Helping To Prevent Receding Gums

Maintaining gum health and tooth condition.

Whilst a small number of patients do suffer from a ‘gummy smile’, where the gum line extends down the tooth; it is more common for patients to suffer from receding gums.

In today’s blog, our Cheshunt dentists take a look at some of the potential risks of receding gums as well as the possible causes.

The risks

There are two problems associated with receding gums. The first of these is that of appearance. Gums that recede make the teeth appear longer than they actually are. You may have heard the phrase ‘long in the tooth’, meaning someone quite old. Old age is one of the potential causes of gum recession, but most can be avoided until this stage with a little care.

A more serious threat is that when the gums recede, they expose the dentine material around the root of your tooth.  This is a yellowish material which can detract from your appearance, but, more importantly, is not protected by enamel and is more easily exposed to bacteria that can cause tooth decay.


There are a number of potential causes of gum recession, including old age, which we mentioned above. Many causes though can happen much earlier in our lives and include:

Gum disease

If you do not look after your gums, they are likely to be affected by the ‘bad’ bacteria in our mouths and even early stage gum disease can affect your gums and cause them to recede. A good home cleaning regimen and appointments with the hygienist is a great way to help avoid this potentially serious problem.

Incorrect brushing

Too many people ‘scrub’ their teeth too hard in the belief that doing so is more effective at keeping them clean. Unfortunately, this action is more likely to result in enamel damage as well as causing the gums to wear away and recede. A gentle circular motion is all that is needed.

Misaligned bite

In some cases, a badly misaligned bite can cause the teeth to put excessive pressure on the gums causing them to recede over time. This is just one of the problems that a misaligned bite can cause and hence why we recommend that patients seek prompt attention here at The Lodge Dental Suite in Cheshunt.


For some people, receding gums run in the family and can be difficult to prevent. Good oral care and regular checks at our Cheshunt dental practice should help to minimise and slow down any recession.

Hormonal changes

Especially during pregnancy, hormone levels can change and this has been shown to affect the gums. In fact, women who are expecting a child have a heightened risk of having gum disease, and it may be advisable to increase the regularity of your checks during pregnancy to help to avoid it.

Medication side effects

Some medications may cause gums to recede as a side effect which may need to be discussed with your GP; however, you should not stop taking your medication because of your gums without their advice.

Here at The Lodge Dental Suite, we aim to give our patients the best chance of having healthy teeth and gums and we encourage you to see our dentists on a regular basis so that we can monitor the overall health of your mouth.

If you live in Cheshunt, Cuffley, Hoddesdon or any of our other local villages and need to make an appointment to see one of our dentists, please call us on 01992 643388.