What to Do When Your Gums Recede: Prevention Tips and Treatment Options

Key Takeaways

  • Gum recession causes: Poor care, aggressive brushing, gum disease, habits, age, and genetics.
  • Signs: Exposed roots, discomfort, sensitivity to temperature, brushing.
  • Prevention: Brush well, floss daily, and have regular dentist visits.
  • Professional help: Treatments prevent more recession and tooth loss.

Gum recession is a common dental concern that, if left unattended, can lead to various oral health issues. In this comprehensive guide, we will look into the causes of gum recession, explore effective treatment options, and provide valuable insights on preventative measures. Whether you’re experiencing early signs or looking to safeguard against potential issues, understanding what to do when your gums recede is crucial for maintaining optimal oral health.

Understanding Do When Your Gums Recede

Gum recession, also known as receding gums, occurs when the gum tissue pulls away from the teeth, exposing the roots. That can make your teeth more vulnerable to cavities and cause sensitivity. Gum recession can range from mild to severe, affecting one or multiple teeth. It is mainly caused by poor oral hygiene, aggressive tooth brushing, gum disease, hormonal changes, tobacco use, age, genetics, and chronic illnesses.

Understanding Gum Recession

The symptoms of gum recession include tooth root exposure, pain or discomfort near the gum line, sensitivity to heat, cold, and sweets, and sensitivity when brushing, flossing, or dental cleanings. If left untreated, gum recession can lead to more serious dental problems, such as tooth loss, as the missing gum tissue can expose the tooth to bacteria and cause damage to the bone supporting the tooth.

To prevent gum recession and improve gum health, it’s vital to maintain good oral hygiene habits. Gently brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and use dental floss daily. Regular dental visits are equally crucial for early detection and gum recession management. Your dentist can offer guidance on proper oral care techniques and suggest treatments to prevent further gum recession while enhancing overall gum health.

Common Causes of Gum Recession

Common causes of gum recession include poor oral hygiene, gum disease, aggressive tooth brushing, and hormonal changes. When it comes to gum recession, prevention is critical. By understanding the causes, you can take steps to protect your oral health. Here are three common causes of gum recession:

  • Poor oral hygiene: Neglecting your oral hygiene can lead to a buildup of harmful bacteria in your mouth. That can result in gum disease and eventually lead to gum recession.
  • Gum disease: Periodontal disease is a severe condition that can cause your gums to recede. It is essential to seek treatment for gum disease to prevent further damage to your oral health.
  • Aggressive tooth brushing: Brushing your teeth too hard or using a toothbrush with stiff bristles can harm your gums and cause them to recede over time.

Recognizing the signs of gum recession and taking action to prevent further damage is important. Regular dental cleanings and practicing good oral hygiene can help prevent gum recession. If you notice any signs of gum recession, such as tooth root exposure or sensitivity, it is important to seek treatment from a dental professional. By addressing the causes of gum recession and taking proactive steps to prevent it, you can maintain healthy gums and a beautiful smile.

Signs and Symptoms of Gum Recession

Receding gums can indicate gum disease, a severe oral health problem. Some signs and symptoms to watch out for include tooth root exposure, pain or discomfort near the gum line, sensitivity to heat, cold, and sweets, and sensitivity when brushing, flossing, or dental cleanings. You may also notice red or swollen gums, bad breath, mouth sores, and pain or bleeding when brushing or flossing.

Signs and Symptoms of Gum Recession

Receding gums can lead to other dental problems such as tooth sensitivity, longer-looking teeth, visible tooth roots, bleeding gums, and even loose teeth. It’s important to promptly address these signs and symptoms to prevent further damage to your teeth and gums. Make sure to practice good dental care, including regular tooth brushing and flossing, and visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings.

