Does periodontal disease cause my gums to recede?

Gum recession, when the gums shrink or pull away from the teeth, can happen to people of all ages. Sometimes it happens even if a person takes good care of his or her teeth. Gum recession can be cause by periodontal disease. The first step in treating recession usually involves a special cleaning called scaling and root planing, which removes plaque and tartar deposits on the tooth and root surfaces. The scaling and root planing helps gum tissues heal. For many patients, this treatment, plus excellent oral care with regular dental checkups, can help stop periodontal disease and gum loss.

If you have gum recession, your dentist can help you understand the causes and recommend a treatment. If the gums have become unattached from the tooth, it is important to treat gum recession otherwise it is likely to get worse.
There are many reasons why gums can recede. Periodontal disease causes the bone support around your tooth roots to dissolve away, and the gums will go with the bone, leaving your teeth more exposed, 'or gums receding.'

Other causes include bad bite, harmful habits, and some very uncommon diseases of the gums. You and your dentist together can discover why your gums are receding.

Periodontal disease is common in the general population and in diabetics. If you have periodontal disease, you may notice that over time you're teeth appear to be getting longer. This is caused by gum recession which exposes the root s of the teeth. The teeth may become very sensitive to hot and cold things. The roots of the teeth are also very susceptible to tooth decay. To protect your teeth from decay, your dentist can recommend a special fluoride gel that you can apply to the teeth's roots. Also, there are fluoride mouthwashes and prescription products that you can use to increase the fluoride on your teeth's roots and prevent cavities.

Continue Learning about Periodontal Diseases

Severe Gum Disease May Lead to Impotence
Severe Gum Disease May Lead to Impotence
A fresh, healthy mouth plays well in your favor each time you lean in for a kiss. And it may have a surprising benefit in the bedroom: helping prevent...
Read More
What are the two key work areas of periodontics?
Hyun J. Song, DDSHyun J. Song, DDS
The two key work areas of periodonitics are: Reconstructive (including gum grafts, i...
More Answers
How does gum disease affect the arteries?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
The surprising truth is that simply flossing your teeth every day can actually make your arterie...
More Answers
Can Gum Disease Affect Your Overall Health?
Can Gum Disease Affect Your Overall Health?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.