If you have noticed that your gums are receding, you are not alone. This is a common problem that affects many people. In fact, according to the American Academy of Periodontology, gum recession affects nearly half of all adults in the United States by the time they reach middle age. There are several things that you can do to stop receding gums from getting worse and restore your smile to its former glory!
Things You Can Do At Home to Treat Receding Gums
Controlling Diabetes (If Present)
If you have type II diabetes, it’s important to get your blood sugar levels under control. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to gum disease, which can then contribute to gum recession and gum bleeding. Your dentist or doctor can help you create a plan to get your diabetes under control.
Stopping Vaping and Smoking
If you use tobacco products, whether it’s cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, or smokeless tobacco, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your overall health—including your oral health. Tobacco use is a major risk factor for gum disease and can also cause gum recession. Quitting smoking or using other tobacco products can help your gums heal and may even reverse some of the damage caused by tobacco use.
We have full articles on the danger of smoking and vaping for your oral health for those interested.
Practicing Good Oral Hygiene
Good oral hygiene is essential for healthy gums. If you don’t practice good oral hygiene, plaque can build up on the surface of your tooth near the gums. This plaque contains bacteria that can cause gum disease.
Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush using gentle circular motions. Make sure not to brush too much, which can damage your gums, causing them to recede.
In addition to brushing, you should also floss daily to remove plaque and bacteria from between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. Be sure to hug your tooth and floss under your gums in a c-shape.
Stop Potentially Damaging Oral Habits
There are some things we do every day without thinking that can actually damage our teeth and gums. For example, picking at teeth with sharp objects (such as a toothpick) can damage your gum tissue. Additionally, biting into hard objects with the front of your teeth (such as very hard fruit and thick crusty bread) could damage your teeth and cause your gums to recede.
Removing Jewelry From Your Mouth
If you have a tongue, lip, or cheek piercing, the jewelry could be rubbing on your gums and causing them to recede. If you have a tongue piercing, the jewelry could also be scratching your gum, which could lead to gum recession.
If you have a piercing, it’s important to clean it regularly to avoid infection. You should also see your dentist or oral piercer regularly to make sure the piercing is not causing any damage to your teeth or gums.
Things a Dentist Can Do to Fix Receding Gums
Surprisingly, your dentist may not do anything if your gum recession is not severe, isn’t actively receding, and doesn’t bother you. In these cases, there isn’t something to worry about, and following the steps above will be more than enough to keep your smile healthy!
If this is the case, your dentist will only do something about your gums if it’s for visual purposes. You will just need to be vigilant about your oral hygiene and see your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups.
Deep Cleaning/Scaling and Root Planing
If you have tartar buildup on your teeth or gums, your dentist may recommend a deep cleaning. During a deep cleaning, your dentist or dental hygienist will remove tartar from above and below the gum line. This helps to reduce inflammation and bacteria in the mouth, which can help to stop your gums from receding.
In some cases, your dentist may also recommend a procedure called scaling and root planing. This is a more intensive deep cleaning that involves numbing your gums and removing tartar from the roots of your teeth. This procedure is often used to treat gum disease.
Gum Graft Surgery
If your gums are severely receded, your dentist may recommend a gum graft. During this surgery, your dentist will take gum tissue from another part of your mouth and graft it onto the receded area. This can help to stop your gums from receding any further and can also help to improve the appearance of your smile.
In some cases, your dentist may recommend a less invasive gum graft surgery called pinhole surgery. During this procedure, your dentist will make small holes in your gums and pull the gum tissue over the receded area. This can help to cover up the receded gum line and stop your gums from receding any further.
The contents of this website, such as text, graphics, images, and other material are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be substituted for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Nothing on this website constitutes the practice of medicine, law or any other regulated profession.
No two mouths are the same, and each oral situation is unique. As such, it isn’t possible to give comprehensive advice or diagnose oral conditions based on articles alone. The best way to ensure you’re getting the best dental care possible is to visit a dentist in person for an examination and consultation.