Gum Recession: Recognizing the Signs and Seeking Solutions

Gum disease can affect anyone irrespective of age and gender. It is the most prevalent dental problem after tooth decay. It results in a cascade of symptoms that indicate gum damage and deterioration. Gum recession is one such common symptom of untreated gum disease. 

Read on as the periodontist in King of Prussia, PA, helps explore gum recession and its possible treatment modalities. 

What is gum recession?

Gum recession is a form of gum disease. It occurs when your gums pull away from your teeth, exposing the roots underneath. This makes your tissues more vulnerable to cavities and jawbone damage. Gum recession can be mild, moderate, or severe. 

What causes gum recession?

Your gums may recede due to the following reasons:

  • Aggressive tooth brushing 
  • Dental plaque or calculus build-up
  • Gum disease 
  • Trauma or injury to the gums 
  • Misalignment
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco

Risk factors for gum recession include:

  • Genetics 
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Age over 50 years 
  • Having orthodontic braces 

What are the symptoms of gum recession?

The warning signs and symptoms of gum recession include:

  • Pain or discomfort near your gum line 
  • Tooth sensitivity to heat and cold
  • Tooth root exposure
  • Increased sensitivity during brushing 
  • Bleeding near the affected gums 
  • Bad breath 
  • Unaesthetic smile due to root exposure 

How is gum recession diagnosed?

Your dentist can diagnose gum recession during routine oral examination. They will use special dental instruments called periodontal probes to measure the amount of gum recession and loss of attachment. The probe also helps detect and evaluate the depth of periodontal pockets. 

Furthermore, your dentists may record dental X-rays to assess the exact intensity of gum recession and bone involvement. 

How is gum recession treated?

Treatment for gum recession depends on the type and severity of the condition. Treatment options include:

For mild to moderate cases: Non-surgical methods 

  • Antibiotic therapy
      • Topical antibiotics are inserted directly under your gums to help heal them. 
    • Scaling and root planing 
      • Supragingival and subgingival scaling and root planing are performed under local anesthesia to get rid of plaque, bacteria, and calculus. 
  • Dental bonding
      • Areas of gum flaws can be easily camouflaged through tooth-colored composite resin. 
      • This covers your exposed tooth roots, making them less noticeable and more comfortable. 
  • Orthodontics
    • Cracked, chipped, crooked teeth causing gum recession can be treated through orthodontic braces. 

For severe cases: Surgical intervention 

  • Gum graft surgery
    • During this procedure, a gum graft is used to replace your missing gum tissues. 


Gum recession is a common form of gum disease, which when left untreated can wreak havoc on your oral health. Consult your dentist when you notice any slight tooth detachment for further evaluation and management since gum recession in the initial stage is reversible.