As we get older, our gums tend to recede somewhat for various commonplace reasons (gingival recession): brushing too hard, an incorrect brushing technique, or an unnecessarily hard toothbrush can damage gums so much that they start to recede. It is better to use a soft toothbrush and apply only light pressure while brushing.
Progress of inflamed gums (gingivitis) towards the alveolar bone may lead to loss of this structure, which is a condition known as periodontitis. The inflammation carries the risk of receding gums.
Sometimes the roots of the front teeth may be covered with only a very thin layer of cement, or none at all. In combination with thin gums and inflammation, or excessively hard brushing, this may lead to receding gums.
Gums may also recede following orthodontic treatment.