gum disease

What Causes Gum Recession?

September 28th, 2019

What Causes Gum Recession?

Model image of gum recession in a human jaw



What are the gums?

The gums, or gingiva, is thick pink tissue that surrounds the base of the tooth. The gums are attached to the jawbone and when intact the gums cover the neck and root of the tooth. It is bound to the bone and the root surface of the tooth by strong fibers and ligaments. The gum tissue acts as an agent to protect the bone bacteria that can cause infections and inflammation that destroys this bone. 

What Does Receding Gums Mean?

Gum recession, or gingival recession, is when the protective gum tissue surrounding the teeth starts to wear away and lowers its resting position on the tooth. Gum recession is harmful to the tooth because it leaves the tooth exposed to food debris leaving it vulnerable to tooth decay.

 Causes of Gum Wear:

There are several factors that could be contributing to a receding gum line. Some are inherited and some may be physical reasons:


  • Periodontal diseases: Periodontal (gum) disease is caused by an infection from the bacteria that live in the plaque in between your teeth. Gum disease causes destruction to the bones and gum tissues that anchor your teeth. This weakens the gums ability to hold onto your teeth. As time goes on this can cause serious causes of recession


  • Aggressive- Brushing & Flossing: If you are brushing or flossing your teeth with too aggressive of force or if you are using a toothbrush that has too hard of bristles, you can physically cause the weakening of your gums. We recommend using a soft-bristle toothbrush and to be cautious of how much pressure you are applying when brushing or flossing.


  • Poor Dental Hygiene: Though over-brushing can physically cause the receding of gums, neglecting to brush or floss your teeth can also lead to gum recession. Slacking in your daily dental hygiene practices can cause plaque to build up and to turn into tartar. Tartar is a hard substance that discolors the teeth and can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning. 


  • Clenching or Grinding Teeth: These habits put a lot of pressure on your teeth which can result in the receding of gums 
  • Position of the Teeth: When teeth overcrowd each other or do not align, gums are left more vulnerable & too much pressure can be placed on the gums or bones.
  • Genetics: Unfortunately, weak or thin gums can be passed through your family genes. It’s important to be aware of your family history to take extra good care of your gums.


  • Smoking & Tobacco Usage: Those who smoke and use tobacco products increase their risk of receding gums. 


  • Lip & Tongue Piercings: Piercings on the lip or tongue have direct contact with the gums, the act of jewelry rubbing & irritating the gums can cause gum recession. 

The Dangers & Health Risks Of A Receding Gum Line

When gum recessions occur, the root of the tooth becomes exposed to tooth decay and other serious problems. The root of a tooth does not have a layer of enamel to protect it. Enamel is a thin layer that protects the tooth from discoloration and the bacteria that causes tooth decay. In addition to this, gums play a vital role in keeping your teeth stabilized. Receding gum lines can also increase the risk of tooth loss, which ultimately affects the surrounding teeth as well. Healthy gums are essential for a healthy mouth. Receding gums are not only a problem cosmetically but they lead to a lot of problems if left untreated.


Depending on how your condition is diagnosed there are a variety of ways to get treated. Here at Delaware Periodontics, Dr. Bradford Klassman performs The Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique (PST®), invented and patented by John Chao, D.D.S., is a scalpel-free, suture-free procedure for treating gum recession.

 Contact Your Local Dover, De Periodontics Today!

Conveniently located in the greater Wilmington and Dover area, and easily accessible to surrounding areas. Delaware Periodontics offers quality treatments in periodontics and dental implantology. Our office is welcoming and relaxing, with convenient hours of operation and a friendly office environment.

Please contact us at (302) 658-7871 if you would like to schedule an appointment and find out more about the Pinhole® Surgical Technique!

What Does It Mean If My Gums Are Bleeding?

December 4th, 2018

Close up of a woman brushing her teeth with a yellow toothbrush

Most people have had that frightening moment; you take your toothbrush out of your mouth and see blood. Your gums are bleeding! Many have experienced it, but not many people understand just why their gums are bleeding. With the help of Delaware Periodontics, you can prevent and treat many of the causes of bleeding gums.

What Causes Gum Bleeding?

Several different factors and conditions may be associated with bleeding gums. With the exception of a few, most of these problems involve plaque or bacteria that settle around the gum line.

  • Brushing Complications—Contrary to popular belief, you can brush your teeth too hard. Aggressive brushing may cause the gums to bleed. Additionally, using a toothbrush that is too strong for your gums can increase the likelihood of bleeding gums.
  • Inconsistent Flossing—If you are only flossing the week before your visit to Delaware Periodontics, it is likely that your gums will bleed. Consistent flossing is important for plaque removal to prevent cavities and to reduce gum sensitivity and bleeding.
  • Gingivitis—Gum disease is commonly associated with bleeding gums. If your gums are bleeding, despite consistent flossing and brushing, you may have gum disease. Contact Delaware Periodontics to have an experienced periodontist evaluate your gum health!
  • Leukemia—Bleeding gums can also be an indicator of more serious conditions, such as leukemia. While your gums are most likely bleeding for a less serious reason, be sure to have a dental examination in order to feel confident!
  • Other Causes—There could be a variety of reasons why your gums are bleeding. Typically, bleeding gums are exacerbated by plaque, which may build up as a result of poor oral hygiene or alignment issues. Some additional conditions that may be associated with bleeding gums are poor-fitting fillings or crowns, orthodontic malocclusion (misalignment, overlap, or overcrowding of teeth), or periodontal disease.

How Are Bleeding Gums Treated?

