The medical term for a situation where the gums pull away from the teeth is receding gum. When the gum pulls away, the process can expose areas of the teeth, causing sensitivity and an increased risk of tooth decay. This post mentions some home and natural remedies for receding gums. The post will also provide details on when to visit a dentist. Gums might push back around a tooth if it stays in an abnormal position. Receding gums becomes a severe condition when the root of the teeth becomes visible, putting the teeth at risk of infection, decay, and loss.
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What are Receding Gums?
Receding gums is a condition that results in the damage of the pink, soft tissue surrounding the teeth. The gums are made up of pink tissues in the mouth that connect with the base of the teeth. There is one gum for each set of teeth. The gum tissue (usually called gingival) is dense. It has an excellent supply of blood vessels under a moist surface, also called the mucous membrane. The gum tissue links with the rest of the lining of the mouth, but rather than being shiny red, it is pink.
The gum strongly connects to the jawbone and firmly covers each tooth right up to the neck region. When intact, the gums cover and protect the roots of the teeth. However, a gingival recession occurs when a person has experienced a loss of tissue in the gum. It reveals the fragile roots of the teeth to plaque and bacteria, and it can result in decay.
Causes of Receding Gums
According to ADA (American Dental Association), receding gums may occur because of the following:
- Using or smoking any tobacco product
- Having attachment muscles or prominent tooth roots
- Wearing partial dentures that do not correctly fit
- Injury and soreness to the gums
- Using a hard-bristled toothbrush or brushing teeth too hard
- Periodontitis or gum disease
Periodontal disease and poor oral hygiene are the major contributors to receding gums. However, gingival recession can also occur in people with good oral hygiene. Gum wear and tissue inflammation are the major reasons for receding gums.
Some people may also be susceptible to gingival recession due to inherited factors. These factors include the gum thickness and position of the teeth. Wear of the gums by brushing the tooth vigorously or using hard bristles is another common cause of receding gums. Brushing too hard or over-brushing results in receding gums, even when dental hygiene might be good.
This kind of physical recession affects the left side of the mouth more. This is because most people hold a toothbrush in their right hand and exert more pressure on their left gums. As a result, the side gums feel pressure more than the front area. Other physical factors that cause the tooth to push back include tongue or lip piercings, damage from dental treatment, and misaligned teeth.
Some people are more susceptible to the inflammatory causes of gingival recession because they have more delicate tissue. Thinner gum tissues will make it more likely for plaque to cause inflammation. The following dental conditions may result when plaque builds up on the teeth:
- Periodontitis: This creates space between the teeth and gums, including the loss of connective bone and fibers around the tooth roots. This can cause bone loss and receding gums. Periodontal disease is one of the major causes of receding gums. Periodontal disease results in the loss of tissue and bone around a tooth through an inflammatory reaction. The receding gums similarly tend to all the teeth.
- Inflamed gums: This is a dental condition called gingivitis and may result in periodontitis.
Risk Factors Associated with Receding Gums
Age is a significant factor for receding gums. About 88 percent of those older than 65 years have receding gum in one tooth at least. People who use tobacco products and smoke also suffer an increased risk of gingival recession. Another major factor is genetics, as those with weak or thin gums can pass on these characteristics through their genes. Diabetes also increases receding gums risks.
Symptoms of Receding Gums
Receding gums can make teeth feel sensitive to heat and cold. Most people with receding gums may not worry about them early on and might not know that they are suffering from receding gums. However, people that have receding gums may experience the following:
- Sensitivity to heat or cold because of an exposed tooth root
- Fear of losing teeth
- Worried about changing appearance, as the tooth grows longer, the space between the teeth increases.
Most importantly, gingival recession can be a symptom of underlying dental problems and increase the risk of tooth loss and tooth decay. They can also cause bleeding gums and bad breath.
8 Natural Remedies for Receding Gums
Some research has demonstrated that natural remedies may help improve the effects of specific surgical and medical treatments for gum diseases. However, try not to use natural remedies to replace professional treatments that your doctor or dentist recommends. Your medical practitioner knows precisely what is good for you, and it may not be the natural remedy for receding gums.
The time required for a natural remedy to boost your gum health depends solely on various factors, such as:
- The kind of natural remedy for receding gums you use
- Whether you are using the remedy alone or alongside other treatments
- Whether your oral hygiene routine is good
- The severity of your gum disease
Before discussing natural remedies for receding gums, you should speak to your dentist for further tests and advice if you do not notice any positive change in your gum health while using the natural remedies.
A person can include natural remedies in their oral health routine to help strengthen their gum health. Here are some of the most effective and safe natural remedies for receding gums you can use alongside standard treatments of gingival recession.
1. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is a system of swishing oil around your mouth to dislodge hidden bacteria that could cause gum disease. First, swish the oil around your gums and mouth for 5 to 20 minutes, and then spit it out. Next, thoroughly rinse your mouth and gums with warm water and brush your teeth as you usually do.
