Receding gums is a condition in which your gums pull back from the gums, exposing the roots of your teeth.
It is one form of periodontal or gum disease. It is due to poor oral health and can lead to tooth loss if you do not get treatment.
When your gums are receding, you might notice that there are pockets or gaps between your teeth and gum line, making it easy for disease-causing bacteria to build up.
Gum recession is a common dental condition and many people are unaware of it.
The first sign of receding gums is sensitivity, or you may also notice a tooth looking longer than usual.
Moreover, you should not take this condition lightly as timely treatment can repair your gums and prevent further damage.
Keep on reading to learn more about the causes, symptoms, medical treatment, and home remedies for receding gums.
Causes of Receding Gums
Periodontal diseases are progressed form of gingivitis. It can start with a buildup of bacteria and plaque in your mouth within the gums and teeth.
Over time, this plaque causes damage to your gums and causes them to fall back from the teeth.
However, in severe cases, pockets or gaps can form between the teeth and gums.
Thus creating a breeding ground for even more bacteria and plaque to form.
Certain factors can also cause the formation of receding gums.
Gum recession occurs due to aggressive brushing over a long period of time, hardened plaque or tartar, smoking, and hormonal changes in women.
Moreover, a family history of gum diseases, diabetes, and HIV can cause receding gums.
Certain medications can cause dry mouth and this increases your risk of developing receding gums.
A dry mouth means that your mouth has less saliva than normal and without enough saliva, the tissues in your mouth can become vulnerable to bacterial infections.
Moreover, according to CDA, receding gums are common in adults over 40 years of age.
Learn more about diabetes and dental care.
Symptoms of Receding Gums
Signs and symptoms of receding gums are as follows:
Moreover, visibly shrinking gums, exposed tooth roots, and loose teeth are common signs and symptoms of receding gums.
Additionally, they can be a symptom of underlying dental problems.
These can be gum diseases and can increase the risk of tooth decay and tooth loss.
Medical Treatments for Receding Gums
In most cases, if you have mild receding gums, then you do not need any medical treatment.
The dentist may advise on preventive measures and offer to monitor your gums.
Moreover, effective and gentle brushing is an important and early intervention,
However, those who need treatment may have the following:
Composite Restorations: Your dentist can use tooth-colored composite resins to cover the surface of your teeth roots.
They can also use them to block gaps between the teeth.
Removable Gum Veneers: Made of acrylic or silicone substances, your dentist will artificially replace the large area of gum tissues due to recession.
Desensitizing agents, varnishes, and dentin bonding agents: These products aim to reduce tooth sensitivity of the root.
Desensitizing agents treat the nerve endings and their symptoms. Moreover, they help to preserve oral hygiene.
Orthodontics: These are the treatments that slowly move the position of your teeth over a long period of time.
This can help correct the gaps between the gums making it easy to clean your teeth.
When the soft tissue and bone that hold your teeth become infected, you can develop gum diseases or periodontitis.
Moreover, if you do not get treatment for this infection, the gums can pull away or recede.
Conventional treatment options for periodontal diseases are:
- prescription antibacterial mouthwash that contains chlorhexidine,
- antibiotic medication,
- dental cleaning of plaque
- professional cleaning or dental scaling and polishing,
- a surgical procedure, or a flap surgery to access the roots and even bone and tissue grafts.
However, if you have a mild case of receding gums you can try the following natural remedies for your gums.
Oil Pulling and Eucalyptus Oil
Try swishing a tablespoon of high-quality coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes.
This swishing movement in your mouth pulls the oil between your teeth, spit it out, rinse your mouth with warm tap water or saline water and lastly brush your teeth.
However, a traditional oil, sesame oil can also be used.
According to research on tooth decay, coconut oil can prevent the Streptococcus mutans bacteria from damaging tooth enamel.
Eucalyptus oil, according to a study is an anti-inflammatory germicide that can treat receding gums and stimulate the growth of new tissues.
