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Ultimate Guide To Receding Gums

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Last Reviewed 05 October 2021

Medically reviewed by Dr. Peter Doherty, Bachelor Dent. Sc. (Trinity College Dublin) 2003, MFDS (RCSI), PG Cert Implant Dentistry (Newcastle), Implant Dentist

Table of Contents

Are you concerned thay your gums might be receding? If your gums are red, inflamed or painful, we advise that you get them checked by your dentist. There are gum treatments available that can stop or even reverse gum recession if caught in time.

This post is going to explore some of the more freqently asked questions that we get about receding gums. 

What Are Receding Gums?

what causes gum recession Dr. Peter Doherty - 3Dental
What Causes Gum Recession? - Dr.Peter Doherty - Gum Surgery

Receding gums is a condition in which the gum covering your teeth is shrinking, and the tooth becomes more exposed. Later on, the root may also become exposed.

When this happens, pockets form between the teeth and the gum, providing the perfect environment for bacteria to accumulate. If you do not treat this condition in time, it can cause damage to the bone underneath, not just to the tooth itself, which can lead to tooth loss.

Causes Of Receding Gums

gum recession - 3Dental

The causes of receding gums are:

  • Gum disease
  • Brushing too hard
  • Thin gums
  • Poor oral health
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Grinding or clenching
  • Smoking
  • Genetic predisposition

Receding Gum Treatments

Medications such as antibiotics or antimicrobial mouthwashWorks if you catch it very earlyIt is less important than brushing and flossing, and is mostly a preventative measure. It may not work for everyone.
Deep cleaningCan halt the progress of gum recession cases caused by bacteriaApprox 2 visits are required every 2-4 months
Desensitizing treatmentPainlessProvides temporary relief of sensitivity. However, it does not stop recession.
Gum graft surgerySuccessful in the majority of suitable casesMay require multiple visits. Not suitable for advanced cases of recession.

What Are The Symptoms Of Receding Gums?

how to prevent gum disease - 3Dental

These include:

  1. Bleeding gums
  2. Gum Inflammation or redness 
  3. Gums are sore to the touch
  4. Tooth sensitivity
  5. Bad breath
  6. Loose teeth
  7. Exposed tooth roots

Receding Gum Prevention

The best practice around preventing gum recession is:

Regular dental visitsThe dentist can identify early signs of gum disease and recommend treatment
Regular, gentle brushing (with a medium/soft toothbrush) and flossing between dental visitsPrevents the build-up of bacteria between the teeth and gums
Quit smokingNicotine restricts blood flow to the gums
Eat a well balanced and healthy dietA healthy body naturally fights gum disease
Do not brush too hardOver-brushing or brushing too hard can damage your gums and lead to gum recession

What Is The Best Mouth Rinse For Receding Gums?

prevent receding gums - 3Dental

Any mouthwash that includes the ingredient chlorhexidine can help with receding gums. It will not reverse it, but can slow its progression.

Most dentists would recommend Corsodyl 0.2% mouthwash for patients suffering from receding gums.

However, Corsodyl mouthwash may cause temporary discolouration of teeth and tongue, which can be prevented by not eating or drinking any dark coloured food after 1 hour of using the mouthwash.

How To Stop Receding Gums?

Visiting your dentist and hygienist for regular check-ups and dental cleanings is the best way to detect issues that could lead to receding gums. Receding gums respond to treatment well if you catch them in the early stages.

Identifying these early signs is one reason why it’s essential to attend your dental clinic for regular check-ups; twice a year in most cases.

What Are The Different Stages Of Receding Gums?

mouth rinse with brushes - 3Dental
  • Stage 1: Healthy gums
  • Stage 2: Gingivitis - An inflammation of the gums that can lead to *periodontitis (gum disease)
  • Stage 3: Early periodontitis - The gum starts to pull away from the tooth
  • Stage 4: Moderate periodontitis - Discomfort, loose teeth and bone loss
  • Stage 5: Advanced periodontitis - Multiple loose teeth, abscess (tooth extraction may be required if not treated in time)

*Periodontitis is a bacterial infection that causes gums to recede.

How Serious Are Receding Gums?

You should take gum recession seriously. It affects your overall health as well as your teeth. Periodontal disease not only causes tooth loss, the bacteria responsible for this disease can also enter your bloodstream and could lead to heart issues in the future.

How Do You Brush Receding Gums?

How to Prevent and Treat Gum Recession - 3Dental
How to Prevent and Treat Gum Recession - Dr.Peter Doherty - Gum Surgery

Always use a medium/soft toothbrush and make sure to be gentle. Brush your teeth and gums in small circular motions. Do not apply pressure while brushing.

Can Gum Tissue Grow Back?

Unfortunately, if you have the most severe gum disease, it cannot be reversed or grown back, but you can stop it from getting worse. In the early stages of gum disease, it is possible to reverse it successfully.

If it is too late for you to reverse receding gums, it may be possible to have a gum surgery performed.

Are You In Need Of A Dental Checkup?

Get in touch today

What Is The Best Approach To Receding Gums?

The best approach to receding gums is to monitor them and get them checked as soon as any signs appear, no matter how small.

Regular check-ups and dental cleanings with a hygienist, in addition to good oral hygiene, are necessary to prevent receding gums.

Taking care of your gums includes brushing and flossing at least two times a day.

If you have been diagnosed with receding gums or gum disease, special toothpaste or mouthwash will help with the longer-term treatment.


We hope you found this post informative!

If you feel like you would benefit from a dental check up to review the health of your gums, contact our DublinLimerick or Galway clinic today.

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