Gum recession is a common dental problem that affects many individuals around the world. It occurs when the gum pulls back from the teeth, exposing more of the root.

While it may seem harmless, over time it can lead to sensitivity, decay, and tooth loss. In most cases, there are ways to prevent it from occurring.

Below we are going to discuss eight possible causes of gum recession so that you can focus on maintaining a healthy smile.

Interested in learning more? Then let’s get started.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is one of the leading causes of gum recession. It occurs when bacteria in the mouth infect tissue leading to inflammation and swelling.

Tartar is also a contributor and requires removal from a dental professional. It develops after the plaque on your teeth hardens (often due to a lack of brushing/flossing).

While you may find it embarrassing, there are ways to treat and sometimes reverse recession, such as grafting. Check out – when is it too late for gum grafting? To know if it’s the right choice for you.


Genetics can also play a role in the development of gum recession in certain individuals. Those with family members who have also had a history of gum disease may be more likely to experience it as well.

If you’re aware of this, be extra vigilant with your oral hygiene. You should also book in to see your dentist more regularly, even if you don’t think anything is wrong.

Hormonal Changes

Women can be more susceptible to gum recession during hormonal changes such as pregnancy or menopause. When hormones shift, your gums become more sensitive and experience inflammation over small things.

During these situations, take extra care when brushing. You should also monitor your mouth for any changes to ensure that nothing becomes infected.

Brushing Too Hard

While you might think that brushing your teeth hard is a good thing, it is quite harmful. Vigorous brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush will wear away the gum tissue and cause it to pull back from the teeth.

Opt for a soft-bristled brush and only use a small amount of pressure. This will help you avoid damage and will make the overall process much more enjoyable.

Grinding and Clenching

Grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep can put excessive force on your teeth and gums. If you notice this is occurring, look into purchasing a custom-made nightguard to wear at bedtime.

You also want to think about what could be causing this. It’s often linked to anxiety and stress, but other factors including snoring, sleep apnoea, and medications should be taken into account.

You can find some great tips to combat stress here.


We should all know by now that smoking can do a lot of harm to your health. Alongside causing cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke, it can also increase your risk for certain eye diseases and damages your oral health.

The toxic chemicals within tobacco irritate your gums. By starting your quitting journey, you’ll see a significant improvement in all areas of your life.


While it’s one of the lesser-known causes, trauma is another factor that can lead to recession. If your mouth gets hit or you fall on your face, your teeth can become loose.

These injuries can lead to other issues over time. If you’ve been hurt you must see a doctor and dentist immediately to assess the damage.

While it may be minor, you can never quite tell the extent of an injury with the naked eye. You may need an x-ray to confirm that everything is ok.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Above we mentioned periodontal disease, but before that occurs you can still experience signs of recession. This is often due to poor oral hygiene or lack of maintaining your smile.

When you don’t brush or floss your teeth regularly, plaque and tartar build-up. It’s crucial that you focus on protecting the condition of your teeth, especially if you want to avoid an expensive trip to the dentist. You should be brushing at least twice a day.

Final Words

Gum recession is a common oral health problem that can have severe consequences when left untreated. By understanding the possible causes, you can take the necessary steps to prevent it from getting worse.

Remember to practice good oral hygiene habits and to visit your dentist regularly for check-ups. The sooner you get on top of any issues, the better.