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Test Your Gums

Are you at risk for gum recession? If so, you’re not alone.


Find out now! Take me to My Gum Recession Analyzer

My Gum Recession Analyzer and Gingival Recession FAQ are innovative, free online tools developed by Dr. Merijohn to help you gain confidence and lessen confusion about gum recession and what you can do to prevent it.

How bad can it be?

In the United States alone, gingival (gum) recession is reported to afflict 58% of adults 30 years and older and, on average, affects 22.3% teeth per person.

It doesn’t hurt but gum recession can be really serious. It increases your risk for tooth root decay and when it gets advanced, it can interfere with your oral comfort, function, and appearance. What’s more, progressive gingival recession is a significant risk factor for premature tooth loss.

My Gum Recession Analyzer

This revolutionary self-screening tool quickly helps you understand and maintain your gum health. It is designed to help you:

  1. Discover if you have gum recession.
  2. Determine your susceptibility to gum recession.
  3. Identify your exposure to any of 8 common but modifiable risks associated with gum recession.

Take me to My Gum Recession Analyzer

Gum Recession FAQ

Gingival recession is confusing and Gum Recession FAQ is here to help you demystify it. You’ll quickly increase your knowledge and gain confidence about what to do about your gums.

A gentle reminder

You already know this, but it’s worth saying – exploring Gum Recession FAQ and My Gum Recession Analyzer doesn’t mean you can skip the visit to your dentist. These science-based powerful tools don’t replace a knowledgeable, skilled, and experienced dental professional. Only a licensed dentist can do a comprehensive examination and give you a diagnosis.

Frequently Asked Questions


How do I know if I have gum recession?

Start by exploring My Gum Recession Analyzer. Compare your gums to the displayed images to determine if they have receded.

For an accurate measurement of all gum levels for every tooth and a clinical diagnosis, see your dentist for a comprehensive periodontal (gum) examination. If your Analyzer results concern you, print the report and review the findings with your dentist.

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How do I know if I am susceptible to gum recession?

Go to My Gum Recession Analyzer. Compare your gums to the displayed images to determine if you are susceptible.

If your results show that you appear to have gum recession, gum inflammation, and/or thin-delicate gums, then these teeth are susceptible to gum recession. Complete My Gum Risk Analyzer and print your results.

If your Analyzer results concern you, review the findings with your dentist. For an accurate measurement of all gum levels for every tooth and a clinical diagnosis, see your dentist for a comprehensive periodontal (gum) examination.

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Does gum recession always need dental treatment?

No. Many teeth with gingival (gum) recession do not need dental treatment or gum grafting surgery. However, all teeth with recession will benefit from individually tailored strategies designed to manage and prevent things from getting worse.

Continue exploring FAQ to learn more about management and prevention and to see what you can do to help yourself. Your dentist can work with you to develop a customized plan tailored to your situation.

This gets pretty technical, but it is worth knowing if you are quite concerned: Gum grafting surgery is not warranted based solely on the presence of gum recession, thin-delicate gums, gum inflammation and/or lack of protective gum. If documented evidence, determined by comparing prior and current tooth charting measurements, reveals that a tooth with these conditions has progressive gum recession and persistent inflammation (gums demonstrate bleeding at multiple examinations) in spite of good management and prevention care, then this tooth may be a candidate for gum graft surgery. There are other decision-making factors, but these are major ones that need determination. See your dentist or periodontist (gum specialist) for a thorough assessment.

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If I have inflamed (red, puffy) gums or they bleed when I brush or floss, am I more at risk for gum recession?

Yes, especially if these teeth are susceptible to gum recession.

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Do people get gum recession naturally over time with aging?

No, not all people.

However, if you have teeth susceptible to gum recession and you don’t have a management and prevention plan in place, over time they can have gingival recession.

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Can brushing and flossing my teeth cause gum recession or make it worse?

Yes. If you have teeth susceptible to gum recession, removing inflammation-causing dental plaque is critical but be gentle with your gums. If you use a medium or hard bristle tooth brush and/or do forceful brushing, you will make things worse. Switch to a small, soft bristle tooth brush.

Flossing is very important but doing so with too much force or in a way that can dig into your gums is also a problem. What’s more, if you’re susceptible to gum recession, abrasive toothpastes can damage the delicate fragile gum tissue.

Your dental professionals can coach you in low-trauma brushing & flossing techniques that are best for your mouth.

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Can teeth whitening (bleaching) cause gum recession or make it worse?

Yes. Whether teeth whitening is done by you or your dentist, the products contain potent chemicals that can irritate and damage thin delicate gum tissue.

If you really want to bleach your teeth and especially if you have teeth susceptible to gum recession, first get advice from your dentist about lower risk whitening methods.

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Can eating cause gum recession?

Yes. Biting into large, harder foods such as hard fruit (think unripe pears) or thick crusty bread, can irritate delicate/fragile gums, especially around upper and lower front teeth.

Go to “My Gum Recession Analyzer” and check to see if your gums are delicate or fragile.

Some fruits, even when properly ripened are quite dense. You don’t have to avoid delicious dense fruit: cut harder fruit into segments rather than bite into the whole fruit.

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Can I get gum recession from tooth movement therapy (orthodontics) and retainers?

Yes, especially if you have teeth susceptible to gum recession.

Although there are reports to the contrary, the best scientific evidence concludes that orthodontic treatment (with braces, invisible braces, removable clear trays, or removable appliances) in general and its retention phase (retainers after treatment) are considered risk factors especially for the development of gingival recession of the upper and lower front teeth.

If your Analyzer results concern you, print the report and review your findings with your dentist and/or orthodontist.

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Can removable sports guards, bite guards, or night guards make gum recession worse?

Yes. These appliances will make gum recession worse if they are in contact with susceptible gum tissue.

You can check your own mouth where it’s easy to see but other areas are hard to self-assess. See your dentist for a thorough checkup.

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Can oral jewelry cause gum recession?

Yes. Oral jewelry in contact with your gums can cause major damage.

Especially avoid hardware that can touch the gums on the tongue side of the lower front teeth and the gum tissue behind your lips.

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Can dental fillings, cosmetic porcelain restorations, and other restorations like caps cause gum recession?

Sometimes dental restorations can be involved, especially for people with teeth susceptible to gum recession.

For example, if a dental restoration is in contact with delicate, fragile gum tissue and the material has physical characteristics (e.g., slightly rough surfaces or tiny gaps) that attract or trap dental plaque that subsequently causes gum inflammation, then these teeth can have gingival recession.

If these conditions are present, dentists can do things such as restoration re-contour and polish, restoration replacement, or surgically reposition the gum so that it is not in contact with the restoration. Should you have such a situation, your dentist will review management options with you.

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Can using tobacco products cause gum recession?

Yes. Both smoke and smokeless tobacco are major risk factors for gum recession, especially if you have teeth susceptible to gum recession.

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Does diabetes contribute to gum recession?

Yes. Poor metabolic control of diabetes is a major risk factor for gingival recession especially if you have teeth susceptible to gum recession.

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