If you have bleeding gums, there are several treatment options for you. In most cases, your gums are bleeding because of your oral hygiene habits. In these instances, you simply need to improve your oral hygiene consistency; within a short period of time, your gums should be back to normal.

In more serious cases, you may need to visit your periodontist to undergo dental X-rays a full examination to diagnose your problem. Depending on why your gums are bleeding, your dentist or periodontist may be able to provide treatment directly. One treatment, root planing, is a method of periodontal therapy that involves a “deep cleaning” of the roots to remove plaque. For many individuals with bleeding gums, this will be sufficient to treat the issue. If your condition requires additional treatment, our periodontist may refer you to a specialist.

How Can You Prevent Bleeding Gums?

Because many of the causes of bleeding gums are due to inconsistent or poor oral hygiene, prevention is often quite simple: improve your oral health! Consistent brushing and flossing, in conjunction with regular dental and periodontal visits and cleanings, is often the best defense against bleeding gums. Call Delaware Periodontics in Wilmington or Dover for suggestions on best-practice oral hygiene strategies and to set your next appointment.

Visit Delaware Periodontics in Wilmington or Dover, DE!

Bleeding gums are both painful and avoidable. You can take action to prevent their onset through consistent and quality oral hygiene. Part of your oral hygiene plan should consist of regular visits to your friendly periodontist at Delaware Periodontics. With locations in both Wilmington and Dover, DE, our staff is ready to serve you! Call today to set an appointment and take the first step towards healthier gums and teeth!

5 Foods That Prevent Gum Disease Blog

September 3rd, 2018

Laser Periodontal Therapy in Dover, DE

At Delaware Periodontics, Dr. Klassman and his professional team are proud to offer expert periodontal services and treatments to our Dover and Wilmington area patients. Many people develop gum disease at some point in their life. However, regular visits to your Dover, DE periodontist, good oral hygiene and a healthy diet can help you prevent it. Here are a few foods that help prevent gum disease.

Leafy Greens

We all know that leafy greens are good for our health, but did you know they can actually keep your mouth and gums clean and bacteria-free? This is due to the fact that leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and others contain loads of healthy vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Vitamin C reduces inflammation and boosts the body’s red blood cell production. Furthermore, eating leafy greens also requires your mouth to produce more saliva, which then helps break down the bad bacteria in your mouth.

Lean Beef

Surprisingly, lean beef is an excellent food that can combat gum disease. Lean beef is chock full of zinc and vitamin B6, which both provide anti-inflammatory benefits. These vitamins and minerals act as antioxidants and help boost the immune system, all good gum disease fighters.

Milk, Cheese & Yogurt

Milk, cheese and yogurt are essential to healthy teeth and gums. They contain high calcium content, as well as Vitamin D, which both work to strengthen teeth. When your teeth are strong, they are less prone to unhealthy dental issues such as gum disease and cavities.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes contain high amounts of beta-carotene, which helps the body build up vitamin A. When gum disease develops, it causes inflammation. Vitamin A fights this inflammation and if the body is already full of Vitamin A, gum disease has a very low chance of progressing.


An apple is a delicious snack, but did you know that eating an apple also cleans your teeth and prevents bacteria and plaque buildup? Apples are similar to leafy greens in that they also require the mouth to produce more saliva which naturally cleanses the mouth. They are also very high in vitamin C, which is an anti-inflammatory vitamin that keeps your gums at their healthiest!

Contact Your Dover, DE Periodontist!

Our friendly and welcoming staff is always available to discuss any of your questions or concerns related to gum disease and how to prevent and treat it. To learn more about the Dover, DE services we provide, including laser periodontal therapy, we encourage you to call us at (302) 658-7871, or reserve an appointment now using our handy online scheduling form. We can’t wait to hear from you!

3 Key Benefits of Periodontal Therapy

May 23rd, 2017

Periodontal therapy is a great way to restore both the appearance and function of problematic teeth and gums. The deep dental cleaning can often help decrease pain and discomfort while ultimately correcting and preventing future dental issues that can worsen over the time. At Delaware Periodontics, we specialize in a variety of periodontal services, like Periodontal Therapy, and Dr. Klassman will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that meets your needs.

To help patients in the greater Wilmington and Dover, DE area determine if this treatment is right for them, we have pulled together the 3 key benefits of periodontal therapy. Find out what they are below!

1. Deep Cleaning

Periodontal surgery provides an intensive clean that helps break down bacteria and restore healthy teeth and gums. Pockets of bacteria can cling to teeth in hard to reach places, but this deep clean breaks down the bacteria and helps prevent further damage. However, it’s up to you to prevent bacteria buildup from being a culprit again, by practicing strong oral hygiene at home.

2. Prevents Disease

Periodontal therapy can prevent further gum and tooth disease from occurring, and is a great treatment to consider prior to getting dental implants. Once your teeth have been thoroughly cleaned and the bacterial infection has subsided, additional treatments can begin to give you the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted.

3. Restores Function

Often, periodontal therapy helps restore functionality to problematic areas of the mouth by strengthening teeth and gums. Overall restored oral health diminishes severe and uncomfortable pain that can keep your mouth from functioning properly. Once the bacteria has been successfully removed, you’ll no longer experience swollen or painful gums.

If you’ve been unable to enjoy your favorite foods due to mouth and jaw pain, you’ll be able to after treatment.

Contact Your Local Periodontist Today

Still not sure if periodontal therapy is right for you? Delaware Periodontics’ knowledgeable staff led by Dr. Klassman are happy to answer any questions you may have. We’re proud to serve Wilmington, Dover and the surrounding New Castle community. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment at our Wilmington, DE office, we can be reached during normal business hours at (302) 658-7871.