Common causes of receding gums can include periodontal disease and inadequate or incorrect brushing. The condition can look unsightly, and may also lead to other dental problems, such as bad breath and loss of teeth. The effects of receding gums can, however, be reversed with treatments available that will restore healthy gum tissue around teeth.
Professional Deep Cleaning
A non-surgical way in which gum tissue can be encouraged to re-establish itself is professional deep cleaning, which can also be known as scaling and root planing. This procedures removes the build up of tartar and bacteria from the surface of teeth at the gum line, and the roots below the gum. Scaling involves scraping the material from the teeth and roots, while planing involves smoothing the surface of the roots. The removal of the tartar and bacteria, along with the smoother root surfaces, allows the gum tissue to re-establish itself and tighten around the teeth.
A method of treating receding gums developed at Tufts University involves surgically grafting a collagen membrane over an exposed root caused by receding gums. The membrane has platelet concentrate gel added to it; the membrane is then soaked in the patient's blood, which is generally drawn from an arm. The attached membrane should then bond with the natural gums and encourage tissue regeneration. Research by Tufts University has shown the results of this treatment to be effective, with patients in a three-year study showing only minimal recession of the gums at the end of the study.
A traditional method of dealing with more serious recession of the gums involves a soft-tissue graft. This procedure removes soft tissue from healthier parts of the mouth, with the palate and gums typically used as donor sites. The healthy tissue is placed over the exposed area of root and surgically attached to the healthy gum. When carried out successfully, the attached tissue should bond with the healthy gum and grow in place to cover the exposed root.
A natural remedy that can help with reversing the effects of receding gums is oil pulling. Typically carried out with products such as sesame oil, it involves drinking a small quantity of the oil and holding it in front of the teeth. Using a sucking action pulls the oil from the front to the back of the teeth, through the gaps. The oil should not be swallowed, only pulled through the teeth, and continually repeating this action over a period of 10 to 20 minutes has the effect of massaging the gums. This can help in stopping the receding process, reversing its effects and stimulating growth of gum tissue.