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How to Slow Gum Shrinkage with Age!

Why do our Gums Shrink as we Age?

Our nutritional needs change as we age, and often we see a reduction in muscle mass, skin volume, skin elasticity and stomach acid. It becomes more challenging to absorb certain nutrients such as calcium, iron, B12 and magnesium. All these nutrients are needed to keep our gums strong. Gum shrinkage or recession makes us susceptible to bacteria backup, leading to gum disease, tooth decay and other health concerns.

Gum recession can also happen because of excessive brushing and a lack of flossing or thorough cleaning. The best prevention is proper nutrition, a consistent oral hygiene routine, and a healthy lifestyle.

Kesteven Dental Care will always encourage the following proactive lifestyle routine:

  1. Brush and floss, without fail, every single day.
  2. Be gentle but thorough when you brush your teeth.
  3. Schedule a deep cleaning if you notice early signs of gum recession.
  4. Kick the bad habits, especially of tobacco and poor nutrition

Ways to Reverse Gum Recession using natural products:

  • Oil Pulling: Using sesame or high-quality coconut oil, swish a spoonful in your mouth, pulling the oil between your teeth. After 20 minutes, spit it out, rinsing your mouth with warm or saltwater for an antibacterial effect. Finally, brush your teeth.
  • Salt Water: Saltwater can also soothe painful and swollen gums. Mix 1 tsp of salt in a cup of warm water, rinsing your mouth for 30 seconds and then spitting it out – don’t swallow it. Rinse 2 or 3 times daily to rebuild receding gums naturally.
  • Brushing correctly: How you brush matters, so ensure you gently use a soft-medium textured toothbrush. Don’t contribute to wearing your gum tissue by brushing aggressively.
  • Flossing: Flossing removes plaque and harmful bacteria from tough-to-reach places your toothbrush cannot reach. These bacteria cause receding gums and other dental problems. 
  • Using Essential Oils- Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Tea Tree, and Thyme: Use essential oils to assist in reversing receding gums.  Eucalyptus oil can effectively treat receding gums, promoting tissue growth. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory germicide, killing bacteria around your teeth.  Peppermint oil prevents microorganism growth in your mouth that could cause damage like gum recession.  Tea tree essential oil reduces harmful bacteria growth in the mouth, stopping bacteria from wreaking havoc on your gums.  Thyme oil, with similar benefits, is a good home remedy to reverse receding gums naturally.
  • Green Tea:  Green tea can help reverse receding gum tissue as it prevents the growth of bacteria, which prevents receding gums and other dental diseases. Drink it plain with no sugar or other flavouring so as not to defeat the antibacterial property and worsen receding gums.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide is great for first aid and an excellent natural remedy for receding gum tissue. It helps swollen and sore gums and can also whiten your teeth a bit. Rinse your mouth with a solution of ¼ c. 3% hydrogen peroxide in ¼ c. of warm water for 30 seconds. Ensure you don’t swallow any of it, but spit it out, then rinse with plain warm water. Do this no more than 2-3 times/week.
  • Turmeric Gel: Turmeric gel, with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, makes it an excellent treatment for gingivitis
  • Septilin:   Septilin, a herbal mixture consisting of licorice, guggul, and guduchi, is rich in natural substances, also great for fighting gum recession-causing bacteria. Coming in both tablets and syrups, adults take two tablets twice/day or two spoonfuls of syrup three times/day. 
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids heal or prevent receding gums by eating foods like certain fish, seeds, and nuts, plus taking Omega-e supplements. Take 300 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids for 12 weeks to reduce gum swelling and receding gums.


Surgical Solutions to Reverse Receding Gums

If your gum recession is severe, natural remedies will not suffice, and your dentist may recommend one of the following effective procedures to treat your gum recession. 

 Flap Surgery

Flap surgery is a deep tissue cleaning of the gums. The dentist lifts your gums, cleans out the gum recession-causing bacteria from underneath, and then places your gums back on your teeth. 

Tissue Graft

In severe gum recession cases, the best remedy may be a gum tissue graft. Taking the tissue from the roof of your mouth, your dentist then attaches it to your gum line, covering your exposed roots. The goal here is to your exposed roots from harm.

At the end of the tissue graft surgery, you will have stitches in two places in your mouth. Once healed, your gum line should be at a healthy level.

Remote Incision Graft

One of Dr. Kesteven’s favorite ways to add tissue volume is to do a remote incision graft.  The gum tissue is released but not pulled back , preserving the blood supply and considerably reducing post operative pain. Also, the collagen to build up this tissue comes “out of a box” and not the roof of your mouth, so there is only one surgical site–a definite advantage.

 Kesteven Dental Care is here for you and your gums! We provide expert, local treatment whether you notice the signs of gum recession or another dental concern. We are your first choice for maintaining your smile! Reach out to us at or 604-826-8087.

By Lorelei Kesteven