Are Receding Gums Permanent? Can They Grow Back?

Are Receding Gums Permanent?

If you’ve recently found out that your gum line has receded or you’ve signs of receding gums (teeth getting longer, exposed roots, or small black triangles), you may be wondering if gum recession is permanent and if your gums can recover.

Unfortunately, the gum tissue cannot regenerate naturally. Any gum recession you’ve experienced is permanent. 

However, there is good news! Gum recession happens slowly over time – you can prevent it from worsening with daily performed self-care treatments such as good oral hygiene and some simple changes to lifestyle choices. 

In extreme cases, dental treatments are available to disguise black triangles and cover exposed roots – preventing sensitivity and risking decay of the delicate tooth roots and tooth structure usually hidden under the gum. 

How Can You Reverse Gum Recession?

Gum tissue is one of those tissues in the body that cannot regenerate itself, so any gum tissue lost is unfortunately permanent. However, the gums can recover, becoming healthy and strong, preventing further gum tissue loss. 

Preventing gum recession from getting any worse can be achieved by determining the cause of your gum recession and eliminating it, e.g. removing oral piercings, modifying brushing techniques & disrupting bacteria. 

Receding Gums are Permanent – Determine The Cause And Prevent It from Getting Worse

There are several causes of gum recession. Identifying them allows you to prevent gum recession from getting worse. 

Wear and Tear

Gum recession is not a disease. The cause of your gum recession may be something as simple as pressing on too hard with your toothbrush or oral piercing continually rubbing the area. 

Oral piercing – the solution is quite a simple one. Remove the piercings to avoid further gum recession. 

Aggressive tooth brushing – gum tissue can be worn away by hard brushing. By pressing on gently, using a soft, small-headed toothbrush you can avoid wearing the tissue away. Electric toothbrushes with a pressure sensor are great for those with gum recession caused by wear and tear. 


Genetics – some people have naturally thin, fragile gum tissue due to their genetics. This can predispose them to a receding gum line. Taking care when brushing the teeth and eating a nutrient-rich diet can help to protect the gums.  

Tooth position if your teeth are wonky and crooked the gum tissue may not have been able to form correctly around the tooth/teeth. Clear aligner therapy or braces can realign the teeth allowing the gum tissue to form correctly around the teeth. 

Bone Loss

As we age, there is a natural loss of bone density. This process is exacerbated by periodontal disease – an inflammatory condition that leads to the loss of bone holding the teeth in place. 

Beat Gum Disease Now

As the amount of bone decreases, the height decreases, and the amount of gum tissue looks to have shrunk. The gum that forms a collar around the teeth shrinks back exposing more teeth, tooth roots and sometimes black triangles can form.

Keeping the bones strong and healthy plus controlling periodontitis can prevent gum recession due to bone loss. 

Self-Care Treatments at Home to Reverse Gum Recession

Whatever the cause of your receding gums you can keep the gums healthy, stop them from wearing away further and protect against the initiation of gingivitis and the inflammatory response which leads to bone loss and recession using good oral hygiene. 

You can also keep the bones, gums, and immune system healthy and in check by modifying several lifestyle changes. Both changes will benefit both your oral health and your general health. 

Oral Hygiene

Developing first-class oral hygiene is essential in the fight against periodontal disease. It’s important to use the correct technique to avoid damaging the gums while disrupting the plaque bacteria that trigger gum disease. 

Exert dental professionals around the world recommend that you brush your teeth twice a day using a small-headed soft toothbrush. Fluoride toothpaste has many benefits for the teeth and gums but is not essential for plaque disruption. You can also invest in some toothpaste specially formulated for those with gum recession.

Carefully clean the interdental spaces each day with a gum pocket brush. This disrupts plaque and food debris between the teeth and under the gum line.  

If using fluoride toothpaste avoid rinsing afterward with water or mouthwash. 

Beat Gum Disease Now

Smoking Cessation

Smoking is the biggest risk factor for periodontal diseases, gum recession, and bone loss. Quitting will help prevent gum recession in a multitude of ways and will have a positive effect on your general health. Discover how tobacco and nicotine affect your oral health.

Control blood sugars

Diabetics are at a greater risk of periodontal diseases for numerous reasons. Controlling blood sugars can help prevent gum recession.

Nutrient Rich Diet

It’s thought that a nutrient-rich diet supports the body in warding off pathogens and helps to reduce chronic systemic inflammation involved in non-communicable diseases. Following a Mediterranean-style diet, rich in micronutrients including vitamins, minerals, and trace elements may help keep the bones, gum tissue as well as the immune system strong and healthy whilst modifying the immune response, preventing damage to the structures supporting the gums and teeth. 

Reduce Sugar Consumption

Everyone knows this. We’re told from a young age to eat less sugar to protect the teeth from cavities. However, reducing the frequency and amount of sugary snacks and drinks will also help keep the gums, bones, and immune system healthy.  

Plaque bacteria thrive in sugary conditions, so removing their food source will help prevent bacterial growth, periodontal disease, and gum recession. 

Final Thoughts – Are Receding Gums Permanent?

There are several reasons that receding gums develop and sadly it is permanent. However, whether it’s caused by aggressive tooth brushing or periodontitis you can prevent further gum loss by making some lifestyle changes and developing good oral hygiene.

You can find out more about the correct techniques to use to effectively but gently clean the teeth and prevent gum recession here. 

Beat Gum Disease Now


  • The Role of Diet in Multiple Sclerosis: Mechanistic Connections and Current Evidence – PMC. Childs CE, Calder PC, Miles EA. Diet and Immune Function. Nutrients. 2019;11(8):1933. Published 2019 Aug 16. doi:10.3390/nu11081933
  • Rosa Casas, Emilio Sacanella, Ramon Estruch1. The Immune Protective Effect of the Mediterranean Diet Against Chronic Low-Grade Inflammatory Diseases. Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets, 14 (4), 245-54 2014
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Written by Sharon Fyles

Periodontitis Expert & Writer

Sharon Fyles, BSc (Hons, SW), MSc, Dip,  is a Manchester-based expert dental writer specialising in periodontal diseases and their treatment.


Medically Reviewed and Verified by Dr. Gareth Edwards BDS (Hons), MFDS (RCPS Glasgow)

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