What can I do about gum recession?

Regular dental checkups can help detect receding gums.

Gum recession, or receding gums, is a condition in which the roots of the teeth are exposed due to loss or shrinkage of gum tissue. Treating receding gums is important, not just for comfort, but also to preserve the health of your teeth. If left untreated, this condition can lead to a higher risk of tooth decay and other oral conditions such as incorrect bite, sore jaw, periodontal disease, and tooth loss. Depending on the degree of recession, treatments include changing brushing habits, deep cleaning by a dentist, and dental surgery to repair gum damage.


A soft toothbrush will prevent further damage to your gums.

While receding gums are normally a normal part of the aging process in people over 40, many people can notice them long before that. Gum recession can sometimes be identified by seeing or feeling the tops of the teeth at the gum line. Many people with receding gums feel that their teeth are notched at the top. Discomfort is another common symptom of receding gums because the exposed top of the tooth is much more sensitive than the rest, making it uncomfortable to eat hot or cold foods and liquids.


Flossing can help prevent premature gum recession.

Treatment for receding gums depends on what is causing the recession. If it is caused by misaligned teeth, an orthodontist can help with braces or other appliances. For those who suffer from receding gums from overly exuberant brushing, consider switching to a toothbrush with softer bristles and ask your dental hygienist for tips on improving your technique. Disease progression can be slowed by stopping smoking and brushing regularly. In the case of someone with periodontal disease, treating the underlying disease is a big part of treating gum recession.

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A dental hygienist can advise on how to treat receding gums.

For those with severe receding gums, a graft from another part of the mouth may be the only treatment option. If the damage is not that severe, the dentist can clean any gaps or holes in the teeth and gums and then fill them with a material that prevents the gums from retreating and encourages regrowth.

Herbal or homeopathic treatments offer less invasive solutions. Popular homeopathic remedies include massaging the gums with mustard oil daily or using a solution of kali phos, sodium sulphate and silicea on the gums. Sometimes the sol merc is also recommended. Be sure to do your own research; Herbal and homeopathic remedies are not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and it is beneficial to be aware of any side effects or situations where the remedy may be contraindicated.


A homeopathic remedy for receding gums is to massage the gums with mustard oil.

Regular cleanings should be performed to remove plaque buildup, as well as treatments for possible periodontal disease, where appropriate. Although some people are predisposed to retain their gums due to heredity, premature loss of gums can be prevented with proper oral hygiene, including daily brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist. Many dentists advise patients to focus more on flossing properly, saying it’s even more important than brushing alone. Those who have mild or severe gum disease, particularly those with receding gums, should be seen by their dentist regularly to check for gum pockets as well as bone loss. Prevention, early diagnosis and aggressive treatment help prevent tooth loss and gum recession.

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