Signs of Gum Recession

For some patients, gum recession may set in subtly and go unnoticed for some time. The aesthetic changes following gum recession are the most apparent. These include visibly shrinking gums and exposed tooth roots. However, other common symptoms include:

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Bad breath

Bleeding after brushing or flossing

Loose teeth

Pain at the gum line

Red, swollen gums

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Receding Gums

For many patients, solutions for gum recession can enhance both their appearance and overall dental health. Gum recession can happen even to people with good oral hygiene. There are many options available to treat receding gums.
Several factors can cause a person's gums to recede, regardless of the state of their oral hygiene. These include aggressive toothbrushing, body piercing, clenching or grinding teeth, crooked teeth or a misaligned bite, hormonal changes, insufficient dental care, periodontal disease, and tobacco products. Genetics may also be a factor. For example, parents may pass down weak, thin gums to their children.
Solutions for gum recession are available at Thunderbird Dental Studio in Peoria and the surrounding area.


Treating Gum Recession

Some cases of gum recession are mild enough that they do not need treatment. Still, several treatment options are available for those who need it.


Composite Restoration

Composite restorations are natural-looking, tooth-colored composite resins that cover the surface of the tooth root. They may be used to close any black gaps between the teeth.


Desensitizing Agents, Varnishes, Dentin Bonding Agents

May help reduce the exposed tooth root's sensitivity. By lessening the nerve symptoms, desensitizing agents may ease the brushing of sensitive teeth and promote oral hygiene.



Orthodontics (or braces) are more of a long-term treatment that moves a tooth slowly over time. This repositioning can help correct the margin of the gum.


Pink Porcelain or Composite

Matches the color of the gums can be applied to the "gaps" to reduce the appearance of receded gums. Similarly, removable gum veneers, which usually consist of acrylic or silicone, can be applied in the "gaps." 


Oral Surgery

More severe cases of gum recession may necessitate surgery, usually a gum graft.

Preventing Gum Recession

Proper dental care is the number one way to prevent gum recession. This involves maintaining a routine where patients brush their teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush at least twice daily and floss at least once daily. Patients should also see a dentist at least twice a year. At-risk patients may require more frequent visits, and a dentist that notices signs of gum recession may want to keep a vigilant watch that it does not worsen.
It can be dangerous to leave gum recession untreated. Exposed tooth roots may decay very quickly, necessitating various expensive, painful procedures. Teeth may get more sensitive, and the appearance of the smile may become imbalanced. It is also possible that what patients are experiencing is not gum recession but undetected, worsening gum disease.

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FAQ's About Gum Recession

  • Is gum recession correlated with bone loss?

    Yes. The bone around the tooth dissolves when the gum recedes. It is crucial to address gum recession right away to prevent further bone loss.

  • Will gum grafting cover all my exposed tooth roots?

    Some teeth are easier to treat with gum grafting than others. Teeth with long, exposed roots, fillings, or notches can be difficult to cover, as can teeth with lost bone between the teeth. Early treatment is key for optimum results. Our team can help go over the options with you.

  • Can poor-fitting partial dentures cause gum recession?

    Anything that causes excess wear and tear on the gums and jaw can contribute to gum recession. Contact us if you are unsure if your dentures are fitting correctly.

  • How is gum recession diagnosed?

    Our team will start by reviewing your medical history to identify any factors that could be causing or aggravating your symptoms. Then, you will undergo an examination to look for any plaque and tartar buildup, along with any easy bleeding. The dentist will then measure the pocket depth of the groove between your gums and teeth. If necessary, our team will take X-rays to check for any bone loss.

  • Can gum recession cause me to lose teeth?

    Yes. Gum recession involves the loss of attached tissue, which protects the tooth and gums from any foreign materials that can infect the bone. Losing the attached tissue leads to a significant loss of bone support for the tooth.