The Connection Between Gum Recession and Periodontal Disease


Your gums are soft tissues surrounding and supporting your teeth, and play a vital role in maintaining your oral health and integrity. Any infection or inflammation in the gums can compromise the oral form and aesthetics. And among all the forms of gum disease, gum recession can be distressing. 

Fortunately, the family dentist in Mitchell and their team of expert periodontists are skilled to offer early detection, and prompt treatment of gum recession. Read on to explore more about this condition and the effective treatment modalities. 

What is gum recession?

Gum recession is the abnormal retraction of the gums from the tooth surface, thereby exposing the roots. It is one of the classical symptoms of gum disease that eventually results in increased tooth sensitivity to hot and cold things. Gum recession can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe depending on the severity of the condition. 

What causes gum recession? 

The following factors can predispose you to develop gum recession:

  • Brushing too hard or too aggressively
  • Using a hard-bristled toothbrush
  • Plaque or calculus buildup
  • Periodontal disease 
  • Trauma or injury to the gums
  • Misalignment
  • Tobacco use 
  • Smoking 
  • Lip or tongue-piercing 

What are the symptoms of gum recession?

Signs and symptoms of gum recession may include:

  • Exposure to tooth roots 
  • Gnawing pain near the gum line 
  • Increased tooth sensitivity to heat, cold, and sweets 
  • Sensitivity when brushing or flossing teeth
  • Sensitivity during dental cleanings
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Aesthetically unappealing smile 
  • Loose teeth 

How do dentists diagnose gum recession?

Gum recession can be easily diagnosed during a routine oral examination. A periodontal probe is a special dental instrument that can help measure the amount of gum recession on each tooth. The probe can also help measure the depth of the periodontal pockets to assess the amount of bone loss. 

How can gum recession be treated?

Gum recession treatment depends on the severity of the condition. The treatment options are as follows:

Mild to moderate gum recession:

  • Topical or oral antibiotics
  • Scaling and root planing 
  • Dental bonding to camouflage the area of recession with tooth-colored composite resin. 
  • Orthodontic treatment like braces for crooked or rotated teeth causing gum recession. 

Severe gum recession:

  • Severe gum recession is usually treated through surgical intervention such as gum grafting. During the surgery, a graft is taken from other places of your oral cavity and used to replace your missing gum tissue.  

Gum recession is a common clinical manifestation of gum disease. Early detection can be treated successfully and halt the disease progression. Left untreated, gum recession can wreak havoc on your oral health. Know the warning signs to stay alert and seek dental care immediately to improve your overall oral health and well-being.