Dental problems, toothache. Portrait of unhappy girl in shaggy sweater touching sore cheek, suffering from cavities, cracked teeth, gum recession. indoor studio shot isolated on gray background

Gum Recession Unveiled: Causes, Prevention, and Techniques for Correction

Gums are essential to a healthy, attractive smile. Gum recession can ruin the cosmetic appeal of your smile and even affect your oral and overall health. Several factors can contribute to the development of a receding gum line. Fortunately, our Melbourne dentist can treat it and even give you tips for preventing it.

Your gums are living tissue that surrounds the base of your teeth. Known by dentists as the gingivae, your gums help keep your teeth in place. When your gums recede, the gum tissue pulls away from your teeth to expose the tooth roots underneath. Exposing the roots of your teeth makes them sensitive when brushing or eating, vulnerable to cavities and damage, and at increased risk of falling out.

Dentist in Melbourne Discusses the Causes, Prevention, and Treatments

Gum recession is a form of gum disease that can be mild, moderate, or severe. It can affect just one tooth or several teeth. While gum disease cannot be reversed, it can be treated to prevent it from getting worse.

Symptoms of Gum Recession

Symptoms include:

  • Exposed tooth roots
  • Pain or discomfort near the gum line
  • Tooth sensitivity to hot, cold, and sweets
  • Sensitivity during dental cleanings

Left untreated, it can lead to the loss of bone tissue in the jawbone, loose teeth, or even tooth loss. Anyone who experiences these symptoms should schedule an appointment with our dentist immediately.

Causes of Gum Recession

Some factors can cause gum recession. These causes include:

  • Overly forceful or aggressive brushing
  • The buildup of dental plaque or tartar
  • Periodontal disease
  • Injury to the gum tissue
  • Crooked teeth
  • Chewing or smoking tobacco
  • Having tongue or lip piercings

Poor oral hygiene is sometimes a contributing factor. Many people simply inherited their risk for thin gum tissue from their parents.

Diagnosis and Treatment for Gum Recession

Our dentist can diagnose receding gums during a routine examination. We use a unique instrument known as a periodontal probe, to measure the amount of gum recession.

Since bone loss is common in areas affected by gum recession, our dentist also measures the depth of any periodontal pockets around each tooth.

Reduce sensitivity

Sensitivity develops when gum recession leaves tooth roots exposed. Tooth roots are covered with cementum, which is not as strong as the enamel that covers the crowns of teeth. Patients may use desensitizing toothpaste to improve sensitivity. Our dentist can apply fluoride varnish or other desensitizing agents to reduce discomfort. Our dental hygienist can use numbing agents to enhance comfort for patients.

Dental cleaning

We may perform a deep dental cleaning called scaling and root planing. Scaling removes bacteria and plaque from the surface of teeth. Planing polishes the surface of teeth so that gum tissue is more likely to reattach.


Antibiotics may be effective in cases of infected gum tissue. We may recommend inserting an antibiotic directly beneath the patient’s gum to help treat gum disease.

Dental bonding

Our dentist may use dental bonding to hide the area of recession. The tooth-colored composite resin covers the exposed tooth root, making it less noticeable and more comfortable.


Rotated, tipped, or crooked teeth be a cause. In these cases, we may recommend orthodontics to straighten teeth. The gum tissue may correct itself once the tooth or teeth align correctly.

Gum recession surgery

Gum graft surgery provides the most predictable and long-lasting results. Gum recession surgery involves placing a gum graft to replace missing gum tissue. We usually take the graft from the roof of your mouth, but we may use sterilized human donor tissue. Once we place the gum graft, we stitch it into place.

Preventing Gum Disease

While you cannot always prevent gum recession, you can reduce your risk of developing it. You may be able to avoid gum disease by:

  • Brushing twice a day and flossing daily
  • Using an antimicrobial mouthwash twice daily
  • Follow our dentist’s recommendations for teeth cleaning
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Don’t smoke or chew tobacco
  • See our dentist if you notice any signs of gum recession

For more information about gum recession in Melbourne, FL, its causes, and treatments, consult our Vero Implants and Periodontics periodontist. We have the training and experience in gum recession and are glad to help.