What is the function of gums and what are the symptoms of gum disease. Find out more about the causes and consequences of gum withdrawal, therapies for gum diseases…


A lot of people go to a dentist because of the problems with their teeth. However, gums are equally important for the health of teeth. Gums protect tooth roots which are more vulnerable than crowns. If gums are in a poor condition, teeth are endangered as well. Therefore, if you want to preserve the health of your teeth – pay attention to your gums.

What is the function of gums and what are the symptoms of gum diseases?

Before explaining the phenomenon of gum recession, it is necessary to say something briefly about gums and their function. Gums (a technical term: gingiva) is an epithelial and connective tissue that surrounds tooth roots. Healthy gums are completely attached to teeth, they are hard and pink. They keep tooth roots from harmful effects by posing an obstacle to food particles and bacteria in the mouth. Tooth roots are more vulnerable, i.e. less resistant to external influences than crowns because they are soft. Therefore, it is essential to preserve healthy gums.

One of the manifestations of unhealthy gums is gum recession. At the beginning of the process, a tooth crown increases, but this is not the only symptom.

povlacenje desni gingiva

The most common symptoms of gum recession are:

  • bare dental roots
  • creating space (pockets) between gums and teeth
  • red and swollen gums
  • painful and sore gums to the touch
  • gums bleed when brushing teeth
  • unpleasant breath

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is time to contact your dentist. Gum recession does not have to be too big a problem if it is in its initial stage. However, a progressive stage can lead to more serious consequences such as tooth loss.

Causes of gum recession

The causes leading to gum recession can be multiple. What is important is that gum recession does not necessarily indicate a gum disease. Therefore, we can talk about the causes that lead to gum recession due to a gum disease and the causes that lead to gum recession due to other factors.

Gum recession due to gum diseases

Gingivitis or gum inflammation is the first stage of a gum disease. It is caused by a bad effect of bacteria from dental plaque accumulated on gums and teeth. Therefore, gingivitis is practically the result of poor oral hygiene. Gingivitis is not too dangerous gum disease since it does not cause tissue damage. However, if the inflammation is not suppressed in time, severe forms of the disease can occur, which can lead to gum withdrawal.

Paradentosis (or paradontopathy) is a bacterial infection that affects gums and bones. Paradentosis represents the second stage of a gum disease. Unlike gingivitis, it damages  supporting tooth structure. Therefore, gum recession is one of the manifestations of the disease.

Gum recession due to other factors

Apart from abovementioned diseases, gum recession can occur due to mechanical effects, hereditary factors or as a result of bad habits.


Here are some of harmful factors: 

  • improper and rough brushing of teeth (the use of strong horizontal movements)
  • using too hard toothbrush
  • innate defect of adherent gingiva, high adhesion of frenulum
  • smoking
  • improper bite

The consequences of gum recession

The consequences that can be caused by gum recession:

  • a part of teeth can be bare (aesthetic problem)
  • hypersensitivity to cold and warm stimuli
  • caries on a tooth root
  • loose teeth as a lack of supporting structure
  • tooth loss


Gum recession can lead to serious consequences. However, there are therapies that can prevent unwanted consequences.


If gum recession is in its early stage, then the problem can be solved by a detailed and proper oral hygiene. In the dental office Dental Vortex you can get professional training on the proper maintenance of oral hygiene. If gum withdrawal is in the advanced stage, then the following procedures are recommended by Dental Vortex.


The first therapy implies a smaller transplantation of gingiva from the palate to the bare part of the tooth root. Actually, a small part of the connective tissue from the palate is taken and sewed to the place where the gums have receded from the tooth root. This is a very reliable and harmless procedure with very good results. Such interventions are known as SMAT and TVT.

The second procedure involves the use of a certain medication that encourages the growth of tissue cells. It is applied beneath gums and thus the gums return to the place from which they have receded. These are different types of membranes, growth proteins (Emdogain), growth factor medication from the blood of a patient (PRF).

Based on the size, localization of the recession and the width of the adjoining gingiva, a surgery specialist chooses a certain form of recession therapy.


Gum recession is not just an insignificant problem and, therefore, if you recognize symptoms, you should contact your dentist. The professional team of Dental Vortex is at your disposal.

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Dental Vortex | Kralja Bodina 10, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia