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The gums retreat, lose volume and expose the underlying tooth necks. This process is called gum retraction. The roots hold the teeth in the bone. The tooth necks are located between the roots and the protruding part, the crown. These are usually covered with gums. However, if this withdraws, the tooth necks become visible. Not only is this unattractive, it can also be quite uncomfortable and, in addition, cause bacteria to penetrate. In addition, the teeth lose stability when the gums shrink.
Causes of gum loss
No matter what causes the gum decline, a visit to the dentist is urgently needed. To prevent worse from occurring, medical advice should be sought in good time.
Inflammation of the gums (gingivitis)
Swollen, reddened gums and bleeding gums - all of which indicate inflammation of the gums. There are a large number of bacteria in the mouth, which is completely normal. However, if bacteria get stuck on the tooth surface, which also multiply there, plaque develops. That happens within a few days. Plaque can only be removed from the interdental spaces with the help of an interdental brush or dental floss. Such a coating occurs when there is too little saliva, the interdental spaces are too narrow or there is too little "chewing". Inflammation of the gums is often the result.
Other causes of plaque formation are carious defects and the type of germs that make up the plaque has an impact on its formation. It is not uncommon for the bacteria to get into the gap between the tooth and gums, which can lead to inflammation of the gums.
Periodontitis - gum pockets have arisen
If plaque is not cleaned properly, it solidifies. This creates tartar, which should be removed by the dentist at regular intervals. Tartar has a rough surface on which other bacteria can get stuck. If the gap between the tooth and gums increases, so-called gum pockets, better known as periodontitis, form. In the worst case, this leads to the loss of teeth.
The symptoms of periodontitis include, in addition to the decrease in gums, bleeding gums, sensitive and swollen gums, bad breath, pus formation, loose teeth, sensitivity to pain in the gums and possibly the teeth no longer fit properly.
Scientific studies show that smoking increases the risk of getting gum infections. Nicotine is deposited on the teeth and the oral mucosa. This favors a decrease in gums.
Gnashing of teeth (bruxism)
Grinding your teeth at night is a permanent burden on the entire tooth retention system. The jaw joints, but also the muscles of the jaw, neck and back, are affected. In addition, the gums are constantly irritated when they crunch, which can be the cause of gum decline. An individually adapted bite guard protects the teeth. However, the causes of the crunch are urgently to be remedied here. Fears, stress and mental stress are among the most common reasons for bruxism.
Wrong oral care - tips for proper oral hygiene
Improper or insufficient oral hygiene can sooner or later lead to a decrease in gums. Rare brushing of teeth, wrong technique, wrong brushing, neglecting the interdental spaces - all of these can have a negative effect on the gums.
Teeth should be brushed at least twice a day, morning and evening, for three minutes. Dentist or dental assistant show the correct cleaning technique. Cleaning is always from red to white, i.e. from the gums towards the tooth. The rule is actually: brush your teeth immediately after eating. However, this is not always to be taken literally. After enjoying acidic food, such as fruit juices, soft drinks, apples, oranges and kiwis, it is best to wait half an hour to an hour before brushing your teeth. The acids remove minerals from the tooth enamel and thus weaken the protective layer. If you brush now, the enamel will be rubbed off. Unfortunately, this is irreversible.
Every cleaning process also includes cleaning the spaces with a suitable interdental toothbrush or dental floss. Rinsing with the irrigator is not enough. Rounded plastic bristles are best used for cleaning. Natural bristles are not suitable because the bacteria can really feel good here. The toothbrush must be replaced after two months at the latest. Electric toothbrushes clean better than normal hand brushes. Handling them is also easier.
Chewing is important to stimulate the flow of saliva. Raw food is recommended here. If cleaning is not possible on the go, chewing chewing gum without sugar helps. Healthy oral hygiene also includes regular visits to the dentist twice a year.
Acidification in the oral flora can promote gum recession. The acidity in the mouth should therefore be as low as possible. Green tea is very healthy for the oral flora and also has a disinfectant effect. Cheese, probiotic yoghurts, kefir - all of this is healthy for the intestines, but also for the oral flora, since digestion begins there. However, sugary drinks create an unhealthy environment. Mineral water is definitely the much better choice here.
The intestinal flora
There is a large number of bacteria in the intestine. That is a good thing. These physiological bacteria live in a symbiosis with each other and ensure an intact immune system. If the intestinal flora is disturbed by an imbalance, this can also have a negative effect on the oral flora. Too little of the “good” bacteria may be present and “bad” have taken root. The immune system suffers from this and can no longer ward off inflammatory processes in the mouth.
Piercings in the mouth area require special oral hygiene so that there is no inflammation and no gum recession. Regular checks at the dentist are essential. It is imperative to ensure careful oral hygiene. If there is a stick in the tongue, it is best to remove and clean it regularly so that no tartar forms there.
