buts lets see what can be done to avoid getting to this point.

What causes receding gums?

Receding gums are the resulting condition of gingivitis and the more severe state of periodontitis.  Both gingivitis and periodontitis are the medical terms used to categories periodontal (gum) disease.

The most common cause of periodontal disease is when plaque builds up on the teeth due to lack of brushing.  So before going any further – the majority of gum recession cases could be prevented simply by brushing regularly!  

Other causes include:

  • damaged or faulty fillings
  • genetics 
  • smoking
  • crooked or damaged teeth 
  • ill fitting dentures

Certain medical conditions are considered higher risk to plaque build up including:

  • pregnancy due to the hormonal changes
  • diabetes which creates high sugar levels
  • malnutrition since there are not enough nutrients 
  • any condition that causes weakened immune system
  • stress

If left the acid formed from the bacteria in plaque which turns carbohydrates into the energy they need breaks down the surface of the tooth causing decay.  Bacteria in the plaque also irritates the gums causing them to swell and become sore. Plaque will harden into a substance called tartar which is much harder to remove and requires a dentist to scrape it away.


Several techniques exist for treating recession.  Firstly, a periodontist will diagnose the stage and severity of periodontal disease.  A preventive procedure may be advised initially to stop the further recession. The later stages will a form of gum graft surgery.

Recession Coverage Before & After

A form of tunnel technique with connective tissue grafting to regenerate gum over the exposed tooth is one method.  Or for full gum graft surgery the dental surgeon will cover the exposed area of root with a healthy patch of gum. The healthy gum will bind to the surrounding area of gum within two to three months.

Root coverage surgery, in the hands of a well trained Periodontist will avoid unnecessary repeated surgeries due to failures resulting from improper treatment.


General good oral hygiene such as flossing, regular brushing, brushing technique and antiseptic mouthwash will help keep your teeth healthy or stop any further recession.  Here is a guide from the American Dental Association for correct brushing technique.

Special dental conditions such as tooth grinding require extra attention.  Tooth grinding would require a mouth-guard at night to prevent extra pressure on the tooth.  Partial dentures can become lose and ill fitting overtime due to general wear and tear or changes in structure of both gum and bone causing the gums to recede.  Here partial denture placement could help further recession.  In both cases the patient would be left with the recessed gum to restore.


Gum recession can be prevented with regular cleaning and good oral hygiene but once the gum has receded it will not grow back.  A dentist can advise when to seek further consultation from a periodontal specialist.

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