I have gum recession in multiple teeth. I wonder how it got so bad and if it is treatable?

Surprisingly, most recession seems to be caused due to dental overzealousness rather than dental neglect. Aggressive and incorrect brushing techniques, bruxism or night-grinding are some common causes. Remember, harder toothbrushes are not always better. Softer brushes used in the proper technique – the direction should always be from the gum to the tooth and never the other way around. Brushing in circles, as commonly thought, is not the right way. When you brush your teeth in a circular direction – you might be going correct in one direction but when you come back against the gum, you are actually pushing the gum away from the tooth. If bruxism or night grinding is the cause of the recession – you might need to treat that as well. This might need a clinical consultation. As far as the treatment is concerned, it is usually done as a minor surgical procedure where tissue is placed in the areas of the receded gums and allowed to heal. This is called grafting. Various options for the grafts are available depending on the patient and doctor’s preference and the clinical situation.

I have noticed that gaps have started appearing in my teeth of late. I am 33 years old and my dentist has said that my hygiene is decent so I am a bit concerned about this and how to prevent it.

The most common cause for gaps to appear and teeth to shift is gum disease which your dentist has already ruled out. Another reason could be if you have missing teeth at the back and all the chewing is done on the front teeth, the resulting imbalanced chewing forces will cause the front teeth to flare outwards. In this case it is extremely important to have the back teeth replaced as soon as possible to re-establish the bite either using implants or dentures. Most of these situations are reversible and can be corrected with orthodontics using invisible aligners or braces once the main cause has been addressed. Missing gum in between teeth that appear as black triangles might be a bit more difficult to correct but can be done through other means such as veneers or crowns. Remember that most of these scenarios are much easier to prevent in the initial stages and hence, the need for regular checkups and early intervention.