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Why are My Gums Receding?

Through numerous dental exams, my hygienist and I have encountered many patients complaining of teeth sensitivity due to gum recession. Delicious delicacies such as ice cream, cake and yogurt can be burdensome to consume due to teeth sensitivity. Believe it or not, gum recession is a very common dental issue that I run into daily. If you believe you are getting sensitive teeth due to gum recession, I recommend making an appointment with a dentist to get it looked at as there are various treatment modalities to help repair the gum and prevent further damage.


So Why do Gums Recede?

  1. Gingivitis/ Periodontitis: Without proper oral hygiene at home and not seeing a dentist regularly, bacteria can cause gingival inflammation causing gingitivitis and eventually even periodontitis (loss of bone structure underlying our gums). There is a direct correlation between gum disease and recession.
  2. Improper brushing technique: Many patients own great toothbrushes, but more important than just a nice toothbrush is your technique in brushing. Brushing harder does not mean better! As a matter of fact, aggressive brushing against your gums can quickly cause irritation and trauma to our gum tissue, which will lead to gum recession over time.
  3. Genetics: Although we all want to be beautiful like Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, our genes can limit our physical traits. In fact, genetics have a lot to do with our gums too in regards to how robust and thick our gums can be or how frail and thin they can be. Studies show that 30% of the population are predisposed to some form of gum disease regardless of how well they take care of their oral health.
  4. Smoking: We all know smoking is detrimental to our overall health, but tobacco is also the number one cause of oral cancer and it contributes greatly to our gum disease. Cigarettes release tar into our gum pockets causing gingival inflammation eventually causing gum recession and bone loss.
  5. Clenching and Grinding: Many patients are clenching or grinding to some degree of level, some more mild and some more severe. However, severe clenching and grinding causes heavy force on to our tooth structure, particularly where the bone/gum level is. Inadvertently, this results in abfraction, which is chipping of enamel tooth structure at the gum level causing recession to occur.
  6. Hormonal changes: During a women’s lifetime, their levels of hormones fluctuate significantly especially when going through pregnancy, puberty, and menopause. Unfortunately, these events have negative consequences on the gums causing increased sensitivity and recession.


My years of experience with treating teeth sensitivity can help you today. Please contact Wendy today, 562-943-3794 to schedule an appointment and begin treating this common issue. I look forward to seeing you soon at Charles Kim DDS. in La Mirada CA.!

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