Pushed Back: 7 Common Causes of Gum Recession

Gum recession is when the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth pulls back, exposing more of the tooth. When this happens, gaps are created between the teeth and gum line, allowing bacteria to build up. If left untreated, gum recession can cause gum disease, severe damage to the tooth and supporting tissue and tooth loss.

Because gum recession is a common dental problem that occurs gradually with no pain, most people don’t recognize what to look for. As a result, symptoms go untreated. To help you combat the disease-causing bacteria that lead to gum recession, we’ve explained 7 causes of gum recession you need to know.

Periodontal disease, gum disease, gingivitis

Bacterial gum infections have the potential to destroy gum tissue and the supporting bone that holds your teeth. Early signs of infection include red, swollen or tender gums. Contact our office if you experience any of these symptoms while brushing or eating.


Regardless of how well you take care of your teeth, some of us are just victims to our genetics. Whether it’s fragile gums or a misaligned bite, some people are predisposed to gum disease from birth.

Brushing too hard

Brushing too hard with bristles that are also hard can result in the erosion of tooth enamel and the gums to recede. When ignored, damaged gums can easily lead to gum disease. At League City Elite Dentistry, we recommend using a toothbrush with soft bristles to massage the gums, not damage them.

Bruxism (Tooth grinding)

Often caused by stress or during sleep, tooth grinding can easily lead to recessed gums. The grinding against the teeth can put too much pressure on the gums, causing them to retreat. Wearing a mouth guard is often the most popular recommendation for treatment.

Hormonal changes

For women, the gums become more sensitive when hormones fluctuate. This fluctuation is often times due to pregnancy or menopause. Because the gums are more sensitive, they are more vulnerable than ever to gum recession.

Tobacco products

In addition to the general health issues caused by use of tobacco products, they also have damaging effects to one’s oral health. Sticky plaque is formed on the teeth and is difficult to remove, causing the gums to recede.

Lip/Tongue Piercings

Believe it or not, your tongue or lip piercing could be the cause of your gum recession. This is due to the jewelry rubbing against the gums causing irritation and gum tissue to wear away. Make sure the  jewelry you choose is the correct size and remove it as soon as you feel discomfort.

Healthy Gums Make a Happy Smile!

Are you interested to know if your gums are healthy? We can help! Contact our office to schedule a complimentary consultation. We can help keep your learn how to keep your gums healthy and discuss treatment options if necessary.

Trust us, we know the drill!

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