There are a number of factors that can cause your gums to recede, including:
Periodontal diseases. These are bacterial gum infections that destroy gum tissue and supporting bone that hold your teeth in place. Gum disease is the main cause of gum recession.
Your genes. Some people may be more susceptible to gum disease. In fact, studies show that 30% of the population may be predisposed to gum disease, regardless of how well they care for their teeth.
Aggressive tooth brushing. If you brush your teeth too hard or the wrong way, it can cause the enamel on your teeth to wear away and your gums to recede.
Insufficient dental care. Inadequate brushing and flossing makes it easy for plaque to turn into calculus (tartar) -- a hard substance that can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning -- and build up on and in between your teeth, causing gum recession.
Hormonal changes. Fluctuations in female hormone levels during a woman's lifetime, such as in puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, can make gums more sensitive and more vulnerable to gum recession.
Tobacco products. Tobacco users are more likely to have sticky plaque on their teeth that is difficult to remove, which can cause gum recession.
Grinding and clenching your teeth. Clenching or grinding your teeth can put too much force on the teeth, causing gums to recede.
Crooked teeth or a misaligned bite. When teeth do not come together evenly, too much force can be placed on the gums and bone, allowing gums to recede.
Body piercing of the lip or tongue. Jewelry can rub the gums and irritate them to the point that gum tissue is worn away.
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