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How do you stop gum recession?

Gum recession is a common dental problem where the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth starts to wear away or pull back which exposes more of the tooth or the tooth’s root. People often don’t notice that they are suffering from gum recession because it happens gradually.

Often the first symptom of receding gums is tooth sensitivity. Your teeth can become very sensitive when your gums start to recede as the area of the tooth that usually sits below the gum line has a high concentration of nerve endings is exposed. You may experience pain when exposed to hot and cold sensations and also when you eat something sweet or acidic.

In addition to the pain, when gum recession occurs, gaps form between the teeth and the gum line which makes it easy for bacteria to build up, leading to tooth decay and gum disease. If left untreated, the supporting tissue and bone structures of the teeth can become damaged and may result in tooth loss.

What causes gum recession?

There are several reasons why your gums may start to recede. Here are the main reasons:

Periodontal disease

Periodontal disease is the second stage of gum disease and is irreversible. It is developed from gingivitis and is a bacterial infection in the gum. The infection will make your gums swollen and will start to destroy gum tissue and the supporting bone that holds your teeth in place. Both forms of gum disease are the main cause of gum recession.

Your genetics

Just like the rest of your body, your gums’ characteristics are down to your genes. No matter how excellent your oral health routine is, some people may be more susceptible to receding gums and up to 30% of the population is predisposed to gum disease.

Incorrect brushing

Many people think that brushing their teeth as vigorously as they can is the best way to clean their teeth but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Brushing too hard can wear away enamel, which will never repair itself, and also damage the gum line. Make sure you are brushing, not scrubbing and only use soft-bristled brushes.

Poor oral health

If you aren’t following a good oral health routine, you are putting yourself at a higher risk of gum recession. Inadequate brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash will make it easier for plaque to build up and turn into tartar which can then only be removed by a dental hygienist.

Hormonal changes

During a woman’s lifetime, they will experience fluctuations in hormones which can all have an effect on the gums. During puberty, pregnancy and menopause, the gums can become sensitive and more vulnerable to gum recession.


As well as being bad for your overall health, smoking can have very bad effects on your oral health. Smoking tobacco will increase the production of plaque in the mouth and often making it a lot stickier than usual. This is more difficult to remove and will start to cause gum recession.

Find out how to treat gum recession here.

If you would like more advice about gum recession and its causes, contact Stella Maris Dental on 0121 588 4541.

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