Salt, Green Tea, and Pepper Mint Oil
For use as a bacterial agent and for soothing gum infections, a study suggests that saltwater rinse is effective.
To do so, you can combine 1 tbs of salt in a cup of warm water.
Rinse your mouth for 30 seconds, spit it out and repeat for at least 2 to 3 times a day.
According to a study, drinking green tea can help to promote healthy teeth and can also help ward off different dental diseases.
Try to drink one or two cups a day.
Peppermint essential oil according to a study can help promote oral health, thus preventing the growth of disease-causing micro-organisms in your mouth.
Learn more about essential oil and its role in dental treatments
Aloe Vera, Septilin, and Omega 3 Acids
Aloe vera gel is effective in promoting oral health. If you inject medical-grade aloe vera gel into inflamed gums, then you may notice an improvement in periodontal conditions.
Septilin is a proprietary multi-herbal medication of guggul, Guduchi, licorice, and other components.
According to a study, taking septilin improves periodontal treatment outcomes.
It is available in both tablet and syrup form and you can take 2 tsp of this syrup 3 times a day, according to recommendations.
Moreover, clinal trials suggest that 300 milligrams of omega 3 fatty acids can help improve gum to tooth attachment if you take it for 12 weeks.
Moreover, it can help reduce the gingival index which is the measure of severity of gum inflammation.
Tea Tree Oil, Turmeric Gel and Hydrogen Peroxide
Tea tree essential oil, according to a study can be effective in preventing the growth of disease-causing micro-organisms in your mouth.
Turmeric contains curcumin which is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
According to a study, turmeric gel can help prevent plaque and gingivitis that contributes to the development of receding gums.
Rinsing with a solution of water and hydrogen peroxide can help treat sore, red, or swollen gums.
You can use it by combining 1/4 cup of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide with 1/4 cup of water.
Swish it for 30 seconds, and spit it out. Repeat this process 2 to 3 times a day, however, remember not to swallow the mixture.
Thyme Oil, Brushing, and Flossing
Thyme essential oil is effective in preventing infection-causing bacteria in your mouth according to a study.
Moreover, brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes twice a day.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove plaque and debris from your teeth and along the gum line.
However, depending on how vigorously you brush your teeth, a medium or hard toothbrush can damage your gums, root surface, and tooth enamel.
According to ADA, the American Dental Association, flossing once a day is an important part of taking care of your oral and dental hygiene.
Moreover, it helps to remove debris between the teeth that can lead to the buildup of plaque.
Learn more about the brushing mistakes you might be making here.
Some cases of gingival rescission are preventable.
One of the most important ones is using a brush with soft bristles and avoiding over brushing, thus applying gentle strokes.
This is because brushing your teeth too harshly or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can cause more issues.
Moreover, plaque buildup and tartar can lead to periodontal diseases, thus, maintaining good oral and dental hygiene can help prevent receding gums. Moreover, scaling and root planing, as well as deep cleaning, can help prevent it.
Make sure to have in-office deep cleaning as plaque can only be removed by the doctor and you should not try it at home. If you have concerns about your teeth or receding gums, you should consult your dentist to discuss it.
According to CDA, periodontal diseases like receding gums are responsible for over 70% of adult tooth loss. Moreover, when left untreated it can cause severe complications.
When there are not enough gum tissues to hold your teeth in place, then your teeth become vulnerable to falling out.
Moreover, you may also lose your teeth or get them extracted before they fall out in certain situations.
However, if your receding gums are in advanced stages, then you may need surgery to prevent further damage.
Receding gums is common in many adults. Aging, genetics, gum graft, and other factors can cause gum loss if you do not practice good oral and dental hygiene.
Moreover, brushing your teeth gently twice a day and flossing them at least once a day, and regular appointments with your dentist can help prevent any dental conditions.
Talk to your dentist about natural remedies and traditional treatment to stop or slow down the process of receding gums.