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Gum Recession

What is gum recession?

Gum recession is a common dental problem affecting many patients that occurs when the gum tissue around the teeth pulls back or wears away, exposing more of the tooth potentially down to its root. This increased tooth and root exposure often can lead to tooth sensitivity, pain, and even tooth loss if left untreated.

What causes gum recession?

Gum recession has multiple possible causes. This includes:

Plaque build-up: When you don’t brush and floss regularly, plaque can lead to inflammation and ultimately recession.
Periodontal disease: This is a disease process that involves infection and inflammation of teeth and their surrounding structures.
Bruxism: Grinding or clenching your teeth can put pressure on your gums, leading to recession.
Misaligned teeth: Teeth that are not properly aligned can cause uneven pressure on the gums, leading to recession.
Trauma: Injury to the teeth and gums can cause the tissues to pull back.
Brushing technique: Brushing too hard can put undue pressure on the gums leading to recession.
Genetics: Some people are more prone to gum recession than others.

Symptoms of gum recession

Gum recession is not always noticed by patients early on, and it often gradually progresses over time. Common symptoms include:

Tooth sensitivity: As the gum tissues pull back, the root becomes exposed, leading to increased sensitivity to hot, cold, and sweet foods.
Visible roots: Receding gum tissues can cause the teeth to appear longer as the roots, which were once beneath the gums, become visible.
Loose teeth: In severe cases of recession the teeth can become loose.
Red or swollen gums: Inflammation and redness around the gumline commonly indicate recession.

Prevention and treatment of gum recession

As is commonly the case in dentistry, the best way to treat gum recession is to prevent it from happening in the first place. This includes maintaining good oral hygiene practices, regular cleanings, and check-ups.

The treatment of gum recession depends on severity. In mild cases, Dr. Adam Staniscia and Dr. Derek Yuen may recommend brushing more softly and monitoring during regular check-ups. They may also recommend treating underlying issues including misaligned teeth (e.g., Invisalign) or teeth grinding (e.g., night guard). In more serious cases, treatment options may include:

Gum grafting: A surgical procedure where we take a small piece of tissue from the palate (donor site) and place it onto the affected area (recipient site) to cover the exposed root.
Scaling: An appointment where our hygiene team removes plaque build-up from around the teeth and beneath the gums.


Gum recession is a common dental problem that can be caused by a variety of factors. If you are noticing gum recession or experiencing symptoms, it is important that you visit your dentist for an assessment.

If you would like to book an assessment with Dr. Adam Staniscia and Dr. Derek Yuen, your Surrey B.C. Dentists at Guildford Family Dentistry, please give our office a call at:

604-581-2232 or email [email protected]

We look forward to welcoming you to our practice!

Working Hours

Mon – Fri: 7:30am – 4:10pm
Thursday: 7:30am – 8:30pm
Saturday: 8:00am – 3:00pm
Sunday: Closed

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