Gingival Recession / Receding Gums
Gingival recession, more commonly called receding gums is a condition in which the attachment fibers holding the gums (gingiva) to the tooth and bone detach or are otherwise compromised, and the tooth root is exposed. The tooth may or may not be sensitive.
Causes of receding gums may include periodontal disease (i.e. bacterial origin), long-term heavy bite stress, or simply unfavorable tooth position in the mouth. For years it has been thought that aggressive toothbrushing may cause receding gums. The current thinking, however, is in favor of bite stress. It is also possible that aggressive brushing and exposure of tooth roots to an acidic environment may aggravate receding gums that began another way.