PEOPLE USED TO THINK that gum recession was an inevitability of getting older, but that’s not necessarily true. What is gum recession? It’s when the edge of the gum tissue recedes from around the crown of the tooth, exposing more and more of the root. We often think of it as age-related because it’s typically such a gradual problem that it takes years or even decades to become noticeable, but gum recession can start as early as childhood. In many cases, it can also be prevented.