While their teeth are still the same size, the gums have started pulling away from the teeth, exposing more of the tooth. A healthy gum line is consistent along an entire arch of teeth, without a lot of variation in the height of the gum line from one tooth to another. With receding gums, the gums often look red or darker pink and inflamed and the gum line looks lower or higher around some teeth than their neighbors. Consequences of gum recession include:
- Increased sensitivity – Receding gums can expose the root of your tooth, which is more sensitive that the crown of the tooth. You may become more sensitive to hot, cold, and sweets.
- Risk of decay – Recession can increase risk of decay by exposing more vulnerable parts of your tooth.
- Old age – Your gums naturally recede very gradually as you age.
- Poor oral hygiene – Bad brushing, flossing and eating habits can lead to both gum recession and gum disease. Ask us for tips if you have trouble caring for your mouth consistently at home.
- Medical conditions – Chronic illnesses or conditions such as diabetes can contribute to gum recession.
- Aggressive brushing – If you brush too hard or use a hard or medium bristle toothbrush, you can cause gum recession by force. We can help you reassess your brushing habits if we notice recession.
- Teeth grinding – The excessive force caused by grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw has been linked to gum recession. We can treat and diagnose this condition to help mitigate problems.