Closeup portrait of young woman showing with his finger inflamed lower gingiva with pain expression. Dental care and toothache.

9 Causes of Receding Gums

Receding Gums, also known as gingival recession, is when the gum tissue reduces and the root of the tooth becomes exposed. According to the American Dental Association, gum recession can happen to people of all ages and even those with great oral hygiene. To determine a correct course of treatment, it helps to know the cause. Here are 9 of the most common causes of receding gums:

1. Gum Disease

One of the most common, and probably the scariest causes of gum recession is gum disease . Get yourself into the dentist’s chair if you notice red, swollen, or bleeding gums along with pain and sensitivity. This disease can be very serious and it is best treated when caught early.

2. Aggressive Brushing

Brushing or flossing with too much power is damaging to the gum tissue. Take it easy; a gentle brushing is all that is necessary for a great clean and a healthy mouth. Opt for a toothbrush with soft bristles, don’t dig too deep when flossing and give those pearly whites a gentle scrubbing twice daily.

3. Tooth Alignment

Crooked teeth or a misaligned bite causes tension on the gums. This tension leads to receding gums. Good thing there are so many different options for tooth alignment available these days!

4. Grinding Teeth

Grinding teeth not only causes tooth sensitivity, lock jaw and headaches; but it can also lead to gum recession. Grinding puts pressure on the teeth that then stretch and irritate the gums. If you have frequent headaches, and wake up with a sore jaw let your dentist know.

5. Ineffective Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene leads to a slew of problems, including a receding gum line. Take care of your oral health consistently. All it takes is brushing and flossing twice daily, along with regular dental visits.

6. Injury

Injury to the gums or teeth can lead to gum recession. Like any injury, if it isn’t treated properly or if the healing process is disrupted there are lasting effects. Be sure to have an oral injury checked out not only by your MD, but your DDS as well.

7. Hormones

As if puberty isn’t invasive enough in your life, it can also send your oral health into madness. Not only puberty, but changes in hormones due to pregnancy or menopause can have an effect on your gums as well. Clue your dentist in on your medical history so you can get proper treatment.

8. Genetics

Frustrating as it can be, sometimes there is just nothing you can do about it. It’s in your genes. If your family has suffered with receding gums, you have a higher chance of experiencing it yourself.

9. Tobacco Use

Last, but not the least common, is tobacco use. Oral health is truly shaken by the use of tobacco. Tobacco use leads to a development of thick plaque that ultimately causes receding gums.


You can rest easy knowing that receding gums can be treated. You can trust Eagle Rock Dental Care to set you up with a treatment plan that’s right for you. Contact us at any of our three South eastern Idaho locations today. Or simply request your appointment online today. We can’t wait to hear from you!