What is gum recession?
Gum recession is a dental condition that doesn’t seem to affect as many people as does gum disease, or cavities, but it can be of particular concern to someone when it occurs. When your gums recede, they slowly move down the root of the tooth, exposing some of the tooth root in the process. These exposed root surfaces sometimes become sensitive to cold or touch because the nerve inside the root has tiny extensions that may reach the root surface. Sensitivity from receding gums, which can be severe in some people’s mouths, is what usually drives people to the dentist or the drug store for relief.
Why do we get receding gums?
Unfortunately, there is no one simple answer to this question, as there seems to be multiple conditions that can lead to receding gums. The causes of receding gums can be divided into two broad categories. The first is Infection. This is an internal cause, at least from a holistic viewpoint. The second category is trauma or injury. Essentially, these are external, mechanical causes. A third category for receding gums, where neither injury nor infection seems to play a determining role, might be considered. For example, many dentists will tell you that receding gums is a consequence of ageing. The problem with that theory is that not everyone experiences receding gums as they age, and there is no scientific proof of a connection. Common sense would indicate that ageing may just allow enough time for one or more of the causes of receding gums discussed below, to occur.
Receding gums can be a sign of gum disease. Dentists call gum infections periodontal disease. Most people aren’t aware of any gum infection, because it is usually painless. But if gum disease causes your gums to recede between any of your front teeth, the resulting dark space between your front teeth is easy to see and it may be your first indication that you have gum disease. Learn more about gum disease and how it causes receding gums on the Stages of Gum Disease page.
Even mild receding gums between teeth may be a sign of long term or chronic gum disease, and resolving the infection is of primary importance. This is because as long as your gums are infected, your immune system is being heavily challenged by many types of disease causing germs. These germs can spread to other parts of your body, including possibly your heart.
You can also end up with receding gums if you have had chronic gum infection, and you go to a dentist who recommends and performs gum surgery to treat your infected gums. With this kind of gum treatment, part of the infected gum tissue is removed, to ‘treat’ the infection. The result of this treatment is usually surgically created gum recession, with longer appearing, often very sensitive teeth. Treating infections with surgery seems to be limited these days only to the dental profession. Fortunately, patients are becoming aware that it is rarely needed. As you will learn below, infections are best handled by strengthening your immune system with all natural, organic and whole food based supplements.
Infections that seriously challenge your immune system don’t have to start in your mouth. HIV or AIDS is one such example that is associated with a severely weakened immune system. In these circumstances, gum disease may occur more easily, along with the gum recession that sometimes results as a symptom of gum disease.
If you are susceptible to cavities on the gum line of your teeth, especially where you already have experienced receding gums, and the roots of your teeth have become exposed, your gums may recede even further. This is because the often sensitive gum line cavities on the roots of teeth are usually covered with accumulated dental plaque, which contains millions of germs and the irritating, destructive enzymes being produced by these germs. Unfortunately, your gums then suffer as much as your teeth.
Are you concerned about receding gums from the kinds of infections described above? Would you like a simple, cost effective nutritional solution with organic and all natural supplements? If your answer is yes, take advantage right now of Dr. Gilbert’s free, no obligation nutritional consultation. All you have to do is go to the Nutritional Consultation page and complete the simple form on that page.
Trauma or Injury
The most common reason for gum recession that is created by trauma or injury is brushing too vigorously, or brushing with a tooth brush with bristles that are too hard. Fortunately, most modern tooth brushes are made with soft nylon bristles that flex sufficiently to prevent this kind of recession. But firm bristled brushes are available, and if used with excessive pressure, seem to be able to cause your gums to recede. Switching to a softer toothbrush usually prevents any further receding gums.
Bruxism, or grinding your teeth, affects both children and adults. Young children may grind their teeth to keep their bite even, as new teeth come into their mouth. Emotional stress has been implicated as the most probable reason adults grind their teeth. Adults who do this regularly may also experience gum recession on some of their back teeth. The recession may be related to the stress of the tooth grinding, but no one really knows exactly how this occurs.
Some people may have very thin, fragile gums, especially in the region of the lower front teeth. This usually happens if a tooth sticks out from the adjacent teeth. When this occurs, the tooth often has thin gum tissue on the front and the jaw bone is also very thin, or absent under the gums. Without adequate bone support underneath this thin gum tissue, your gums can recede relatively easily, especially from firm tooth brushing. Avoiding brushing doesn’t help because bad smelling plaque will then grow and irritate the gums. Solving the problem, especially in severe cases, may require braces or orthodontic treatment, a gum tissue graft, or even extraction of the tooth.
Another reason you can have receding gums on lower front teeth is if the small muscle, called a frenum, is misplaced. The frenum is normally connected from the inside of your lower lip to the gum tissue between the two lower front teeth. If it is misplaced, the frenum is usually attached to the gums somewhere in the middle of a tooth. When this occurs, each time the lower lip moves, it tugs on the edge of the gum tissue until it starts to pull it down from the tooth. Then we get receding gums on this tooth. Sometimes this can be corrected with a gum tissue graft.
