What Causes Receding Gums: 10 Terrible Reasons

What causes receding gums is the most debated and talked about question these days. A pullback of gums from their original tooth area or surface is a condition called receding gums1. These conditions could cause various symptoms in your body.

To find out what causes receding gums properly, you need to understand the concept of receding gums. This article will help you get a brief knowledge about receding gums and what causes receding gums.

Receding Gums: A Condition to Worry

Have you ever observed any exposed pink tissue due to any changes in the position of your gum? It could be due to a pullback or dislocation of your gums.

You would find this condition in many people these days. Receding gums can be a reason for many health problems. Receding gums will lead to gum recession, and to prevent gum recession, you need to treat receding gums at the initial stage.

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Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash


1. Periodontal Diseases

Your gums will recede if you have periodontal diseases. Periodontal diseases are generally a kind of bacterial infection that affects your gum tissues. It will also affect the bones that hold your teeth in place and play a supporting character in your oral health.

Also, it would help if you treated these diseases to avoid tooth loss or decay, as it would destroy your overall oral health and hygiene in the future.

2. Poor Oral Hygiene

Maintaining your oral hygiene2 is important to avoid any of these oral health problems. Whenever you witness receding gums, the first question any professional would ever ask is about your oral hygiene.

It’s not that just brushing your teeth without any other precautions would help your oral health.

Many bacteria affect your teeth and gums if you do not maintain hygiene as they are a host of many oral health problems such as gingivitis and receding gums.

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Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels

3. Plaque And Tartar

Plaque and tartar would also host receding gums problems. Plague is the early stage of tartar or dental calculus3 that will cause periodontal diseases if not treated properly. The plaque gets hard over time and becomes dental calculus or tartar, which will cause bacterial gum infections.

This bacterial infection would recede your gums. Brushing and flossing are two important factors to help get rid of plaque formed at an early stage.

Ensure you use a soft-bristled toothbrush for soothing application and effective results. Maintain a proper diet and floss properly to prevent the repercussions of plaque and tartar.
It would help if you also tried doing deep cleaning to remove plaque and tartar and boost your oral health.

Read more about how to tartar from teeth at home.

4. Improper Tooth Brush and Brushing

What causes receding gums should also include the application of improper toothbrushes in the wrong brushing style. It would help if you choose a good toothbrush with the proper capacity to clean your teeth without receding your gums.

Gums surrounding the teeth need special care as your overall mouth’s tissue and bone structures are very delicate. Don’t go with the advertisement and popularity; choose what suits your oral health. It is advisable to use a soft-bristled toothbrush for brushing.

Your brushes should not be very harsh on your gums as they at some moments cause receding gums if you brush aggressively. So, make your brush and application of brushing correct to build up your teeth and gum health.

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Image by Jenny Friedrichs from Pixabay

5. Hormonal Changes

There are many stages in a woman’s life that cause hormonal imbalance. Stages like puberty, pregnancy, and menopause4 disturb your hormones which will cause tooth sensitivity.

Your teeth need proper dental care, or else receding gums will be another problem you will face.

6. Genes

Your genes play another important role in determining your health problems. Many people are susceptible to gum disease because of their genes.

No matter how healthy your gums are and how good you are at maintaining your oral hygiene. Sometimes your genes will host receding gums.

7. Lip or tongue-piercing

Piercing sometimes would cause receding gums as jewelry contact or presence could irritate your gum line, causing them to downsize from their position.

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Photo by Rodolfo Clix from Pexels

8. Tobacco

People using tobacco products often or daily will have plaque formation5 that will cause many oral health disorders. This plaque will cause gum infections and then gum recession.

9. Clenching Your Teeth

Sometimes extra force will cause your gums to recede. Clenching and grinding will put a good amount of pressure on your teeth which can cause receding gums.

10. Crooked Teeth or Misaligned Bite

Overlapping or improper sequence of teeth can also cause various problems for your teeth and gums.

In some cases, you will see the mouth is small for teeth hence causing problems. These conditions would lead to receding gums or gums recession. So you need to take care of that as well.

Symptoms Of Receding Gums

  • Bad Breath
  • Swollen gums (Or red colored gums)
  • Painful gums (Bleeding gums)
  • Distance between teeth and gums (Separated gums and teeth)


There are many things and research about what causes receding gums. The main concept is to keep your teeth and gums healthy, and not fall into the trap of such dangerous diseases, resulting in tooth loss or tooth decay.

It’s always better to take precautions not to go through painful gum diseases. Go ahead and boost your oral health to prevent receding gums.


Q. Can your gums recede at 20?

  • Most of us begin to experience receding gums in our teens and 20s—we just don’t know it!

Is receding gums normal?

  • The options include deep cleaning, treating infections, and tissue grafts. Receding gums is a common condition, but people often do not realize that their gums are receding until they reach a symptomatic later stage.

Are receding gums genetic?

  • Genetics. Some people are just born with gums that are prone to recede. Even if you take good care of your teeth and gums, you may deal with receding gums if they run in your family.

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  1. Zukerman, Wendy. “Receding gums.” New Scientist 207.2777 (2010): 44-45. ↩︎
  2. Choo, Audrey, David M. Delac, and Louise Brearley Messer. “Oral hygiene measures and promotion: review and considerations.” Australian dental journal 46.3 (2001): 166-173. ↩︎
  3. Akcalı, Aliye, and Niklaus P. Lang. “Dental calculus: the calcified biofilm and its role in disease development.” Periodontology 2000 76.1 (2018): 109-115. ↩︎
  4. Greendale, Gail A., Nancy P. Lee, and Edga R. Arriola. “The menopause.” The Lancet 353.9152 (1999): 571-580. ↩︎
  5. Bentzon, Jacob Fog, et al. “Mechanisms of plaque formation and rupture.” Circulation research 114.12 (2014): 1852-1866. ↩︎

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