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What Is Gum Recession?

08 Jun 2023

3 min read

By Dr. Azim Malik

Specialist Periodontist and Implant Surgeon


Recession is basically your gum moving away from its original position.
On the top, it's moving upwards. On the bottom it’s moving downwards.

What you may experience with recession is some sensitivity to hot and cold because the root becomes exposed.

You may see in the mirror that your tooth looks a little longer.

And it may feel a little longer.

Gum recession causes

Recession can be an indicator of a few things.

It could just be an isolated area where the gum has receded – and it could affect one tooth or many teeth.

Or it could be as a result of some very severe gum disease.

Receding gums stages

In this case, there will often be gaps in between the teeth… or what we call black triangles.

In other words, the patient has receding gums between their teeth.

Now that's difficult to correct because the bone is like a curtain rail – and the gum is like the curtain.

And if you've got less bone, then the curtain doesn't drape well.


So with patients who have severe gum disease, have bone loss and then present with recession…

Although we can perform some treatment to partly cover the recession – we now cannot have 100% coverage of that ecession area.

Other patients don't have massive bone loss in between their teeth.

They only have recession on the outside surface of the teeth.

Gum recession treatment

Recession without bone loss in between the teeth can usually be corrected – and with very good results.

In these cases, we can almost completely cover the recession area.

Can receding gums grow back?

There are a few ways to do it.

One is to take a piece of gum from the roof of your mouth – the palate.

And we perform surgery to tuck it underneath your existing gum – and stretch the gum upwards a little.

After two weeks, it usually settles.

In rare cases, for patients who don’t like the idea of this method, we can instead use tissue taken from a human donor.

It comes in a packet and it has been cleaned out with no active cells on it.

This works well but it’s never as good as using the patient’s own tissue.

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