Badly fitting prostheses, braces
Both poorly fitting prostheses and wearing braces can lead to gum retraction. A dentist and / or orthodontist should be consulted here to prevent this.
Gum loss discovered in time
In order to counteract the loss of gums, this must be discovered in good time. The following symptoms suggest this: recurrent bleeding gums when brushing teeth or eating apple, dark red gums, loose teeth, exposed tooth necks, suddenly occurring bad breath, yellowish deposits between the gums and neck of the teeth, redness and swelling.
Increased risk of plaque formation and inflammation
Some brush their teeth several times a day, use the dental floss regularly, but still get inflammation. Others, on the other hand, do not practice such good oral hygiene and remain inflammation-free - why is that?
The following factors increase the risk of getting gum infections and then suffering from gum recession: too little salivation, insufficient chewing, a weakened immune system, taking immunosuppressive drugs, diabetes mellitus, smoking, a lot of stress and pregnancy. Medications that lower blood pressure can also cause gums to swell, which in turn can cause inflammation.
Treatment at the dentist
The faster the dentist is seen and the cause is addressed, the faster the gum recession can be treated. If gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) is at the basis of the gum loss, this is usually reversible. With periodontitis, however, this is no longer possible.
Methods such as laser therapy, surgical periodontal treatment, ozone therapy and the administration of antibiotics are used as treatment methods.
Causes such as diabetes, medication, weakened immune system, hormone disorders are clarified and, if necessary, have to be treated by the respective specialist.
At the beginning of pregnancy, every expectant mother should see her dentist. He will advise you on the necessary oral hygiene and can determine whether there is already inflammation. Inflammation should be treated as quickly as possible, especially during pregnancy, as periodontitis can, in the worst case, harm the unborn child. The hormonal change makes the gums much more sensitive. Some gynecologists therefore recommend a two-month check-up at the dentist.
Home remedies for gum decline must be used regularly and over a long period of time. There is no one real home remedy here! Several may have to be tried.
Pulling oil helps to remove bacteria from the mouth and thus ensures a healthy oral flora. As soon as you get up, before you drink or eat something, you rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of high-quality olive, coconut or sesame oil, which means that the oil is chewed and pressed through your teeth for about three minutes, then spit out and open never swallowed. The oil turns whitish due to the bacteria in the mouth. Only then are the teeth brushed. Drawing daily oil strengthens the immune system, supports the physiological oral flora and protects against inflammation and gum recession.
Carnation, myrrh, tea tree
Clove, myrrh and tea tree oil, all three of these essential oils are effective against gum infections. The oil or oils are placed in a glass of lukewarm water (max. 3 drops per 100 ml of water). Herewith mouthwashes are carried out or the affected areas are dabbed with it.
Brine rinses help with inflammation, strengthen the gums and thus counteract a decrease in gums. A solution is made from 125 g of Himalayan salt and half a liter of boiling water. A tablespoon of it is put in the mouth, pressed through the teeth and rinsed with it. The initially salty taste fades the longer the solution stays in the mouth. Salt has a disinfecting and healing effect.
Three cups of green tea a day strengthen the immune system, are anti-inflammatory and help with acidification. In order to treat "sick" gums, the mouth can also be rinsed with the green tea.
Chamomile, a well-known household remedy, also does a good job here. If there is inflammation, rinse with freshly prepared chamomile tea several times a day.
Lemon juice is an ancient home remedy. If the mouth is rinsed with it regularly, this acts against bleeding gums and firms the gums.
The Rathania root has a contracting effect due to its tannins. This is particularly noticeable in bleeding and inflamed gums. The pharmacies have ready mouthwashes with the healthy roots.
Black cumin oil
Black cumin oil is a good way to strengthen the gums and relieve inflammation. Suitable ointments that are massaged into the gums daily are available in the pharmacy.
Naturopathy also has therapy options available that can be used in dentistry. These can be used together with dental treatment.
Examples of homeopathy for the treatment of gum disease are arnica, apis, calendula, cantharis, mercurius sublimatus corrosivus or phosphorus. In order to find the right, appropriate remedy, it is necessary to ask the patient exactly.
From the area of the Schüssler salts, number 1 Calcium fluoratum strengthens the gums, number 3 Ferrum phosphoricum helps against inflammation and bleeding gums, number 11 Silicea strengthens and number 4 potassium chloratum ensures healthy gums.
Acupuncture, a treatment method from traditional Chinese medicine, has various points ready, which - if needled - can have a healing effect on the tooth support system.
As already mentioned, an intact intestinal flora is also important for a healthy climate in the mouth. For those with gum retraction, an intestinal restoration is therefore recommended. The first step is to eliminate any pathological germs that may be present, and then to rebuild the intestine with high-dose physiological bacteria. (sw)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Susanne Waschke, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch
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