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What Causes Receding Gums?

Receding gums is a problem that does affect a large portion of the nation. There are a number of reasons that can lead to your gums receding. Not only does it affect the aesthetics of your smile, but it can also lead to unpleasant sensitivity and also tooth decay. Both the latter problems can lead to further problems which can lead to more serious conditions, causing severe discomfort and pain.

What Causes Gums To Recede?

Brushing Too Hard

One of the biggest culprits can be caused because of brushing your teeth too hard. It is very important that you have a very active dental hygiene regime, where you brush your teeth at least twice a day, but you need to ensure that you brush carefully rather then forcefully or too hard. The gums are very sensitive and can easily be worn away or permanently damaged.

Gum Disease

Ironically the other major culprit gum disease can be down to lack of brushing and regular dental hygiene. By maintaining a healthy oral hygiene routine you will be brushing away a build up of the plaque and tartar, and actively be combating the chances of getting gum disease. Gum disease happens when the bacteria in your mouth starts to build up and eventually turns into the hard substance of plaque and tartar. This bacteria will actively attack your gums and one of the most common signs of gum disease is when they start to bleed (most noticeable during brushing).

When plaque does build up it becomes increasingly harder to tackle the problem yourself. We recommend regular visits with the hygienist who uses their skill & professional dental equipment to tackle tough plaque to achieve dental health.

As gum disease develops and progresses the gums can start to recede which will shows a larger portion of the teeth. Sensitivity and pain can occur due to this, and teeth can start to become loose and even fall out if the gum disease progresses into advanced periodontitis.

Periodontal Treatment

When gum disease does advance you will need to be referred to a periodontist. This is a specialist role in a dental practice that treats specific gum disease cases. Our in house periodontist is Dr Clifford Nissen. Depending on the level of your gum disease the treatment will vary from pocket planning to complex sinus lifts. Our periodontist would first see you for an hour long pocket planning appointment to determine the level of the disease. He will then write a detailed treatment plan outlining how we can help treat you for this condition.

How To Prevent Gum Disease

Gum disease can be a very serious and nasty condition to have, which can also be costly to treat as well. We always try to educate our patients in dental hygiene to help them fight the problem before they even occur. By attending regular dental appointments and hygiene visits (with a healthy hygiene routine at home) you can actively protect your mouth from nasty conditions occurring. We will always check for signs of gum disease at regular check ups and the earlier problems are noticed, the less expensive and easier it will be to treat them. Normally by the time you start to feel gum irritation and pain, it has progressed past the simple preventative stages and may require additional treatment.

If you are worried you may have gum disease please do not hesitate to contact us and book your free consultation.

How do you treat premature gum disease?

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What is premature Gum Disease?

Premature Gum Disease is when you spot early signs of gum disease developing, which will makes it considerably easier to treat and to prevent further complications!

How do you spot early signs of Gum Disease?

The most common symptoms you can have from developing gum disease are:

  • Sore, red, swollen or irritated gums
  • Bleeding gums (especially noticeable when brushing)

Before and after - Gum Disease 1

If you do experience any of these symptoms it is recommended that you go and visit your dentist for a check up, and they will be able to identify if you are indeed suffering from the early signs of gum disease.

How is premature Gum Disease treated?

If caught early on, gum disease will be considerably easier to treat than if it has gone to the advanced stages (which may even require a specialist periodontist).

The dentist or hygienist will thoroughly polish and clean your teeth to remove the build up of bacteria (plaque/tartar) which will prevent your gum disease developing into an advanced stage.

Before and after periodontal 1

How can I prevent gum disease?

Gum Disease is caused by the build up of food debris and bacteria on your teeth, which will eventually turn into plaque and tartar that will attack and irritate your gums and teeth.

By practicing a healthy oral hygiene routine (brushing effectively twice a day and flossing) you will be taking an active approach into helping preventing any future gum problems.

(Please feel free to ask us what an effective oral hygiene routine is)

Please Note: You can still develop gum disease even if you do have a consistent and thorough oral hygiene routine, but the chances of developing this condition will have been dramatically reduced.

Attending the recommended 2 hygiene visits a year will provide a professional polish and clean (with dental tools that can remove tough plaque – that normal brushes cannot), as well as ensuring that you have excellent oral health.

