Over time, poor oral hygiene, gum disease and even age can cause gums to recede. Receding gums leave your teeth unprotected and at a higher risk for issues like sensitivity and tooth decay.
You may have heard that coconut oil helps keep your gums healthy. Before you use coconut oil for receding gums, it’s important to speak with your dentist about your concerns so you can work together to create an effective treatment plan. Coconut oil may offer some health benefits, but it should never replace professional care.
Causes of Receding Gums
Receding gums result from a number of issues. Determining the cause of your receding gums is the first step toward treatment. Some of the most common causes of gum recession include brushing too hard, smoking and using tobacco. Injury or trauma to the gums, poorly-fitted dentures, genetics and age can also contribute to gum recession.
While it’s impossible to grow back the gum tissue you’ve lost, you can stop the recession of your gums by having good oral hygiene. Excessive plaque buildup leads to gum disease, so brushing and flossing daily, as well as having regular professional cleanings with your dentist, will help you keep your gums strong and healthy.
Coconut Oil for Receding Gums
Coconut oil has been hailed as everything from a makeup remover to a healthy cooking substitute. But can it be used for oral health? Popular in parts of Asia and India, oil pullinginvolves swishing coconut oil in your mouth for several minutes, which is thought to help fight off bacteria in the mouth. In fact, a study published in the Nigerian Medical Journalfound that individuals who included oil pulling in their oral health routines saw a reduction in plaque formation. However, note that due to the lack of definitive research on the subject, the American Dental Association does not recommend oil pulling.
Coconut oil is also popular ingredient choice for those who make homemade toothpaste, but remember that traditional toothpastes are specifically designed to keep your gums healthy. While coconut oil may help reduce plaque and bacteria buildup in the mouth, speak with your dentist before using it to treat gum issues.
Other Treatment Options
Despite coconut oil’s potential benefits, it cannot repair your receding gums. To address the issue, your dentist can examine your gums and decide if you’re a good candidate for agum graft. During this procedure, your periodontist or dentist will collect healthy tissue from another part of your mouth and stitch it onto the receding gums. The procedure is usually reserved for cases of severe gum tissue loss or if the tooth root has been exposed.
To improve your gum health, make sure you’re including daily brushing and flossing in your oral health routine. Once gum tissue is lost, it can’t grow back, so consult your dentist to formulate a plan that effectively protects your gums — and your smile.