Receding Gums: Causes and Treatment Options

  • Nov 11 2023

If you’ve recently noticed that your smile seems to be a bit too toothy or that pockets are beginning to form in the gum tissue that surrounds your teeth, you may be dealing with receding gums, a condition in which your gumline pulls away from your teeth. Receding gums can arise from a variety of causes and have a serious impact on your oral health, but thankfully, there are a variety of treatment options available.

The Causes of Gum Recession

Gum recession isn’t always tied to a single cause; instead, you may find yourself dealing with a variety of different risk factors, such as the ones below, that can contribute to receding gums:

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal (gum) disease is the infection of your gum tissue by bacteria. These particular bacteria are always present in your mouth, which makes controlling their levels through routine oral hygiene and regular dental visits vital.

The early stages of periodontal disease may cause bad breath and sore gums, and these symptoms can worsen as the condition progresses. Eventually, inflamed gum tissue can peel away from tooth surfaces, creating deep pockets that provide even more shelter for bacteria, putting you at risk of more advanced gum disease.

Aggressive Brushing

Brushing your teeth is a crucial element of protecting your oral health, but some patients try to brush harder to save time, and that’s not how it works; you should always brush for two minutes, taking the time to cover all surfaces in your mouth. 

Aggressive brushing and hard-bristled brushes can wear away the enamel near the base of your teeth, exposing more of their roots and causing the surrounding gum tissue to pull away.


Some people are simply more predisposed to gum recession than others. You could also find yourself with a naturally toothy smile that may or may not be an oral health concern. If your family has a history of gum recession, it is worth bringing it up to your dentist.

Treatment for Receding Gums

When you visit your dentist regarding your receding gums, they’ll evaluate the extent of your gum recession and its potential causes to put together a treatment plan. Depending on your unique case, you could require one or more of these periodontal treatment options:

Deep Cleaning

Periodontal deep cleaning consists of two procedures: scaling and root planing. The former involves using special tools to scrape away plaque and tartar that harbor bacteria on tooth surfaces below the gumline; the latter then smooths those surfaces to make it more difficult for bacteria to take hold again.

These treatments are highly effective when applied early on. If you maintain proper oral hygiene in the future, your gums should naturally heal and tighten against your tooth surfaces over time.


Providing a non-surgical treatment option for more advanced cases of gum disease, ARESTIN® is an antibiotic medication that is typically applied after a deep cleaning within the pockets where gum tissue has receded from a tooth. The microspheres in ARESTIN® release the antibiotics over time, fighting the infection. 

Periodontal Surgery

As gum recession continues, you may reach a point where periodontal surgery is the only effective option. Gum graft surgeries involve transplanting tissue from another area inside the mouth to replace lost gum tissue and close the pockets that harbor harmful bacteria, along with restoring the appearance of your smile.

Taking Action to Protect Your Gums Today

If you’ve been experiencing receding, swollen, red, bleeding, or painful gums, you should reach out to Forest Hills Dentistry today. We can evaluate your smile to identify the issues at hand and provide effective treatment. Take a proactive approach to your oral health by scheduling an appointment for periodontal care in Forest Hills today.

Categories: General Dentistry