Minimizing the Risks of Gum Recession

PEOPLE USED TO THINK that gum recession was an inevitability of getting older, but that’s not necessarily true. What is gum recession? It’s when the edge of the gum tissue recedes from around the crown of the tooth, exposing more and more of the root. We often think of it as age-related because it’s typically such a gradual problem that it takes years or even decades to become noticeable, but gum recession can start as early as childhood. In many cases, it can also be prevented.

A Factor We Can’t Control: Genetics

For an unlucky few, gum recession is caused by genetics. They may have more fragile gum tissue than average or weaker jaw bones that can’t support enough gingiva to keep the roots of the teeth fully covered. However, there isn’t a gene for automatic gum recession, so even people with genetic risk factors can do a lot to keep their gums healthy and minimize recession.

Yes, It’s Possible to Brush Too Hard

A major cause of gum recession is actually overbrushing. If your toothbrush tends to end up with the bristles bent outwards after a while, you might be brushing too hard, and it can do a lot of damage to both the gum tissue and tooth enamel over time. Our gums and teeth are not built to stand up to frequent, harsh scouring.

That doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for brushing twice a day! Aim for a Goldilocks approach. Do brush twice daily, but also make sure to use a toothbrush with soft bristles and only apply gentle pressure when you brush. The same goes for flossing. Definitely floss daily, but be gentle on those gums!

Grinding Teeth Impacts Gum Tissue Too

Bruxism, or chronic teeth-grinding, leads to a wide array of oral health problems, from the damage to the teeth themselves to increasing the risk of gum recession. Grinding puts a lot of strain on the gums, so they may begin to recede over time. Bruxism can be a difficult habit to break, especially if it happens at night. The good news is that you don’t have to fight a grinding habit alone. The dentist can help!

Gingivitis Makes Gums More Vulnerable

Gingivitis and more advanced forms of gum disease can actually destroy the supporting gum tissue and bone around the roots of our teeth. This is what makes gum disease the main cause of gum recession. To keep the gums healthy, a daily oral hygiene routine is critical, but so are regular professional cleanings at a dental practice. Only the pros can remove plaque that has hardened into tartar, and the longer tartar is allowed to remain, the more it will irritate the gums.

Even Kids Can Get Gum Recession

It’s uncommon, but kids aren’t immune to gum recession just because they’re young. The same causes can affect gum tissue in kids as in adults: overbrushing, poor oral hygiene, and bruxism. Another cause is oral injury. The best treatment for kids as well as adults is prevention by maintaining good oral health habits.

Healthy Gums for Healthy Smiles!

The hygienist will check your gum pockets for signs of inflammation or recession at regular dental appointments, so make sure to schedule those twice a year! If you have any questions about gum recession, how to prevent it, and how it can be treated, just ask. We want all of our patients to have the information and tools they need to maintain healthy gums.

We’re rooting for our patients’ teeth and gums!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
Posted in Uncategorized
New Patient Offer
Contact Us





    View our privacy policy


    Harry B.

    Dr. Behner and his staff and just the best. They are worth my families 1-hour drive!

    —Harry B.

    Greg M.

    Dr. Behner runs a fantastic and very professional practice. His Dental Hygienist did a wonderful and pain-free cleaning. Always an excellent experience!

    —Greg M.

    Pat S.

    Dr's Behner and Pence provide an outstanding service and I am glad they are my dentist. Their staff is awesome also.

    —Pat S.

    Jeanie M.

    I know I need some extra pats and such to get me ready, and they always have been there to smile and reassure me! It’s extremely embarrassing to have so much fear but they are there not judging by comforting me!

    —Jeanie M.

    Leslee D.

    I had put off having dental work because of anxiety. I’m so glad to have been referred to Dr. Behner many years ago. Being able to have IV sedation enabled me to get the work done that was needed. Dr. Behner and his staff are so understanding. My bite is better due to crowns and I’m no longer in pain. Thank you, Dr. Behner. I no longer “dread” the dentist.

    —Leslee D.

    Cindy M.

    My experince with Dr. Behner and staff seriously changed my life. I’m 52, and feared the dentist since childhood, after terrible visits. Over 5 years ago, I found Dr. Behner after doing an internet search for sedation dentistry. At my first visit, even before my sedation appt., I knew I had found my dentist for life. The atmosphere, the staff, and the dentist, all give a sense of comfort and peace. I’ve never once been afraid again, and actually look forward to my appointments!

    —Cindy M.

    Judy S.

    The entire staff is so kind and considerate that over the years my anxiety has diminished. They are my "dental family". Just had an extraction and cannot imagine a better dentist!

    —Judy S.


    If you are searching for an Indianapolis dentist to provide cosmetic dentistry, sedation dentistry, or dental implants, Dr. E. Dale Behner is here for you! Call today to schedule an appointment if you are in the area, including Fishers and Carmel. Dental Care Today PC - E. Dale Behner DDS
    9744 Lantern Rd
    Fishers, IN 46037
    Call: 317-842-2337317-842-2337
    Write a Review
    Review Us on Google Review Us on Facebook Review Us on Angies List
    Connect With Us
    Best Dentists in Indianapolis
    Top 10 dentists in Fishers, IN
    Dr. Elton D. Behner, DDS has been awarded as a top Dentistry practice with some of Fishers's best Dentists.
    Verified by
    NagiosCheckValue - Do not remove please