Ask a Dentist

November 18, 2022

Q: Why Is My Gum Line Receding?

Patient at dentists office, getting her white teeth interdental spaces examined with hand-held mirror for tartar and plaque. Dental hygiene, painful procedures and prevention concept.

Gum recession exposes the teeth roots. The exposed areas become sensitive to temperature changes and certain foods. Although gum recession is irreversible, you can try to catch it early and prevent it from worsening. 

Why are your gums important? Your gums’ main job is to protect your teeth and keep them snug. When your gums pull away, bacteria can enter these pockets and expose your teeth’s roots, making them susceptible to tooth decay and eventually, tooth loss. 

The most common signs that you may have gum recession include:

  • Bleeding after brushing or flossing
  • Bad breath
  • Pain at the gumline with swollen, red gums
  • Exposed tooth roots that cause sensitivity
  • A loose tooth
  • Shrunken gums

Common Causes Of Gum Recession

Any of the following factors can cause gum recession:

  • Poor oral health. When plaque builds up on the gum line, the gums surrounding the teeth become inflamed, leading to gum recession and periodontal disease.
  • Over-brushing. It’s great to be enthusiastic about oral care but make sure to gently brush your teeth and use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Over-brushing can wear down the enamel and cause receding gums. 
  • Teeth grinding at night. The extra force exerted on your teeth every night can wear down your gums. This can be easily remedied with a nightguard. 
  • Gum trauma. Significant trauma to the teeth or gums can cause your gums to recede. 
  • Abnormal tooth positioning. Unaligned teeth or bite can create undue friction in the area, causing your gums to recede.
  • Genetics. Some dental issues can be out of our control. If either of your parents has receding gums, you may also be at risk.


So what should you do if your gums are receding? Contact your dentist about the best course of action. In mild cases, changing your habits can be enough. In advanced cases, you’ll need the help of a periodontist (gum specialist). Don’t fret, they’ll work with you to find the right solution. 

Take steps to protect your oral health by visiting Dental Image Therapy Centres for a checkup and cleaning. If you have gum recession, our dentists can begin the process of treating and preventing further damage to your gums. Find us at one of our two Winnipeg locations in Garden City Shopping Centre and St. Vital Centre. We’re currently accepting new patients. 

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