There are maybe millions of bacteria in our mouths https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oral_microbiology. Some of these bacteria are harmless, and some are harmful that can cause cavities, gum diseases, bad breath, and oral infections.
The key to being sure is to practice good oral hygiene, including regular brushing, flossing, and oil pulling. What are receding gums and why do they happen?
Called gingival recession, receding gums are a retraction of the gums from the crown of the teeth. This progressive condition can start as early as childhood. That is why you should start using natural remedies for receding gums as early as possible.
Receding gums can become apparent when you are 40 years old and more, and at that time, the roots of the teeth can become exposed.
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Why do you get receding gums?
Everything starts with bacteria in your mouth. Bacteria forms plaque, which is a sticky film on the teeth https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK8259/. You can remove the bacteria by regular flossing and brushing, but unless it is removed once every 12 hours, the plaque will harden into tartar, which is a hard and yellowish calcareous deposit.
Gum recession is associated with poor dental hygiene, since gum disease is the most common cause of the condition. Now, practicing good oral hygiene will help.
However, sometimes, even with daily flossing and brushing, you might still get receding gums. Vigorous and overaggressive hygiene can be just as harmful and responsible for gum inflammation.
What are the symptoms of receding gums?
To be fair, you should practice good oral hygiene and some natural remedies for receding gums as early as possible. But if you notice any of the symptoms, it is time to be even more aggressive in trying to get rid of gum disease https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/periodontal_disease.htm.
- Longer teeth – this condition might be hard to notice, since the changes will come gradually. However, if you compare the present length with old photos, you will easily notice the difference
- Change of color at the gum line – you will notice that the tooth crown and exposed root may be in different shades
- Bleeding from the gums – this is the most common symptom of receding gums. Your gums will bleed when you are brushing your teeth, or when you trying to bite apples and other hard foods
- Inflamed gums – notice the gums are red and swollen, especially along the margins
- Shaking teeth – in its later stages, receding gums may make your teeth move slightly
- Food sensitivity – you will feel a sharp pain when consuming hot, cold, acidic, or sweet foods
- Bad breath – you cannot get rid of bad breath with brushing or mouthwashes, which is a signal of gum inflammation or disease
- Pain and discomfort when chewing
Risk factors for gum disease
As mentioned previously, the main cause of receding gums is poor oral hygiene.
Now, while that is often associated, there are other risk factors that can contribute to and increase the probability of the condition:
- Hormonal changes are a common risk factor among women. You can easily notice your gums are more sensitive when you are going through a hormonal shift, and that includes young girls entering puberty, pregnant women, and women entering menopause
- Diabetes is a condition that can vastly contribute to gum disease, as diabetics are more prone to any infection than the general population. Periodontal disease is one of the possible complications of diabetes
- Individuals with HIV and AIDS are at a significantly greater risk for receding gums as they have limited ability to fight off infections
- Smoking weakens your immune system, which will make it harder for your body to fight off any infection, including gum infection
- Vitamin C deficiency is associated with receding gums, with poor oral hygiene being one of the most common signs of a vitamin C deficiency
- Prescription and over the counter medications that can cause dry mouth, including oral contraceptives and anti-depressants can increase the risk of a gum disease
What can you do?
The conventional treatment for receding gums includes an appointment at the dentist’s office. But not many people love sitting at the dentist’s chair for a long time.
The conventional treatment includes deep cleaning which goes beyond the annual cleaning, and involves a process called “scaling and root planning”.
Antimicrobial and antibacterial mouthwashes are another form of conventional treatment that can help you kill off infection and bacteria. For serious conditions, you can always take oral antibiotics.
With that in mind, we always prefer natural remedies for receding gums, as they carry no side effects, and do not include sitting at the dentist’s chair.
Here are some remedies you can try.
The juice of the leaves and stem of yarrow can stop bleeding. That is why it is a common remedy among soldiers for wounds https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3232110/.
With its anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anticoagulant properties, this plant is perfect for fighting off gum disease.
The simplest way to use it is to chew on the leaves and stems. That is, if you have access to fresh supply. If not, you can always use yarrow essential oil. Mix few drops of it with coconut oil, and use it as a gum paint.
Consuming green tea on a regular basis will vastly improve your dental health. Green tea is rich in antioxidants, and has potent anti-inflammatory properties https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27634207.
Regular consumption can help you both prevent and treat gum disease. Two cups per day are more than enough.
Speaking of herbal remedies that can help, sage is the next on the list. Sage has a long history of usage for dental problems. The plant’s antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties make it great for receding gums https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003706/.
Simply chew its leaves as a remedy for swollen gums. If you are not into chewing, brew a tea with sage leaves, and use it as a gargle.
When it comes to plants that have anti-inflammatory properties, few can measure up with aloe vera https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18253066.
The soothing gel obtained from the leaves of the plant is great for reducing gum inflammation. Always use the fresh herb. Rub the leaf on your gums, and repeat as often as you like.
Coconut oil can be used on its own, or with other essential oils. Because of its richness in lauric acid, coconut oil has strong antimicrobial properties https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5109859/.
Prepare a scrub with a pinch of sea salt and virgin coconut oil. Rub your gums with the mixture, and you will see relief immediately.
You can also practice oil pulling, a technique best done with coconut oil. The oil has light and pleasant taste, but be careful not to swallow it.
Lemon essential oil
The antiseptic and antimicrobial properties of lemon make it a perfect remedy for receding gums https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1365-2621.1967.tb01299.x.
You need 10 drops of lemon oil and a cup of warm water. Mix the ingredients, and then use it to gargle few times per day. Bonus points: lemon is a bit citrusy, and will help with your bad breath problems.
There are a number of mouthwash options with essential oils https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4400296/.
Oregano oil is another great oil for fighting off infections in the mouth. When you prepare a mouthwash, always mix the oil with water.
Sesame seed oil
Oil pulling with sesame seed oil is an old Ayurvedic technique.
You need 1 tablespoon of sesame seed oil. Get it in your mouth, and swish around for 10 minutes. Spit it out. Be careful not to gargle or swallow.
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