Gum recession is a common issue that many individuals face, impacting both the aesthetics and functionality of their teeth. At the facilities of periodontist and oral surgeon Dr. Suzanne Caudry, we understand the importance of healthy gums. Maintaining overall oral health—and a winning smile—is almost impossible without healthy gums.

Join us as we explore the various causes of gum recession and explore the effective remedies available to you. Don't hesitate to contact our dream team staff if you have any questions!

What Causes Gum Recession?

Did you look in the mirror recently and notice that your teeth appear longer than before? If so, you may be experiencing gum recession, a common dental condition characterized by the gradual loss of gum tissue surrounding the teeth.

Gum recession occurs when the gums pull back or wear away, exposing more of the tooth and potentially its roots. This phenomenon not only affects the aesthetics of the smile, making teeth appear longer or uneven, but it can also lead to increased tooth sensitivity, gum inflammation, and even tooth loss if left untreated.

Several factors contribute to this condition, including:

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is one of the primary causes of gum recession. This condition, marked by a bacterial infection, targets the gums and the supportive structures of the teeth. As gum disease progresses, the bacteria gradually break down the gum tissue, leading to its deterioration and eventual recession.

Without intervention, periodontal disease can advance to more severe stages, causing irreversible damage to the gums and supporting bone structures.

Poor Oral Hygiene Habits

When plaque and tartar accumulate along the gum line due to insufficient oral hygiene practices, it can trigger inflammation, a condition known as gingivitis. Over time, this inflammation can progress to periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease characterized by gum recession and bone loss.

Establishing and maintaining proper oral hygiene routines, including regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups, is crucial for preventing gum disease and recession.


Everyone has a unique genetic makeup. Some individuals may inherit thinner or weaker gum tissue from their parents, making them more susceptible to recession than others. Understanding one's genetic predisposition to gum recession can help you take proactive measures to preserve optimal gum health.

Aggressive Brushing or Tooth Grinding

Brushing too vigorously or grinding one's teeth can exert excessive pressure on the gums, leading to their gradual recession. Abrasive brushing techniques or the use of hard-bristled toothbrushes can wear down the delicate gum tissue over time, exacerbating the risk of recession.

Teeth grinding, a condition known as bruxism, can place undue stress on the gums and surrounding structures.

Our advice? Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and wear a mouthguard at night! These strategies can help mitigate the effects of bruxism and prevent further gum recession.

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal fluctuations, such as those experienced during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause, can impact gum health and contribute to gum recession. Increased levels of hormones like estrogen and progesterone can make gums more susceptible to inflammation and sensitivity, potentially leading to recession.

Pregnant individuals may also experience pregnancy gingivitis, characterized by swollen, tender gums that are more prone to recession. If you're in the midst of hormonal fluctuations, we recommend regular dental check-ups and practicing good oral hygiene, which can help manage hormonal-related gum changes and minimize the risk of recession.

Tobacco Use

Tobacco use, whether through smoking or chewing, poses significant risks to gum health and can accelerate gum recession. The chemicals present in tobacco products restrict blood flow to the gums, impairing their ability to heal and fight off infections. Chronic exposure to these chemicals weakens the gum tissue, making it more prone to recession over time.

Quitting smoking or reducing your intake of cigarettes and other tobacco products is essential for preserving gum health and reducing the likelihood of recession.

Gum Grafting and Other Remedies for Gum Recession

Gum grafting is the most comprehensive solution for addressing gum recession. This surgical procedure aims to restore gum health and aesthetics by augmenting the receding gums with tissue harvested from another part of the mouth, typically the palate.

During the procedure, the periodontist or oral surgeon carefully prepares the recipient site along the affected gum line and meticulously grafts the donor tissue into place. The grafted tissue integrates with the existing gum tissue, effectively covering exposed roots and reinforcing the gum line's structure.

The Benefits of Gum Graft Surgery

Gum grafting offers several benefits beyond simply addressing recession. By covering exposed roots, the procedure helps to alleviate tooth sensitivity, making it more comfortable for individuals to eat, drink, and practice oral hygiene.

Gum grafting also enhances the appearance of the smile by restoring symmetry and contour to the gum line, creating a more aesthetically pleasing frame for the teeth. The benefits aren't just cosmetic, though. The procedure can promote long-term gum health by reducing the risk of further recession and protecting the underlying tooth roots from decay and damage.

Overall, gum grafting represents a highly effective and versatile treatment option if you're seeking to address gum recession and achieve optimal oral health and aesthetics.

Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing are deep cleaning procedures that remove plaque and tartar buildup from below the gum line, helping to eliminate bacteria and promote gum healing.

Occlusal Adjustment

In cases where tooth misalignment or bite issues contribute to gum recession, orthodontic treatment or occlusal adjustment may be recommended to alleviate pressure on the gums and improve overall oral health.

Learn More About Oral Health and Gum Grafting Today

Gum recession can have significant implications for oral health and overall well-being, but it's a condition that can be effectively treated and managed with the right interventions. By understanding the causes of gum recession and implementing appropriate remedies, individuals can preserve gum health, protect their smiles, and enjoy optimal oral function for years to come.

If you're experiencing gum recession or have concerns about your gum health, don't hesitate to schedule a consultation with Dr. Suzanne Caudry's celebrated staff by calling (416) 928-3444.