Receding gums

If the soft tissue and bone that hold your teeth in place become infected, you could experience gum disease (periodontitis). If the infection is unchecked, the gums pull away from the teeth, or recede.

Conventional treatment for periodontal disease includes:

  • professional deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing
  • prescription antibacterial mouthwash such as chlorhexidine
  • prescription antibiotic medication
  • a surgical procedure called a flap surgery to access the roots, and possibly bone and tissue grafts

Read on to learn about 14 natural remedies for receding gums.

In a 2009 study, the ayurvedic practice of oil pulling showed a reduction of plaque in individuals with gingivitis.

To try oil pulling, swish a tablespoon of a high-quality coconut oil around your mouth for about 20 minutes. This swishing “pulls” the oil between your teeth. Then spit the oil out, rinse your mouth with warm tap or saline water, and brush your teeth.

The traditional oil to use for this technique is sesame oil. But 2012 research on tooth decay from Athlone Institute of Technology indicates that coconut oil may prevent the Streptococcus mutans bacteria from damaging tooth enamel.

According to a 2008 study, eucalyptus oil is an anti-inflammatory germicide that may treat receding gums and stimulate the growth of new gum tissue.

For use as a bacterial agent and for soothing gum inflammation, a 2016 study suggests asaltwater rinse could be effective. To do a salt rinse:

  1. Thoroughly combine 1 tsp. of salt and 1 cup of warm water.
  2. Rinse your mouth with this saltwater mixture for 30 seconds.
  3. Spit out the rinse — don’t swallow it.
  4. Repeat this two to three times a day.

According to a 2009 study, drinking green tea can help promote healthy teeth and gums and may actually ward off disease. Try drinking one to two cups of green tea daily.

According to a 2013 article in the European Journal of Dentistry, peppermint oil can be effective in preventing the growth of disease-causing microorganisms in the mouth.

A 2009 study showed that aloe vera can be effective in promoting oral health: injecting medicinal-grade aloe vera gel into inflamed gums resulted in improvement of periodontal conditions.

Septilin is a proprietary multi-herbal preparation of guggul, guduchi, licorice, and other compounds. A 2014 clinical trial published in the Journal of Periodontal Implant Science suggests that taking Septilin improves periodontal treatment outcomes.

Septilin is available in both tablet and syrup form. The recommended dosage for adults is two tablets taken twice daily, or 2 teaspoons of syrup taken three times a day.

A 2014 clinical trial concluded that 300 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids taken daily for 12 weeks can reduce gingival index while improving gum-to-tooth attachment. Gingival index is a measure of the severity of gum inflammation.

There were also indications that omega-3 fatty acids may act to prevent chronic periodontitis.

A 2013 article in the European Journal of Dentistry concluded that tea tree oil can be effective in preventing the growth of disease-causing microorganisms in the mouth.

Turmeric contains curcumin, which is recognized for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. According to a 2015 study, turmeric gel could possibly prevent plaque and gingivitis — which can contribute to receding gums.

Rinsing with a solution of water and hydrogen peroxide may help treat sore, red, or swollen gums. To use hydrogen peroxide as a natural remedy for receding gums:

  1. Combine 1/4 cup of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide with 1/4 cup of water.
  2. Swish the mixture around your mouth for about 30 seconds.
  3. Spit the rinse out — don’t swallow it.
  4. Repeat this two to three times a week.

Thyme oil is effective in preventing the growth of disease-causing microorganisms in the mouth according to a 2013 article in the European Journal of Dentistry.

Brush your teeth for at least two minutes at least twice a day. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove plaque and debris from your teeth and along the gum line. Depending on how vigorously you brush, a medium- or hard-bristled brush could damage your gums, root surface, and tooth enamel.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), flossing one time per day is an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums, helping remove debris between teeth that can contribute to plaque buildup.

Receding gums are relatively common. Aging and genetics can cause gum loss even if you practice good oral hygiene habits.

Talk with your dentist about using natural remedies and traditional treatment to help stop or slow down the process.