Dental problems are among the most common in the world, affecting an estimated 3.5 to 3.9 billion people. That’s almost half of the world’s total population! These problems range from simple cavities to oral cancer, and they’re often ignored due to a general lack of information and resources. For many families barely making ends meet, it’s an expense they would rather overlook.
But this indifference to oral care such as gum recession might be costing them a lot more than they think. In America, receding gums affects almost half of the total adult population, of which senior citizens are estimated to constitute 70 percent. That’s a lot of people experiencing a reduced quality of life for something easily preventable.
What Are Receding Gums?
So what exactly are receding gums? Well, as the name suggests, it is a condition in which the gums draw back from a person’s teeth. In effect, this exposes soft tissue under the enamel, including nerves that are meant to be protected.
People whose gums have receded may not even realize this is happening since it develops gradually. But eventually, they will start to notice the changes as more and more of their teeth become exposed and consequently more sensitive to cold and hot food. If left untreated, their gums will retreat even further, resulting in their teeth becoming loose and falling out.
As horrifying as this is, losing your teeth isn’t even the worst of your problems when it comes to receding gums. The underlying causes for the condition could indicate and lead to something worse. Studies have shown a direct link between poor oral hygiene and heart conditions. Coronary artery disease is caused by a build-up of plaque in the arteries, and it’s been suggested that the same bacteria involved in gum diseases might be responsible.
What Are The Causes Of Receding Gums?
Receding gums can be caused by a number of factors, ranging from brushing too hard to malnutrition. It’s important to discuss the causes in order to raise awareness on how to prevent them from happening. A failure to address these issues will not only lead to a reduced quality of life in the long run but can also cause some serious damage to your overall health and wellness.
The first stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis. It is an inflammation of your gums that can lead to tooth decay and frequent bleeding. It is caused by an irritation of the gums due to the build-up of bacteria inside plaque and tartar. Though gingivitis is easily cured, if left untreated, it will eventually progress into a more severe form of periodontal disease that can lead to other health problems besides teeth loss.
Gums naturally recede with age, especially for women who have reached menopause and start producing less estrogen. Systemic diseases, such as diabetes and malnutrition, are also more common among the elderly as appetites change and bodily functions start to decline. Even with a lifetime of elaborate dental care measures, your mouth will still be exposed to chemicals and natural wear and tear over time.
Poor Oral Care
Not brushing your teeth often enough and brushing too much can both have negative effects on your teeth and gums. The former will cause a build-up of plaque, which will eventually harden into tartar. These are full of bacteria and can lead to cavities and infections. On the other hand, brushing too much and too hard can injure your gums and wear down your teeth’ enamel.
Malnutrition is a pretty prevalent problem even among families who can afford to spend more on food. A lack of understanding of nutrition means some people are unaware that what you eat is more important than how much you eat. You’re better off munching on an apple instead of a bucketful of fries and chips. Different vitamins have varying effects on our oral health.
- A lack of vitamin D can make your teeth brittle.
- A lack of vitamin B can lead to receding gums and toothaches.
- Vitamins A and E can help in the healing of injured gums and tissues.
- Vitamin C prevents inflammation and plaque formation.
Sadly, genetics can play a role in overall oral health. Several people are just prone to oral injuries and infections by nature. Some inherit thinner gum lines, others have naturally bigger teeth, and some even have wider gaps in between. How teeth will line up is also determined by genetics. Jagged teeth are harder to clean and are more prone to accumulate harmful bacteria.
Natural Remedies for Receding Gums
With all illnesses and conditions, it’s best to not put off having yourself checked by a professional. However, there are instances wherein consulting a dentist immediately isn’t an option. You could be on vacation in a different country, or your dentist could have full bookings for the next week or two. In times like these, you may want to prevent further damage by turning to natural remedies.
Oil pulling is the process of swishing a tablespoon of oil inside your mouth for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Even though it may feel strange and uncomfortable, doing this can actually remove bacteria, debris, and other toxins from your mouth, so try to persevere through it.
Coconut oil is the best to use for this purpose. It is known to have anti-inflammatory properties on top of being antibacterial and antifungal. Try not to swallow while you’re doing this because even though the oil is safe to ingest, you’ll want the toxins and bacteria to get out of your body and not go deeper in.