For more information or to arrange a free consultation, please do not hesitate to call us on 01546 778 585


A Guide on Dental Health from a Dentist

How to keep your teeth and gums healthy

Keeping your mouth healthy is very important. By looking after your teeth and gums you can avoid tooth decay and gum disease.

What is tooth decay?

When you eat or drink something sugary, the bacteria in your mouth produce acid. This acid can make holes in your teeth (tooth decay).

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is caused by bacteria that stick to your teeth when you do not clean them properly. Dentists call this layer of bacteria PLAQUE. If you leave plaque on your teeth, your gums will become red, swollen, sore and may even bleed when you brush them. You may have bad breath. If gum disease is not treated the teeth will become loose and may eventually fall out.

How should I keep my mouth healthy?

  • You should keep your teeth and gums clean, good brushing is very important.
  • You should avoid sugary foods and drinks between meals.
  • You should cut down on fizzy and acidic drinks.

How should I brush my teeth and gums?

  • Brush your teeth for two minutes in the morning and for two minutes at bedtime.
  • Use a toothpaste containing fluoride.
  • Choose a toothbrush with a small head to help reach every part of your mouth.
  • Brush every surface of every tooth.
  • Make sure the bristles reach the part of the tooth where it joins the gum. This is where plaque collects.
  • Move the toothbrush in small gentle circular or scrubbing movements.
  • Dental floss or inter-dental brushes may be helpful to clean in between your teeth. Your dentist or hygienist can show you how to use them properly.
  • You can use disclosing tablets which contain a harmless dye to stain plaque, making it easier to see for removal.

Is an electric toothbrush better?

Using an electric toothbrush can be fun, but it will only work well if you use it properly. It is not a magic wand! Use the type of brush that works best for you.

Why should I avoid sugary foods and drinks between meals?

Every time you eat or drink something sugary, the bacteria in your mouth produce acid. Acid attacks can last for up to an hour after eating or drinking. The more often you eat or drink something sugary, the more likely you are to cause tooth decay. Try to cut down the number of times you have sugary foods or drinks by keeping these to mealtimes.

Avoid sugary snacks like cakes, sweets and biscuits between meals. Avoid sugary drinks like fruit squashes, natural fruit juices and milk shakes between meals.

Why are fizzy and acidic drinks bad for my teeth?

Fruit juices, sports drinks and fizzy drinks (even sugar free ones) contain acids. These acids can dissolve the outer surface of the teeth (enamel). This is called erosion, the teeth become thinner and are more likely to chip. They may also become sensitive.

The more often you drink fizzy drinks or acidic drink the more likely you are to damage your teeth. So cut down on fizzy and acidic drinks.

What about acidic foods?

Fruit such as oranges and lemons also contain acids, which can dissolve your teeth if you eat a large amount every day.

What can I drink between meals?

Plain water and milk are best for your teeth.

What can I eat between meals?

Sugar free or low sugar foods are best. Suggestions include bread, cheese, sandwiches, vegetables, nuts or fruit.

What else can I do to keep my teeth healthy?

  • Use dental floss or an inderdental brush each day to remove plaque from between the teeth.
  • Using a fluoride alcohol-free mouth rinse can help reduce plaque, strengthen teeth and freshen breath.
  • Visit your dentist regularly to check that your teeth and gums are healthy.
  • Chewing sugar free gum after meals reduces the risk of tooth decay.

Can smoking and drinking alcohol affect my teeth and gums?

Smoking causes tooth staining, bad breath, gum disease, tooth loss and mouth cancer

Some alcoholic drinks are acidic and very sugary, also some mixer drinks contain acid, so these drinks can cause tooth decay or erosion if they are consumed often in large amounts.


  • Brush your teeth for 2 minutes at least twice a day.
  • Use a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
  • Replace your toothbrush regularly.
  • Eat a balanced, healthy diet and cut down on fizzy and acidic drinks.
  • Avoid food and drinks between meals.
  • Visit your dentist regularly.

If you have any further questions that you feel you would like to ask, then please write them down and bring them with you to your next appointment. It is important that you fully understand what is involved in having orthodontic treatment before you decide to go ahead


Do you still have unanswered questions? Please feel free to submit them below!

By Dr Gursh Bajwa

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