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What Are The Stages Of Receding Gums?

Receding gums are a common dental issue when the gum tissue around your teeth pulls back, showing more of the tooth or its root. This can make your teeth extra sensitive and raise the risk of cavities. Understanding what causes it is key to keeping your mouth healthy.

Early detection is crucial to stop further problems, as untreated receding gums can lead to serious issues like losing teeth or gum disease. Regular dental check-ups are super important to catch signs of receding gums early on, so you can get the right treatment.

What Are the Causes of Receding Gums

Gum Disease (Gingivitis and Periodontitis)

The main reason for receding gums is gum disease, including gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the early stage with inflamed gums, while periodontitis is more advanced and can cause gum recession. Regular dental check-ups and good oral care can help prevent and manage gum disease, keeping your gums healthy.

Aggressive Tooth Brushing Habits

Surprisingly, how you brush matters. Being too rough, like using a hard brush or pressing too hard, can lead to gum recession. Choose a soft-bristled brush and remember to brush gently in circles to protect your gums.

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal shifts, especially in women, can contribute to receding gums. Puberty, pregnancy, and menopause may cause hormone changes, making gums more vulnerable. Being aware of these changes and keeping up with good oral care during these times can lower the risk.

Tobacco Use

Smoking or using tobacco not only hurts your overall health but can also make your gums recede. The chemicals in tobacco can damage gum tissue, leading to gum recession. Quitting smoking is not just good for your lungs but also helps keep your gums healthier.


Sometimes, your genes play a part in how likely you are to have receding gums. If gum disease or gum recession runs in your family, you might be more prone to it. Knowing your family history and taking steps to prevent it can help keep your gums in good shape.

Early Signs of Receding Gums

Gum Sensitivity

One of the initial signs that your gums might be receding is increased sensitivity. If you find yourself wincing at hot or cold temperatures or experiencing discomfort while eating, it could be a signal that your gums are pulling back, exposing the more sensitive parts of your teeth.

Tooth Root Exposure

As gums recede, they reveal the tooth roots beneath. If you notice parts of your teeth that were once hidden are now exposed, it’s a clear indicator of receding gums. Keep an eye out for changes in the appearance of your teeth and consult your dentist if you observe any unusual exposure.

Longer-Looking Teeth

Receding gums can give your teeth a longer appearance than usual. If you catch yourself in the mirror and notice that your teeth seem longer than before, it may be time to pay attention to your gum health.

Changes in Tooth Alignment

Gum recession can also impact the alignment of your teeth. You may notice subtle shifts or changes in how your teeth fit together when you bite. Keeping an eye on any alterations in your bite can help catch gum recession early on.

Bleeding Gums During Brushing or Flossing

You shouldn’t have bleeding gums when taking care of your teeth. If you observe bleeding while brushing or flossing, it could be an early sign of gum issues, including recession. Don’t ignore this sign; instead, consult with your dentist to address the concern promptly.

The Four Stages of Receding Gums

Stage 1: Gingivitis

Imagine you notice your gums appear redder than usual, and there’s a hint of blood when you brush your teeth. These are early signs of gingivitis, the first stage of receding gums. It’s like a warning signal from your gums, telling you it’s time to schedule a dental check-up.

At this point, your dentist may recommend a professional cleaning to remove plaque and provide guidance on improving your oral hygiene routine to reverse gingivitis.

Stage 2: Mild Gum Recession

As time progresses, you might start feeling a twinge of sensitivity when you sip on hot or cold beverages. This could be a sign that your gums are slowly receding. Picture the formation of small pockets between your teeth and gums.

It’s at this stage that adopting preventative measures, like switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush and considering lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, becomes crucial.

Stage 3: Moderate Gum Recession

Now, imagine noticing more of your tooth roots becoming exposed, possibly leading to increased sensitivity. This is indicative of moderate gum recession. Your dentist might recommend scaling and root planing, a deep cleaning procedure to remove built-up plaque and tartar, promoting gum healing.

In some cases, they might suggest gum grafting, a procedure to cover exposed roots and prevent further recession.

Stage 4: Severe Gum Recession

At the severe stage, envision a significant portion of your tooth roots being exposed, putting you at a higher risk of tooth loss. Seeking advanced treatment becomes crucial.

Picture undergoing surgical interventions, such as gum grafting or guided tissue regeneration, to restore gum tissue and prevent further complications.

What Are The Stages Of Receding Gums

How to Prevent Receding Gums

Maintaining healthy gums is vital for a radiant smile and overall well-being. Fortunately, preventing receding gums is achievable with some straightforward practices. Here are essential tips to incorporate into your daily routine:

Proper Oral Hygiene Practices

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle brushing techniques to protect your gums.
  • Regularly floss to remove plaque and food particles between your teeth, preventing gum disease.
  • Enhance your routine with the use of an antimicrobial mouthwash to eliminate bacteria and promote gum health.

Regular Dental Check-Ups

  • Schedule regular check-ups for early detection of potential gum issues.
  • Receive professional cleanings and thorough examinations during these visits to address concerns promptly.

Lifestyle Changes

  • Quit smoking to significantly reduce the risk of gum recession.
  • Manage stress levels, as stress can impact your immune system and increase the likelihood of gum issues.
  • Adopt a nutrient-rich diet with ample vitamins and minerals to support overall gum health.

Incorporating these straightforward practices into your daily routine and teaming up with your dentist for regular check-ups form a robust strategy to prevent receding gums.

Experiencing Gum Disease? We Can Help!

Discover the ultimate solution for gum health at Roots Dental! If you’re seeking top-notch expertise in gum disease prevention and treatment, look no further. Contact us today or make an appointment. Explore our four convenient locations across Portland, Oregon, on our All Locations page.

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