Once your 20 minutes are over, spit the oil out and rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm salt water, then brush your teeth to rid them of the excess oils. You don’t have to wait for a mouth infection to do this either. It is a good habit to practice to keep your mouth healthy. It even naturally whitens your teeth and freshens your breath!
Aloe Vera Gel
I’m sure you’ve heard of this super plant. It is a succulent with thick leaves that houses a natural gel that people have been using to cure wounds and skin issues for thousands of years. You may even have an array of aloe vera skincare products at home! But did you know that aloe vera gel is effective in fighting against periodontal disease?
Due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic nature, it can speed up healing and inhibit the growth of bacteria, viruses, and fungi at the same time. So, it comes as no surprise that aloe vera is also known to be effective in killing the bacteria that cause plaque build-up.
Some kinds of toothpaste and mouthwashes already have this plant as an active ingredient, but you may want to search for tooth gels that you can use to apply directly to the sores in your mouth. Aloe vera can also be ingested in the form of juice, though I would suggest getting a blend with the lowest sugar content possible.
Septilin is an ayurvedic, polyherbal medication that has shown to be effective at treating dental infections. Ayurveda is a traditional Indian medicine known for its natural and holistic approach to health. It aims to support our immune systems through a healthy lifestyle and herbal remedies as it recognizes that our bodies are naturally equipped with the means to fight off diseases.
As an ayurvedic, septilin modulates the body’s immune response to threats, making it effective for people who have developed a resistance to antibiotics. It also increases the production of white blood cells to help fight off infection. They come in both tablet and syrup form and can be safely taken by children and adults alike.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another plant-derived substance that can help with periodontal disease. Its anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties are beneficial for clearing out infections and promoting healing.
To use this oil, add two to three drops into a warm glass of water. Swish the solution around in your mouth for a few minutes as you would with a regular mouthwash before spitting it out. Please note that you must spit it out and take extra care not to swallow this oil as it is not safe to be ingested. If there are children in your home, keep this away from them to avoid any accidents.
Apart from its medicinal properties, tea tree oil also has the ability to freshen your breath due to its camphorous odor, as well as reduce bleeding in patients with gingivitis.
Eating the Right Food
As mentioned earlier, malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies can also contribute to receding gums. But apart from taking multivitamin supplements, there are different kinds of food you can eat that have been proven to be beneficial to the health of your teeth and gums.
Fruits and vegetables that are rich in fiber like oranges, celery, and carrots can keep your mouth clean. Ingesting dairy products such as cheese and milk can help rebuild the enamels of your teeth by restoring some of the minerals that were lost while eating. Both of these food types stimulate the production of saliva, which keeps your mouth clean from debris and bacteria through the simple act of swallowing.
If you enjoy drinking herbal teas, don’t stop! Teas, particularly black and green, are rich in antioxidants and polyphenols. These kill bacteria and prevent plaque from forming.
Frequently Asked Questions on Natural Remedies for Receding Gums
What can I do to fix receding gums naturally?
To fix receding gums naturally, you will need to address the infection that’s causing it in the first place. Doing this will prevent the further deterioration of your gums and improve oral health. Unfortunately, there is no way for your gums to regrow. If you’re adamant about fixing how your teeth look, you will need to speak to your dentist about the possibility of surgery.
Can I restore my receding gums?
Yes, there are ways to clinically restore your receding gums through flap surgery or a gum graft. The former involves the affected sliced open to remove the plaque inside and repair the damages to your bone before it’s sewn back up. The latter requires taking a piece of tissue from elsewhere in your mouth and attaching it to the area where the gums have significantly receded. Both methods work to strengthen the support of your teeth.
What can you do to prevent receding gums from getting worse?
To prevent receding gums from getting worse, schedule periodic checkups and cleanings with your dentist. If you’re a smoker, consider quitting the habit since smoking can greatly limit your body’s ability to fight off infections, which will make it harder for your gums to heal.
A Final Word From Wellness Nova
Your biggest enemy when it comes to oral care is an infection. Bacterial infections can cause tooth decay and plaque build-up, which can trigger gingivitis and eventually lead to receding gums if you’re not careful. This is preventable by scheduling an appointment with your dentist the moment you notice irregularities in your oral health. If you want an alternative route, you can always try the natural remedies in this article.
The money you’ll spend taking care of your gums and teeth will be less compared to the inconvenience, pain, and money you’ll be spending trying to fix the complications brought about by neglect. Prevention is better than cure, and that saying holds especially true to dental problems.