Are my gums receding?

What are the signs of gum recession?

  • Triangular teeth
  • Gaps appearing between the teeth
  • Teeth appearing longer

Have you ever heard the expression “Growing Long of Tooth” to mean growing wiser as you age? Unfortunately, this common phenomenon isn’t a sign of wisdom, but a sign of gum recession.

Besides being unsightly, gum recession also means that the bone around your tooth is receding. As bone recedes, your tooth has less and less support, and in time you can lose the tooth altogether.

One of the most common causes of gum recession is overbrushing. Applying too much force while brushing your teeth, brushing too often, or not using a soft toothbrush can cause your gums to recede.

The other common cause of gum recession is gum disease. Gum disease is very common, but luckily, very treatable if caught before its advanced. Regular dentist appointments can help you catch gum disease early and treat it. Gum disease can’t be reversed, but it can be stabilised.

If a patient has very serious gum recession and the patient wishes to help improve the appearance of their teeth, sometimes a surgeon will recommend a gingival graft.  A gingival—or gum—graft is a procedure where an oral surgeon takes tissue from the roof of the mouth and transplants it to the tooth or the implant with recession, improving the appearance of receding gums.

If you’re concerned that your gums are receding, the best course of action is to discuss it with your dentist as early as possible to halt the progression.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr Helen Voronina

Dr Helen Voronina is the principal dentist at "Dr Helen's Dental & Implant Studio". Having graduated from the University of Melbourne and later from the Brener Implant Institute, in her practice she places emphases on the implant, aesthetic and reconstructive dentistry. She is a member of the Australian Dental Association, The International Congress of Implantology and The Australian Society of Implant Dentistry (ASID). She is a former chairperson for the National Dental Foundation and an official dentist for the Melbourne Hearts Football Club.