Receding Gums: Can the Process Be Reversed?


Have your teeth been feeling especially sensitive to hot, cold, or the bristles of your toothbrush? At your next appointment, our staff at Lifetime Family Dental will be able to properly assess if you’re experiencing early signs of gum recession. Even if you take good care of your oral health by brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily, receding gums can happen for reasons outside of your control. This can include genetics, female hormonal changes and aging

When gums recede, the root of the tooth is exposed and becomes vulnerable to bacteria and plaque. This exposure can lead to sensitivity, bad breath, bleeding gums, decay and even tooth loss. Once gum loss has occurred, it does not grow back. Not to fear, however—there are steps that can be taken to prevent further loss as well as procedures to help restore gum tissue.

Preventable Causes 

Vigorous brushing is one of the most common and preventable reasons for gum recession. Apply less pressure and use a soft bristled toothbrush and brushing in a circular—rather than horizontal motion—when brushing to prevent future gum loss. If you already have some gum recession and sensitivity while brushing, there are toothpastes that your dentist can recommend to provide relief. 

Gum recession can also be a result of periodontal disease, or gum disease. This infection and inflammation of the gums is caused by bacterial plaque build up over time and occurs in half of the U.S. population over 30 years old. Fortunately, gum disease and recession can normally be avoided altogether with good oral hygiene habits. 

Grinding and clenching teeth is another preventable cause of gum recession is. If you’ve already tried cutting out late night caffeine and adding more downtime into your life only to find you’re still grinding and clenching, you may want to speak with your dentist about custom fitting a mouthguard for you to wear during the night.

If you’re a tobacco user, cutting back or quitting altogether can reduce the rate of gum loss and corresponding health concerns significantly. 

Ill-fitting dentures can also be an issue causing gum recession. If this is the case, you’ll want to contact your dentist as soon as possible to have them remade for you. 

Receding Gums Treatment 

A common treatment for patients whose gum recession is caused by periodontal disease is called scaling and root planing. In this procedure, your dentist will remove plaque and tartar from the tooth and root surfaces, which helps the gum tissue to reattach to the tooth.

In the case of more serious gum loss, a gum graft may be needed. In this procedure, a graft will be taken from another place in your mouth and attached where there has been recession on the gumline. The graft, once healed, will cover and protect the tooth root from sensitivity and decay.

We’re Here For You 

If you’re concerned about some new sensitivity in your mouth, or are currently experiencing gum recession and would like a professional recommendation, Lifetime Family Dental in Gilbert is here to help. 


photo created by drobotdean on (8/22/20)