Gingival Gum Recession

What is Gingival (Gum) Recession?

Gingival recession is a common form of gum disease. It occurs when the border of the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth begins to wear away or pull back, exposing more of the tooth or the tooth’s root. The most common cause of gingival recession is periodontal disease, which most often arises from plaque accumulation on the teeth resulting from poor oral hygiene. Gum disease, in turn, weakens the gums, which causes them to recede. Other causes of gum recession include aggressive brushing, incorrect flossing, which can cut into the gums, genetics, chewing tobacco, self-inflicted injury from habits like digging a fingernail or pencil into the gum, abnormal tooth position, or piercings in the lip or tongue that wear away the gum by rubbing against it.  Nutritional deficiencies can also promote gum problems.

Gingivitis Symptoms | Alberta Academy of Periodontics | Periodontists | Alberta

Symptoms of gum recession can include:

Gingivitis Symptoms | Alberta Academy of Periodontics | Periodontists | Alberta
  • Tooth mobility
  • Over sensitive teeth – short, sharp pain triggered by hold, cold, sour, sweet, or spicy food and drink
  • Teeth may appear longer than normal
  • The roots of the tooth are exposed and visible
  • The tooth feels notched at the gum line
  • Change in the tooth’s colour
  • Spaces between teeth seem to grow
  • Cavities below the gum line
  • If the recession is caused by gingivitis, there may also be puffy, red, or inflamed gums, gum bleeding when brushing or flossing, or bad breath.

When it comes to gingival recession, it is important to remember that preventative care is always the best treatment. Receding gums cannot regenerate, which means that once your gum tissue is lost, it is permanently gone and cannot grow on its own. There are, however, periodontal treatments that can help stop the problem from getting worse and replace missing gum tissue. Treatments include thorough root planing and scaling, with the insertion of topical antibiotics directly under the gums and in some cases, antimicrobial mouth rinses. Gum graft surgery, which is used to replace your missing gum tissue, and is performed by a periodontist, is the most long-lasting and predictable solution for gum recession.

Your Family's Oral Health is Important

The Alberta Academy of Periodontics is here for you! You do not need a referral to contact a periodontist today.

We believe that your oral health deserves the best care and attention possible. If you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you contact your nearest periodontist. They will do their absolute best to respond as soon as possible and solve your periodontal issue.