Steps to Prevent Gum Recession

How can you effectively prevent gum recession? Here are three important steps you can take to protect your gums and maintain a healthy smile:

  • Practice good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth thoroughly using a soft-bristled toothbrush twice daily. Make sure to clean all surfaces of your teeth and along the gumline. Floss daily to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth. Use an antimicrobial mouthwash to reduce bacteria and prevent gum disease.
  • Visit your dentist regularly: Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are essential to detect any signs of gum disease or recession early on. Your dentist can provide professional deep cleaning to remove plaque and tartar buildup that can contribute to gum recession. They can also recommend preventive measures or treatments to maintain healthy gums.
  • Follow your dentist’s recommendations: If your dentist recommends a specific treatment or procedure to prevent gum recession. That may include a gum tissue graft to cover exposed tooth roots or treatment for periodontal gum disease. Following your dentist’s recommendations, you can effectively treat receding gums and prevent further damage.

Steps to Prevent Gum Recession

Professional Treatments for Gum Recession

Consider professional treatments such as deep cleaning, surgery, or regenerative procedures to address gum recession. When your gums start to recede, it’s important to seek the help of a dentist or periodontist who can recommend the best treatment options for you.

One standard professional treatment for gum recession is scaling and root planing, also known as deep cleaning. This procedure involves removing plaque and tartar from the teeth and gumline to promote gum reattachment. Antibiotic gel, oral antibiotics, or special mouth rinse may be used during the cleaning to kill bacteria and prevent further gum disease.

In more severe cases, when seeking to have gums grow back after recession, surgical intervention may become necessary. This can include gum grafting, a procedure in which healthy gum tissue is harvested from another part of your mouth and placed over the receded area. This technique effectively covers the exposed root and inhibits further recession.

Another alternative is regenerative surgery, which involves restoring lost bone and tissue to support the gums. These surgical procedures contribute to the recovery of your gums’ health and appearance, preventing additional damage and potential tooth loss.

Home Remedies for Gum Recession

Try integrating natural remedies into your oral care routine to help manage gum recession. Here are three home remedies that can assist you in preventing further damage and promoting gum health:

  • Clean the affected area: Regularly cleaning where your gums have receded is crucial. Gently brush your teeth twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush, and clean along the gumline. That helps remove plaque and tartar buildup that can contribute to gum disease and recession.
  • Use antibacterial mouthwash: An antibacterial mouthwash can help reduce harmful bacteria in your mouth, promote gum health, and prevent infection. Rinse your mouth with a recommended antibacterial mouthwash after brushing and flossing to protect your gums further.
  • Be mindful of teeth grinding: Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can pressure your gums and contribute to recession. If you notice any signs of teeth scratching, such as jaw pain or worn-down teeth, consult your dentist. They may recommend a mouthguard to protect your gums and teeth while you sleep.

Home Remedies for Gum Recession

Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene to Prevent Gum Recession

Maintaining good oral hygiene prevents gum disease and other dental problems. Poor oral hygiene and other factors, such as aggressive brushing, can cause gum recession. Bacteria that cause gum disease can also contribute to gum recession. Therefore, brushing your teeth twice daily using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste is important. Be gentle when brushing, as brushing too hard can damage the gums and contribute to recession.

Daily flossing removes plaque and bacteria accumulating along the gum line. Antimicrobial mouthwash can help kill harmful bacteria and promote gum health. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are vital in preventing gum recession. Your dentist may recommend one or more treatments, such as tooth scaling, to remove plaque and tartar buildup.

In more severe cases, surgery may be needed to repair the gums. If you notice that your gums are receding, scheduling an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible is important. Early intervention can prevent further damage and reduce the recovery time. Maintaining good oral hygiene and seeking timely dental care can prevent gum recession and maintain a healthy smile.


Facing the issue of receding gums requires informed action and a proactive approach to oral health. Individuals can take charge of their dental well-being by implementing the recommended strategies discussed in this guide on What to Do When Your Gums Recede. From maintaining proper oral hygiene practices to seeking professional guidance, addressing gum recession promptly ensures a healthier, more resilient smile for the long term.




Richard Mark

Hi, I'm Richard Mark, a dentist with a focus on gum health. I have a lot of experience and I'm currently working on my PhD in dentistry. I started Dentist Decode in 2023 to share information and help people take care of their teeth.