You can perform oil pulling in between meals by using one of the following:
- sunflower oil
- sesame oil
- coconut oil
When using the oil-pulling method, make sure you do not swallow any of the oil because it may contain toxins and bacteria. Regular oil-pulling methods and an excellent oral hygiene routine help decrease the number of bacteria in the mouth.
2. Herbal Extracts
Research carried out in 2014 discovered that a mouthwash containing extracts of tea tree oil, basil, and clove demonstrates ant-gingivitis and anti-plaque properties. However, the study emphasizes that further research is necessary to determine the long-term efficacy of the preparation. The essential oils (tea tree, thyme, and peppermint) contain antiseptic properties against oral bacteria in the petri dish. Further studies need to commence to determine if the effects also apply to oral bacteria that reside in the mouth. Consult your dentist before using essential oils to treat receding gums. This is because some essential oils can be poisonous if ingested.
Antioxidants are compounds that help stop damage to the body’s cells. A meta-analysis carried out in 2019 discovered that antioxidants may help reduce gum inflammation connected with gum disease. Specifically, it may result in the following oral health improvements:
- improved attachment between the gums and teeth
- reduced gum bleeding as a response to probing
- reduced plaque
A further study investigated whether an antioxidant supplement containing green tea and lycopene extract could boost oral health when incorporated with an excellent oral hygiene routine.
After a month and a half, the participant who took antioxidant supplements exhibited more impressive improvement in gum health than the participants that did not take the supplement.
A result gathered from a 2016 study also supports using green tea for oral health. In this study, participants with gingivitis were asked to chew either a placebo chewing gum or a green tea chewing gum for a quarter of an hour per day for 3 weeks. Those who chewed the green tea exhibited a significant reduction in the following measures:
- marker of inflammation
- gum bleeding
- plaque formation
Scientists concluded that chewing green tea gum may help reduce gum inflammation when combined with other gingivitis treatments.
This pro herbal preparation is both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, and it contains licorice, guggul, Guduchi, and other herbs. In addition, Septilin can boost gum health by reducing gum pocket depth and gum bleeding, making it an excellent treatment option, especially for those suffering from periodontitis. However, the recommended dosage of Septilin for adults is two teaspoons of syrup three times each day or two tablets twice each day. Talk to your dentist to establish your dosage before administering Septilin into your body.
5. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Consuming about 300 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acid for 3 months had two critical effects in a clinical trial carried out in 2014:
- it boosts gum-to-tooth attachment
- it decreases the level of severity of gum inflammation
The two results above show that consuming foods containing omega-3 or taking supplements can help reverse and reduce receding gums naturally. The following foods contain omega-3 fatty acids: seeds (walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds) and fish (cod, salmon, mackerel).
Neem is an ayurvedic remedy, and it is an extract from an evergreen tree that grows in India. Neem has been found to contain antibacterial properties. Research on this extract and gum health is available in a small study published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine. The publication came out in 2014.
For this study, over a hundred children (105 precisely) aged between 12 and 15 years old used mouthwashes containing neem, chlorhexidine (an antiseptic available in many types of mouthwash), or mango twice a day for three weeks. Results revealed that the three types of mouthwash helped reduce gingivitis and inhibit plaque.
7. Brushing and Flossing
Good oral hygiene is crucial for fighting bacteria that reside in your mouth. Brush your teeth for at least two minutes at least twice a day with a soft-bristled brush. Also, floss once each day to help remove debris between teeth that can generate plaque buildup. Suppose you discover that your teeth look longer due to receding gums, and the natural remedies for receding gums do not seem to work. In that case, you should visit your dentist as soon as possible for proper medical assistance.
8. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a popular and highly beneficial herbal remedy for various medical conditions. Aloe vera is most effective for skin care because it contains various anti-inflammatory and repairing properties. If you suffer from gingival recession, aloe vera will help you repair damaged tissues and fight against inflammation. Its antibacterial properties will also keep other infections away from you.
You can use aloe vera gel in two simple ways. First, you can either use it to wash your mouth or for brushing your teeth. After brushing and flossing, apply aloe vera gel on your toothbrush and brush the teeth and gums once again. The process should not last more than 5 minutes. Then thoroughly rinse your mouth with water.
You can also use aloe vera as a mouthwash. After brushing, mix some aloe vera gel in water and gargle it every day after brushing your teeth.
Receding gums are pretty common. Even if you practice good oral hygiene, aging and genetics can result in gum loss. So it may be genetics or age if these natural remedies for receding gums do not work for you. However, you should visit your dentist immediately for an adequate prognosis. Your dentist may have more natural remedies for receding gums that you can try.
The information contained in this post "Gingival Recession: 8 Natural Remedies for Receding Gums" is for educational purposes only. Always consult your primary care doctor before using the remedies that are provided. The information is provided by The Hidden Cures and while we do timely, in-depth research on the information that we provide to you, everything stated may not be up to date or accurate from the time it was written.