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What Causes Gum Recession?

Dealing with receding gums? Here's how your dentist can help.

Whether you’re dealing with gum disease or you’re just an aggressive brusher, there are many reasons why someone may deal with gum recession. The good news is that our Greensburg, PA, dentist Dr. Anthony Marchionno can help you prevent gum recession. Find out why gum recession happens and what you can do to prevent and treat this issue,


What causes gum recession? 

The most common cause of gum recession is gum disease, and unfortunately as many as half of American adults are dealing with some degree of gum disease (many don’t even know it!). Other causes of receding gums include,

  • Rough, abrasive brushing or flossing techniques 
  • Teeth grinding/jaw clenching 
  • Traumatic injury to the gums 
  • Tobacco use 
  • Misaligned bite 


If you start to notice that your teeth suddenly appear longer than usual this could be a sign of receding gums. It’s best to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as you notice these changes in your smile. The sooner we can determine the cause of your receding gums the sooner we can stop this problem from getting worse. 


Can gum recession be prevented? 

Most of the time, yes! One of the best ways to protect against gum disease is to visit your dentist twice a year for checkups and to maintain good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing). If you are an aggressive brusher your dentist can show you proper brushing and flossing techniques. 


If you grind or clench your teeth, we can also provide you with a custom dental appliance to wear at night to prevent damage to teeth and receding gums. There are many recommendations we can make to improve the health of your gums and to prevent permanent gum loss. 


Will my gums grow back? 

Sadly, the answer is no; however, your dentist can provide you with different treatment options to fix receding gums. For example, those with advanced gum disease will need to undergo a deep cleaning (known as scaling and root planing) to remove bacteria from under the gums to stop the gums from receding further. 


If you are dealing with significant gum recession your dentist may recommend gum grafting, in which tissue is taken from another part of the mouth and surgically placed over these receding areas to improve the shape and appearance of the gums. 


It’s important that everyone comes in twice a year for dental checkups and cleanings to catch problems like decay and gum recession early. If it’s time for your next visit, call our Greensburg or Johnstown, PA, dental office at (724) 836-2911 or (814) 262-7000.

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