9th April 2023

Can Teeth Grinding cause gum recession? - a complete guide!

Last Modified: May 4, 2023

Teeth grinding is clenching or grinding of teeth, often during sleep or stressful situations... Gum recession is a condition where the gums pull away from the teeth, exposing the roots and causing a gap to form between the gumline and teeth. You shouldn't allow gum recession to get too bad as it can lead to tooth decay! There are a few treatments for gum recession which we will go over in this article but the best treatment is always prevention! We’ve treated hundreds of bruxism patients so you can believe us when we say we know what's best for you!

Does Teeth Grinding cause gum recession?

When a person grinds their teeth, the excessive force and pressure on the teeth can cause the gum tissue to recede, exposing the roots of the teeth. Over time, this can lead to many dental problems, including tooth sensitivity, decay, and even tooth loss. 

Additionally, continuous grinding can also cause gum inflammation, which can contribute to gum recession. But not all cases are from teeth grinding, and other factors such as periodontal disease, poor oral hygiene, and genetic predisposition can also play a role.  

How does Teeth Grinding cause gum recession?

Teeth grinding or bruxism can cause gum recession by exerting too much pressure and force on the teeth and their supporting structures, such as the gums, ligaments, and bones. Grinding wears down the enamel (the outermost protective layer of the teeth) and uncovers the underlying dentin and roots of the teeth. The roots of teeth are more vulnerable to decay, sensitivity, and gum disease. As a result, the gums may start to recede or pull back from the teeth, exposing more of the roots.

Gum recession can also occur due to inflammation caused by excessive pressure on the gums during teeth grinding. Inflamed gums can pull away from the teeth and cause a recession. Over time, gum recession can lead to tooth mobility, increased sensitivity, and even tooth loss. If left untreated, the damage can become severe and need extensive dental treatment.

How far can gums recede before teeth fall out?

Picture of a woman with a smile that hasn't been affected by gum recession

The time at which tooth loss happens can differ from person to person and depend on the severity of the problem. Generally, when gum recession exposes a considerable part of the root surface, it can increase the risk of tooth decay, sensitivity, and mobility, and may need expensive dental treatment to prevent further damage. In rare cases, significant gum recession can lead to tooth loss if not treated. It is worth mentioning that gum recession alone may not be the sole cause of tooth loss. Other factors, such as periodontal disease, poor oral hygiene, and genetics, may also play a role.

Can a dentist fix gum recession?

 A dentist can address gum recession by using various treatment options that depend on the severity and cause of the condition. The most common treatment for mild to moderate cases of gum recession is a deep cleaning procedure known as scaling and root planing. This process removes plaque and bacterial build-up from the teeth and roots to allow the gums to reattach to the teeth. Severe gum recession may need gum graft surgery. Gum graft surgery involves transplanting tissue from another part of the mouth or using a synthetic material to cover the exposed root and restore the gum line. 

These treatments aim to halt further gum recession, protect the exposed roots, and improve the appearance of the teeth and gums. While these treatments can fix gum recession, they do not address the underlying causes such as teeth grinding or poor oral hygiene. Addressing these underlying factors is essential to prevent future gum recession. 

Chewing gum and gum recession: Is there a connection?

There is no clear evidence linking chewing gum to gum recession, but some studies suggest that excessive and prolonged chewing of gum, particularly those with sugar or artificial sweeteners, may contribute to gum recession by causing damage to the teeth and gums. Yet, chewing gum can also worsen existing dental issues, such as jaw disorders and teeth grinding, which can lead to gum recession. So, it is important to consume gum in moderation and maintain good oral hygiene.

a person chewing gum

Beyond dental health: Can gum recession caused by Teeth Grinding affect overall health?

Gum recession caused by teeth grinding can have both dental and health impacts. Gum recession exposes the roots of the teeth, making them more prone to decay and infection. This can lead to tooth loss and impact the ability to eat and speak properly, as well as self-confidence and quality of life. Also, untreated gum recession can cause chronic inflammation, which has been linked to higher risks of health issues like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Thus, it's crucial to seek treatment for gum recession caused by teeth grinding to maintain good dental and overall health.

How gum recession caused by Teeth Grinding can impact your smile?

Gum recession caused by teeth grinding can impact the appearance of your smile. As gums recede, more of the tooth's surface becomes exposed, resulting in an unattractive appearance. Additionally, the exposed roots can be sensitive and prone to decay, which leads to discoloration and further tooth damage.

Furthermore, untreated gum recession can result in tooth loss, which leaves a noticeable gap in your smile. Thus, seeking prompt treatment for gum recession caused by teeth grinding is important not only for maintaining dental health but also for preserving your beautiful smile. 

This article was read and reviewed by the face of DR Aesthetica himself - DR Baldeep Farmah.

The role of genetics in gum recession: Are some people more prone?

genetics in gum recession

There is evidence to suggest that genetics can play a role in gum recession. Some people may be more prone to gum recession due to their genetic makeup, which can affect the strength and structure of their teeth and gums. Even if they don't grind their teeth, these individuals may be at a higher risk for gum recession.

Genetic factors can also impact the body's inflammatory response, which can contribute to gum disease and recession. Make sure to check your family history. If you have a family history of gum disease or recession, you may have an increased risk of developing it, even if you don't grind your teeth. Being aware of these risks and taking proactive measures to maintain good dental health is crucial. 

How to prevent gum recession caused by Teeth Grinding?

The best way to prevent gum recession caused by teeth grinding is to treat your teeth grinding. You can view a list of potential treatments for teeth grinding here. 

However do you Want a treatment that:

  • Lasts approximately 6 months?
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  • Is so painless that it requires no anaesthetic
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Then a Botox treatment may be perfect for you! View more information on a Botox treatment here:

Post Reviewed by: Dr Baldeep Farmah
Medically Reviewed on: 9th April 2023
Dr Baldeep Farmah is the Medical Director and lead Doctor of Dr Aesthetica, a Medical Aesthetic Clinic.

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