Many things can make your teeth feel sensitive, including gum recession. Gum recession occurs when your gum tissue pulls back from your teeth, and this exposes the sensitive roots of your teeth. To avoid gum recession, you need to know what causes it and how to protect yourself. Here are three causes of gum recession.

Incorrect Brushing Technique

Brushing your teeth twice a day is essential, but if you don't use the right technique, you could damage your delicate gums. You may think that you need to scrub your teeth with your toothbrush to get them clean, but pushing too hard can actually push back your gums and lead to gum recession.

When you brush, you should feel the bristles against your teeth and gums, but the bristles shouldn't bend or get squashed. Your dentist can demonstrate the right amount of pressure if you're not sure. As many as 20% of people have hurt their gums or teeth due to their tooth brushing technique, so don't feel embarrassed to ask your dentist to give you a refresher in good brushing technique.

Gum Disease

Gum disease can also lead to gum recession. If you notice that your teeth are looking longer, this common gum condition may be to blame. Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums that's caused by bacteria inside the mouth, and it affects many adults in the United States to some degree.

Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent gum disease. Brushing, flossing and seeing a dentist regularly for professional cleanings are the main prevention steps. If you're a smoker, you should try to quit since smoking is a major risk factor for gum disease.


Bruxism is a major cause of gum recession. This condition, which means that you clench and grind your teeth while you're asleep, puts pressure on your teeth and gums, which can damage the soft tissue. Over time, you may notice that your teeth are sensitive due to the exposed roots.

If you think you're clenching and grinding, see your dentist. Treatments like mouthguards can be used to help protect your tissues from damage. These mouthguards are made of acrylic and are used as a long-term treatment. Your dentist may recommend additional treatments like relaxation exercises to help you stop clenching.

Many things can make your gums recede, but with a good oral hygiene routine and the help of your dentist, you can protect your gums.