Are Your Gums Shrinking?

When it comes to your smile, it is common to focus on your teeth. However, your gums play critical roles towards the appearance and health of your smile too. Not only do the gums frame your smile, but they also keep them in place and help provide nutrients to your teeth. It may be shocking to notice that your gums seem to be shrinking over time.

Shrinking gums is typically gum recession, or the gradual loss of gum height that exposes more of your tooth root. Unfortunately, gum recession is more than an aesthetic threat, as it often makes your teeth look especially long. Receding gums can also cause tooth sensitivity and even loose teeth in severe cases. Before we treat your receding gums at Dream Dentist, however, we need to investigate the cause.

Reasons for Receding Gums

Gums can recede or shrink for many different reasons, some are within your control and some are not. Here are some common explanations of gum recession in adults:


The gums naturally recede as we get older. While proper oral hygiene can limit or delay this effect on the gums, it is an unavoidable part of aging for many patients.

Periodontal Disease

One of the most serious and preventable reasons for receding gums is gum disease. The gums are also likely to be red, swollen and pulling away from the tooth roots. This means your gums are infected and need prompt treatment before the underlying bone is also destroyed.

Aggressive Brushing

When it comes to teeth brushing, harder is not always better. In fact, aggressive force or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can bring damage to your soft tissues and cause your gums to recede.

Bad Oral Habits

Clenching your teeth, grinding your teeth, nail biting and smoking are all considered harmful oral habits that can cause gum recession as well as other dental problems over time.


You may have to just blame your parents. The risk or likelihood of receding gums and/or gum disease can be hereditary, so extra preventative measures are important.

Correct Receding Gums at Dream Dentist

Don’t ignore your gums if they seem to be shrinking away or causing sensitivity. Call Dream Dentist today to learn your options for gum recession treatment in O’Fallon