Gingival recession is unsightly. When this occurs, your gums have been pushed back, making your teeth appear longer. Over time, the recession reaches the point that your roots begin to be exposed, causing your discomfort and pain. A recession is generally caused by a variety of factors. These include aggressive brushing (either for too long or brushing too hard) with a manual or electric toothbrush. Poor teeth alignment or advanced gum disease can also be contributing factors in the development of gingival recession.