The receding gum is sign of gum disease. It occurs when a gap or pockets develop between the teeth and the gum line exposing the root of the tooth to infection, decay and loss. It is a common dental problem, it can occur to both children and adults of all ages.
The problem of gum recession starts because of the untreated gingivitis (early sign of gum disease) that has developed into more advanced gum diseases know as periodontal. The periodontal is an advance form of gum infection that destroys both the supporting bones and ligaments that holds your teeth. Regularly brushing your teeth with a toothbrush for receding gums can reverse gingivitis.
If left un-treated, it can lead to swollen and red gums, teeth sensitivity to cold and hot drinks, and teeth loss.
The best thing is that it is curable. Follow us in this article as we learn more about receding gums and how to stop them from getting worse.
Table of Contents
Symptoms of Receding Gums
- Tooth Sensitivity to cold and hot drinks
- Tooth looking longer than normal
- Stained teeth
- Teeth Decay
- Swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Loose teeth
Why Are My Gums Receding -Causes of Receding Gums
- Gum Disease- bacteria; build up along gum line causing gum infection.
- Brushing your teeth too hard
- Smoking: Smoking weakens the body immune system, making it hard to fight against gum infection.
- Partial dentures that do not fit well
- Poor dental care : not brushing and flossing your teeth as recommended by the dentist
- Grinding your teeth
- Crooked teeth, mis-aligned teeth may put too much pressure on the gums while eating causing gum recession
- Poor nutrition
- Medications especially those that trigger dry mouth
Gum Disease- this is the main cause of Gum Recession. It starts with bacteria on your teeth penetrating into your gums, if not cleaned, the plaques, thin layer of bacteria, build up along gum line causing gum infection. If left un-treated it can develop into gingivitis, early sign of gum diseases such as swelling, bleeding and sensitivity.
The gingivitis can be reversed by good oral care and scheduling regular dental visit. If this is not treated urgently, the gingivitis can advance into periondontitis damaging the gums, bones and tissues connecting your teeth. This leads to bad breath, teeth loss and gum recession.
Brushing your teeth too hard
Aggressive brushing cause tooth enamel to wear out, creating gaps between teeth and gums.
Smoking weakens the body immune system, making it hard to fight against gum infection. It also delays the healing process after treatment (https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/diseases/periodontal-gum-disease.html.)
How to Stop Receding Gums from Getting Worse
- Visit your dentist for check up and deep cleaning. Your dentist will help to reverse the gums from receding further by examining them, offering deep cleaning or antibiotics if necessary. He or she can also suggest what kind of dental surgery to undergo if needs arise.
- Brush and Floss twice daily. In brushing make sure to use soft bristled toothbrush.
- Treat teeth grinding problems
- Quit smoking. Quitting smoking will significantly improve your oral health.
- Eat balanced and healthy diet
- Re-visit your dentist at least twice a year for checkup and dental cleaning
- Use Mouthwash: Using the mouthwash will help you control plaque development, bad breath and gum infection. (https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/mouthrinse)
- Clean your tongue. The tongue harbors a lot of bacteria; it needs to be cleaned to remove the white layer covering it. Consider buying a tongue scraper to help you clean your tongue easily.
- Use fluoride toothpaste. There is a lot of argument towards the use and not use of fluoride but the American Dental Association suggests the use of fluoride toothpaste for strong bones and health teeth and gums.
How To Treat Receding Gums?
- Tooth scaling and root planing: This is dental procedure done by the dentist to deep clean your teeth by removing build up tartar and plaque. Antibiotics might also be prescribed to help fight harmful bacteria. This helps the gum to heal and re-attach itself to the teeth.
- Gum Graft Surgery: There are 2 kinds of gum surgery: Open flap scaling and Regeneration. In these 2 dental procedures, your gums are cleaned and then gums attached back to the teeth using regenerative materials such as membrane, graft tissue or protein. In some cases skin can be cut from the top of your mouth to be used to cover the gums.
- Tooth extraction –This can be an option when severe gum recession has occurred.
Natural Remedies for Receding Gums
- Swishing a tablespoon of coconut oil on empty stomach for 20 minutes helps fighting bacteria causing infection
- Drinking a cup of green tea (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19254120) everyday can help fight periodontal disease due to its anti-oxidants properties
- Using Aloe vera gel (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3200013/) can ease swollen and sore gums due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Rinsing mouth with warm salt water for soothing gum inflammation. You mix I tablespoon of salt with 1 cup of warm water and swash for 30 seconds, three times a day.
The natural remedies can help fight bacteria and help stop gums from receding further. But they cannot cure the problem if it has already advanced to a worse situation.
Can Receding Gums Grow Back
There are 2 schools of thoughts here. There are those who say, “No, receding gums cannot grow back on their own as the gum tissue does not have ability to regenerate like how other tissues do”. They can be replaced back through surgical procedures such as flap surgery, and gum craft.
The flap surgery is the process of deep cleaning your gums by making incision in your gum tissue, lift it up and remove build up bacteria. And then put it in place once again.
The Gum craft is where the skin is taken from another part of your mouth to cover the receding gum area for protecting it from further damage.
However, there are those who say receding gums can grow back, can be fixed naturally if you manage to stop the bacteria from eating the soft gum tissues.
Foods to Avoid
- Sugary foods such as cakes and sweets
- Cold foods and
- Acidic food such as citrus juice
Bacteria causing receding gums flourish in this kind of foods, better avoid them or if taken drink water and brush and floss your teeth within 30 minutes to 2 hours of eating them.
Dr. Tom Bell holds a doctorate in Medical Anthropology and is passionate about oral health. He is the creator of dentalrave and has dedicated over a decade to researching and promoting oral health. His goal is to offer trustworthy and free expert guidance on a diverse range of dental products, tips, methods, and topics, with the aim of making it easily accessible to everyone. It is hoped that this blog will assist you in identifying the appropriate methods and oral care products to enhance and maintain your dental health.