What causes gum recession?

What causes gum recession? RecessionAnswer: It’s a bit complicated.

To put this in scientific jargon, it’s multifactorial – meaning there are many possible possibilities. So let me list a few for you.

  1. Thin bone.

If teeth are crowded with some of them may be sitting outside of a complete thickness of bone surrounding them in all directions. These teeth are more susceptible to recession as well as injury to heavy brushing habits.

2. Thin gums.

Some people have thick gums and others have thin gums. Thin gums are more susceptible to injury. Also, thin bone and thin gums seem to go together. (Thank your ancestors).

3. Disease or a history of disease.

Infections can cause bone loss and gum loss – and once lost, sometimes it won’t grow back on its own.

4. Getting Toothbrush Religion.

So someone has bleeding gums or the fear that something horrible is happening in their mouths so they pick up a toothbrush and scrub away. Add to this that these particular folks have crowding, thin bone, thin gums and the net result is recession.

5. Bad bite.

It is possible that teeth with thin bone and thin gums, sitting in wrong places, are being hammered when chewing against other teeth. Some investigators have come to believe that this traumatic form of bite (called occlusion in dental circles) contributes to the problem. I won’t disagree, but simply say, “Get in line with all the other reasons.” After all, it’s multifactorial, don’t you know.

So what to do?

1. Lighten up.

Over-treating yourself will contribute to the problem and may be one of the main reasons for the recession in the first place.

2. See a periodontist.

How much recession do you have? What are your risks? Has it gotten to the point where it needs to be fixed?

If the problem is not progressing, then you might simply accept some recession.

If it is affecting your smile, or affecting the long-term stability of your tooth or teeth, then look at treatment solutions.

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