If you have a tooth extracted for whatever reason, as the bone heals, the level of bone never grows back to the full height that existed when the tooth was in your mouth. It seem as though the functioning tooth is needed to stimulate the body to maintain the full height of bone around it. Without the tooth, the level of bone is also reduced in height on the teeth adjacent to the site of the extraction. As the bone goes down, the gums go down with it. The net result is some gum recession and newly exposed root surfaces on the side of the teeth facing the empty space where the tooth was extracted.
Mechanical devices in the mouth, such as braces can sometimes lead to localized gum recession. If prolonged irritation of the adjacent gum margin occurs, either directly from the part of the braces near the gum line, or from food particles trapped by the braces, receding gums may occur.
Tongue piercing can also contribute to receding gums. This is because the barbell device that is usually worn with tongue piercing can frequently rub against the gums on the inside of a tooth, and injure the gum tissue sufficiently to cause it to recede. Accidently or intentionally chewing on the barbells can also crack or chip teeth, which can require costly dental treatment to fix.
Chewing snuff has been known to lead to receding gums in the part of your mouth where the snuff is held between the teeth and the cheek or lips. The snuff is a chronic irritant to the gum tissue it contacts, not to mention it is a potent cancer causing agent or carcinogen.
How do I repair receding gums?
Think of your finger nails and the skin surrounding them. The relationship of your nails and the skin is similar to the relationship of your teeth and your gums – that is, you have a soft tissue, be it your gums or your skin, connected to the hard tissue of your teeth or your nails. A rich blood supply is essential for rapid and efficient healing to occur. Because the connection of your gums to your teeth occurs on the outside of the body, the blood supply that supports this connection is confined to the connective tissue underneath the surface of the gums. This means that growth, repair and healing of receding gums is somewhat limited, compared to the inside of the body, where attachments of different types of structures, such as muscle to bone, are completely surrounded by a blood supply.
With this in mind, if your body is to repair receding gums, whether from infection or injury, it make sense to support and promote healing as much as possible, especially where the blood supply is limited. Even if a surgical repair is possible, healing must still take place. All healing depends on the presence of an abundant supply of all the nutritional factors which promote healing, such as vitamins, active enzymes, minerals, carbohydrates and complex sugars, fats and essential fatty acids, proteins and essential amino acids, and other phytonutrients.
Most people today fail to obtain all these necessary nutritional components from the foods in their diet. Fortunately, there is an easy way to make them a part of your daily food intake. You can easily add these essential nutritional components to your diet with the unique supplements offered on this website. Not sure which supplements to take? Let Dr. Gilbert help you with a free nutritional consultation.
How do I stop receding gums?
If your gums have receded because of injury or trauma, then removal of the offending substance or object causing the injury, will usually stop the receding gums and prevent further root exposure. Once this happens, your gums will start to heal, but will remain close to the level caused by the injury.
Since healing is such a critical component of this process, your body needs as much nutritional support as you can give it. Let Dr. Gilbert personally show you which all natural, organic and whole food supplements will help you best with healing. Just complete a short Nutritional Consultation Form to arrange for your free nutritional consultation.
How do I reverse receding gums?
Your gums must have bone tissue under them, except for the part of the gums that is directly connected to your teeth by means of specialized attachment fibers. The bone under your gums is the same bone that surrounds the roots of your teeth. When your gums recede, the bone underneath them also recedes, or the bone may already have been destroyed by chronic gum infection. After this occurs, your gums can no longer grow back up along the tooth surface and reattach to the tooth at a higher level. So reversing receding gums is not likely to occur by natural means.
However, it is sometimes possible for a dentist, either a general dentist or a periodontist (gum specialist), to graft gum tissue onto the exposed root of a tooth with severe gum recession. The soft tissue for the graft may be obtained from the adjacent teeth, or it may be from the roof, or palate, of your mouth. Grafts of this kind are delicate and will not heal unless they are properly nourished.
A newer kind of grafting technique, called pinhole grafting, eliminates the need to obtain tissue for grafting from another place in your mouth. However, successful healing still depends on the presence of an abundant supply of all the nutritional factors which promote healing.
Most people today fail to obtain all these necessary nutritional components from their diet. If you want to insure healing and the best surgical result possible, you must provide your body and the graft with complete nutritional support. The easiest way to do this is with the special supplements offered on this website. Allow Dr. Gilbert to be your personal nutritional coach and advise you which supplements will help you the most. Just complete a simple Nutritional Consultation Form to arrange for your risk free no obligation consultation.
Finally, please see a dentist regularly. Appropriate dental treatment by a biologically trained dentist, and improved mouth hygiene, as taught by a holistically motivated dental hygienist can also do wonders to better the health of your mouth. To find a biologically trained dentist or hygienist, go to the website of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, www.iaomt.org, or the Holistic Dental Association, www.holisticdental.org.