Receding gums are one of the signs of gingivitis or periodontal disease. The other signs include red gums (they should be pink), swollen gums, and bleeding when you brush your teeth. You’ll see your gums visibly recede, exposing the roots of your teeth. If you leave this problem unchecked, you’ll end up with a number of issues, ranging from periodontitis, an extreme gum disease, as well as loose teeth, and major sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages. Thankfully, there are some things that you can do in order to tackle your receding gums.

1) Seek the help of your dentist.

Going a professional can certainly solve the problem. Your dentist will either be able to help you or may send you to a specialist. This depends on just how far advanced your gingivitis is. A dentist can also take care of the plaque that caused your gums to recede in the first place. This is done either with laser treatments or ultrasonic devices that take care of the clear sticky film (also known as plaque) that gave the bacteria a home. You might also need to take antibiotics in order to kill off any existing bacteria. If your gingivitis is advanced, your dentist might recommend surgery in order to restore your gum line and restore the bones underneath your gums. This will keep your teeth in place and take care of any remaining signs of gingivitis and receding gums.

2) Start getting your teeth cleaned regularly.

Another way of stopping receding gums in their tracks is by getting your teeth cleaned regularly. A dental hygienist is able to remove surface plaque that has built up on your teeth. He or she is also able to get into your gum line (slightly) and remove any plaque that has made a home there. This will prevent your gums from further receding. It’s recommended that you get this done at least every six months. However, if you have an extreme case of gingivitis and are prone to it for any other health-related reasons, you might have to go more often. A good solid cleaning by a hygienist can remove more plaque than your toothbrush and floss. However, this doesn’t mean that you no longer need to brush your teeth.

3) Follow a good oral hygiene regimen.

A good oral hygiene regimen is a requirement in stopping gum recession. You need to brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss just as often. You need to use the right toothpaste – one that contains fluoride and is approved by the American Dental Association. The flavor is up to you. Your floss should also be approved by this same group. Not only do you need to brush your teeth twice a day, but you also need to brush them properly. There is a way to do so that will leave the entire surface area of your teeth thoroughly cleaned. This involves brushing for at least 60 seconds each time, and not brushing roughly. Brushing your teeth too hard can actually lead to gum recession! You also need a toothbrush with soft bristles. Hard ones may seem like they’re cleaning more, but they’re actually causing gum damage.

4) Use a plaque killing mouthwash.

There are certain types of mouthwashes out there that can kill plaque. You’ll need to look at the labels before purchasing them to ensure that the mouthwash is approved by the AMA (American Dental Association) and that it contains fluoride and other beneficial things. These mouthwashes tend to have instructions on them regarding how long you need to swish them around in your mouth, as well as how much you need to use each time. You also might not be able to eat or drink anything for up to 30 minutes after you use the mouthwash, in order to get its full effects. These mouthwashes can also help your tooth enamel and cut down on sensitivity.

5) Eat a healthy diet.

Another thing that you can do in order to deal with your receding gums is to eat a healthy diet. This includes getting plenty of the right vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. You should stay away from things like candy and overly sugary beverages, as they can introduce plaque into your mouth. (Plaque likes sugar, as it gives it a place to grow.) A healthy diet can make your entire body healthier, including your gums. It basically works from the inside out.

These five things can help you tackle your receding gum problem. Once you’ve seen your dentist and had the worst of the plaque removed, you then need to ensure that your gums stay healthy. This is done by getting your teeth cleaned regularly, practicing good oral hygiene, using mouthwash, and following a healthy diet. Only then will your receding gums be a thing of the past.

Author Bio: This guest post is a work of Peter Young promoting Thantakit International Dental Center, Bangkok. If you’re on the lookout for latest oral care articles, do follow the Thantakit Blog for regular updates.