Receding gums, as the name itself suggests, occurs when the gum tissue around your teeth wear away and the gums seem to recede backwards making a larger area of the surface of tooth more visible. When your gums recede, it gives rise to gaps between your teeth and gum line.
This makes it easy for bacteria to build up and survive there. If you do not contain receding gums, even the root of teeth may become exposed which can then cause pain making your teeth extremely sensitive. Not only this, due to the damage caused to the supporting tissue and bone structures of your teeth, you may eventually lose teeth.
Symptoms of Receding Gums
- Tooth sensitivity
- Tooth appearing larger than usual
- Pain or a toothache
Causes of Receding Gums
- Gum diseases, specifically speaking periodontal diseases meaning bacterial infections that occur in your gums.
- Poor oral hygiene. If you do not brush or floss properly, you may end up building plaque on your teeth. This plaque then turns into calculus, also called tartar.
- Brushing teeth aggressively. Yes, this is contrary to the previous cause which says if you don’t brush properly, you may get receding gums. In fact, if you brush your teeth aggressively, then also you may get receding gums. This is because such an aggressive act wears away the enamel present on your teeth.
- Hormonal changes, especially in women.
- Smoking not only causes various diseases including cancer and lung diseases but also receding gums. Those who consume tobacco in any form are prone to have a sticky plaque on their teeth.
- Misuse of teeth in form of grinding and clenching teeth put pressure on the teeth which leads the gums to recede. Similar force when putting on teeth, for example during taking bites while eating may lead to receding gums. This happens when you have crooked teeth and when they do not come together evenly while eating.
Natural Home Remedies for Receding Gums
Here are certain remedies that use simple kitchen ingredients and sometimes herbs and spices etc.
1. Green Tea
The health benefits of green tea are many. Free radicals in your mouth can cause periodontal disease that may lead to receding gums. Green tea has catechins, an antioxidant that helps combat even the existing periodontal disease. The anti-inflammatory properties of green tea will reduce the swelling of gums that obstruct the proper healing of your gums and oral diseases.
- Make a cup of refreshing green tea for yourself in the morning.
- Have one cup of such green tea daily in the morning.
2. Aloe Vera
Another natural anti-inflammatory agent is the herb aloe vera. Aloe vera is popular as a beneficial herbal remedy for most of the skin problems. This is due to its anti-inflammatory as well as cell repairing capabilities. When it comes to receding gums, aloe vera not only reduces the inflammation of gums but also activates the cells that are important for repair of tissues.
- Every morning and at night, when you have brushed and flossed, take some aloe vera gel on your toothbrush and brush your teeth and gums once again. Wash mouth properly after finishing off after 3-5 minutes.
- Alternatively, use aloe vera gel as a mouthwash. After you brush in the morning, add some water to the aloe vera gel and mix well to get a consistency that’s easy to swirl around in your mouth. Wash your mouth with this aloe vera mouthwash. Do this every time you brush during the day.
3. Oil Pulling with Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has excellent antimicrobial properties and thus you may rest assured that it will immensely help you in preventing and treating any infection that is present in your mouth. As you now know that bacteria and other oral infections too cause gum recession, coconut oil can be a good remedy to combat it. Not only does it prevent tooth decay and heal a cavity, coconut oil pulling is capable of treating almost all the gum issues including receding gums.
- Coconut oil, preferably virgin coconut oil
- After brushing your teeth every day, use some coconut oil as a mouthwash.
- Take coconut oil in your mouth and swirl and swish it around your mouth.
- Do this initially for 1-2 minutes and keep on increasing the time as you get used to oil pulling.
- If you want to treat all your oral diseases and keep your mouth protected from any future disease, pull coconut oil in your mouth for about 15-20 minutes daily.
4. Clove Oil
Clove oil has long been used for oral diseases, particularly for a toothache. But did you know that clove has excellent disinfectant properties! Its fine anti-bacterial properties help keep your mouth germ free which is a prerequisite to treat any oral disease. Whenever you chew a clove, you will feel the numbing effect inside your mouth.
- Apply clove oil to your gums.
- Now massage gently for few minutes.
- Do this 1-3 times daily.
Precaution: If you are on blood clotting medication, consult your doctor before using clove oil.
Tips to Prevent Gum Recession
1. Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene
- Never brush aggressively.
- Whenever brushing, do it with gentle strokes and in a circular motion.
- Never push your gums upwards while brushing. Brush them along your gum lines.
- Don’t use too large a toothbrush. A brush having a small head and soft bristle is ideal for your mouth.
- Don’t forget to floss as it is essential for removing plaque.
- The ideal condition is to brush and floss after every meal. If, however, it is not possible every time, at least rinse your mouth properly with water after meals.
2. Use Mouthwash to Clean your Mouth
- Take 1/4 -1/2 cup of water and add 1-2 drops of such essential oils as tea tree oil, peppermint, clove, or sage oil. Now wash your mouth with this natural mouthwash at least for a minute swirling it all around inside your mouth.
- Hydrogen peroxide is yet another safe way to keep your mouth protected from infection. But never use it alone. Always dilute its small amount with water and then wash your mouth with it.
If possible, use mouthwash after every meal. If not, at least use it twice, once in the morning and once when you go to bed at night.
3. Drink Enough Water during the Day
- When you drink lots of water, all the toxins get flushed off your body and this includes your mouth too. This prevents your mouth from getting any bacterial infection and thus there is no gum recession.
- Water also cleans your mouth. Ideally, you should clean your mouth after you eat anything. If however, sometimes you don’t do this, whenever you drink water, the food particles stuck in your mouth get cleaned away and you swallow them with the water.
4. Eat Healthy Food and Avoid Junk Foods
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, especially those that contain nutrients like vitamin C. This vitamin is vital for the health of your gums. Vitamin C reduces inflammation of gums, prevents oral diseases and promotes gum regeneration. So, have lots of strawberries, pineapple, oranges, and vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus etc.
- Avoid having sugary foods and beverages like cold drinks. They are ideal for the growth of bacteria.
- Also avoid processed foods, caffeine, alcohol, and foods made from white flour. They are not good for your oral health, not even for your general health.