The Link Between Sensitive Teeth And Gum Recession

Gum Recession can cause teeth to feel sensitive because it exposes the underlying root surface. The tooth root is not covered like the crown portion of your tooth. When it is exposed, there is nothing to protect it. It can also wear away easier since it is softer then the crown portion of your tooth, which can lead to more sensitivity. There are different methods to help reduce sensitivity. Identifying the cause of recession will help to prevent it from getting worse. There are different methods to help desensitize teeth. Talk to your dentist to see what is best in your situation.

What Is Gum Recession?

The gums protect the fragile tooth roots from bacteria, plaque, and other forms of decay. Gingival recession is the exposure of the roots of teeth after experiencing a loss of tissue in the gum. The gums are also known as the gingivae. The gingiva is the moist pink tissue in the mouth that meets the base of the teeth. There are two such gums – one for the upper, and one for the lower set of teeth.

receding gums

The gingiva is a dense tissue with a good supply of blood vessels beneath a moist surface. The surface is called mucous membrane. It is joined to the rest of the mouth lining but is pink instead of shiny red. The gums tightly surround the teeth up to the neck of each one and are firmly attached to the jaw bone. The gums usually cover the roots of the teeth, protecting them as they are more fragile than the rest of the teeth. Gingival recession exposes the fragile tooth roots to bacteria, plaque, and other forms of decay.

Treatment For Gum Recession

The most important step of the treatment is adopting a good oral hygiene by the patient, after the medic completely cleans the teeth and gums of any dental plaque and tartar by classical techniques, like scaling, subgingival curettage, and washing with antiseptic solutions. This is essential if we want the treatment to have any chance of success.

The next step is represented by the discovery and removal of all pathological dental (occlusal) contacts. Occlusal contacts are those contacts that appear between the horizontal surfaces of the upper and lower teeth while biting. If these contact are too powerful, the forces that arise are transmitted from the teeth to the gums and periodontal tissue, leading to gum recession among other things.


receding gums treatment

So, the removal of imperfect occlusal contacts is of vital importance. In order to achieve this goal, we use the T Scan System for digital management of occlusion. This system uses a state of the art technology that allows us to electronically detect the pathological occlusal contacts. In addition, it shows the forces that arise during these contacts in every single teeth, forces that cannot be identified through the classical occlusion test with “articulation paper” that is used in dentistry today.

Studies demonstrated that the efficiency of the T Scan measurements is over 90%. The pathological contacts identified with T Scan are easily removed by selective grinding and polishing.

What Causes Gum Recession?

causes of gum recession

Among the factors that can cause gum recession we find:

  • Periodontal diseases
  • Occlusal trauma and/or bruxism (teeth grinding)
  • Congenital predisposition to periodontal disease
  • Massive accumulation of tartar near or beneath the gums
  • Bad habits, like pressing a hard object (ex. pencil) on the gums
  • Direct trauma
  • Anatomical factors: complications of tooth eruption, unusual form of teeth, dysfunctional positioning of teeth, aberrant muscle insertions, etc.
  • Direct food impact
  • Excessive and/or very frequent brushing
  • Trauma with dental floss and toothpicks
  • Iatrogenic causes: inadequate fillings or/and fixed or removable prostethics
  • Surgical operations (ex. gingivectomy)
  • In old people gum recession is considered physiological.

Effects Of Gum Recession

Many people with receding gums have no concern about them early on. Many others are unaware that they have recession.


For some, though, the concern may be about:

  • Exposure of dental roots
  • Bleeding gums (especially when brushing)
  • Bad breath
  • Dental mobility
  • Pain or sensitivity at contact with metallic instruments or during mastication
  • Pain or sensitivity at contact with hot or cold, sweet or sour foods and drinks
  • Difficulty in brushing
  • A raised risk for dental caries in the affected teeth areas and for gingivitis

Affected aesthetics For some people, the gums show when talking and smiling. Others have a different lip line that does not expose the gums to view.

Preventing Gum Recession

Perhaps one of the best tools for preventing receding gums is to see a dentist for regular cleanings and checkups. Even if you don’t experience any symptoms, a dentist can identify early signs of gum disease. You can also help prevent gum problems by practicing smart oral health habits.

gum recession treatment

While regular flossing and brushing removes bacteria, food particles, and plaque, tartar may only be removed with a dental cleaning. Since tartar can contribute to gum disease and receding gums, this is why biannual cleanings are so vital in preventing these types of complications.

Schedule A Consultation With Dr. Kaeley Today At San Ramon

Dr. Kaeley, one of the best periodontal dentist in the San Francisco Bay Area, shall provide you custom treatment options for your periodontal needs. If you think you might be suffering from gum disease or if you have inflamed, sore or bleeding gums, schedule an appointment with us immediately. We even offer customized sedation options for our patients in San Ramon who experience anxiety about going to the dentist. We want all of our patients to feel totally relaxed and comfortable during their visits with us.

Gum disease can cause tremendous harm to your overall health and should be treated as soon as possible. After you call, the first step will be for us to setup a time for you to come into our office, meet Dr. Kaeley at Progressive Periodontics and Implant Dentistry at San Ramon, CA and discuss your concerns and questions with her. From there, Dr. Kaeley will work with you to develop a customized treatment plan that fits your needs and get you back on the road towards optimal health.

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