Sunday, December 9, 2012

Top ten actions to reverse gum recession

I'm reversing my receding gums, having reduced my deepest pockets from 7 mm to 5 mm in two years (2013 update: I have now been pronounced free of gum problems at two dental exams).  I'm also seeing what I understand to be bone regrowth around my molars.
Ruth, who chanced upon my blog, asked if I might post a list of the top ten actions to reverse gum recession.  So for the first time in my life I am going to make a reverse order top ten list in the tradition of David Letterman.  Putting these actions in any particular order was hard, so please forgive me if the order doesn't make sense.  Also please forgive me if I have omitted oil pulling (2014 update: See my opinion about Oil Pulling) or Stimudents.  :-)

10.  Eat right and avoid your toxic food habits to boost your immunity and avoid harm to your gums.  Consider changes to your eating habits (don't cook your gums or damage them with smoking, hot food, tobacco, etc.) and be open to the possibility you may have undiscovered food sensitivities or deficiencies that are taxing your body and gums.  If a food gives you pimples, mouth sores, a sore throat, excessive mucus, etc., it may also be weakening your gum defenses.

9.  Be observant of the connection between your gums and other body processes. Experiment; be present; be alert.  "There are no local diseases, only local symptoms."  Notice the look, texture, nerve reports, and smell of your teeth and gums and other signs of bodily stress and infection such as acne, twitching, clenched jaw, jitters, anger, and other disease.  Read and write.  Keep a reliable written record/journal/log/diary/notepad.  Avoid judging what you observe, but continue to observe yourself ever more realistically and often.  "Teeth clenched.  Interesting."  "Screaming at son.  Hmm, stress, resentment."  "New mouth sore/pimple/ache.  Ate _____ on Monday." "Gums looking nice.  Interesting."  "Clean morning breath.  Different." "Song stuck in head.  Interesting."

8.  Request a copy of your examination chart from your dentist, study it, and use it to guide your home care.  It will tell you exactly where to brush/irrigate/floss/etc. most carefully.

7.  Rest and fast.  Think about how much time your teeth and gums spend clean vs. dirty. Prolong your nightly fast after cleaning.  Give your gums their half of the day (12 hours) nightly.  Sleep enough.  Finish eating and cleaning early in the evening, and drink only water until breakfast.  Learn about extended water fasts of 24 hours to 6 weeks, especially the importance of water and rest and how to properly end longer fasts.  Consider the place of a short (one to three days), medium (4 days to two weeks), or long (3 to 6 weeks) water fast with rest in your healing process.  Learn about the virtue of not-doing.  Some diseases come out only by stopping and fasting.  Try a(nother) resting water fast.  "The best of all medicines are rest and fasting" --Benjamin Franklin

6.  Drink lots of plain water for healing and for cleaning.  Find a water bottle that you love.  Keep it full and always at your side.  Sip or guzzle plain water from it frequently.  Find a life's work that allows frequent bathroom breaks, and make those breaks purposeful total cessations of your non-stop action.  Find water that you love and trust, and use it.  Teach yourself to accept and enjoy (at least temporarily) any relatively clean, safe water (even fluoridated, hard, warm, "yucky tasting" tap water) that is widely available where you live and work.  Make frequent quenching of your deep, longing, natural, primal, unacknowledged thirst an important part of your happier, simpler, slower, healthier life.

5.  Swish vigorously and purposefully with small quantities of plain water after you eat or drink something other than water.  Repeat several times as required.  Find the optimum amount of water than causes the loudest and most explosive swishing.  Pamper yourself and rest your mouth between swishes.  Slow down.  This is your personal happy time.  You may need to do this in private, and it may be an excellent occasion for a moment of pausing the hectic pace of your life or diverting your focus from an addicting task.  Or do it quickly, quietly, and surreptitiously as the moment requires.  This will give your gums more clean time and less dirty time during the day. 

4.  Use a germicide nightly after you clean.  Then for the only time in your day, avoid swishing with water for a while.  Consider or alternate among hydrogen peroxide, povidone iodine (0.1% to 1% solution), grapefruit seed extract (15 drops per 8 oz or 250 ml water), sodium hypochlorite (bleach) (0.125% or 1 tsp of common (6%) bleach per 8 oz or 5 ml of common (6%) bleach ml per 250 ml water), or Listerine (see Antimicrobial Periodontal Therapy by Michael Donahue, RDH, BA.)  Let the condition of your morning breath inform and guide your nightly germicidal program.

3.  Brush gently for at least two minutes with a sonic toothbrush before your nightly fast.  Search for painful spots and rock the brush creatively on them.

2.  Clean with an irrigator (like Interplak Oral Irrigator ($29), Waterpik ($39), and Hydrofloss ($70)) after you brush before your nightly fast.  Pay individual attention to all sides of each tooth, especially as guided by your examination chart.  If you cannot get an irrigator, use swishing, floss, and wooden or plastic picks between teeth and gums.  Try to get all the food and bacterial colonies out before the nightly fast.

1.  Keep your teeth clean all the time.  Make near 100% home care compliance a reality.  Rinse promptly after putting any calories in your mouth, and go to sleep with clean teeth almost every night without fail.  This may require some difficult spiritual work (learning to release control and enjoy a simple, slow, harmonious life), and it may be more a result than a cause, but you probably won't see your recession reverse until you see near 100% compliance happen.  This is number one, and it is more important than anything else.

38 comments:

ruth said...

thank you very much!
much obliged!
am sure many more google-rs, will be benefitted, as well.

will post as soon as i have "awesome gums and awesome teeth"

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Consider this a standing invitation to do a guest post at my blog any time, whether your gums are awesome yet or not. Did you see my unbelievable news from the dentist today?

Twee! said...

This is awesome. Thank you so much. I've been so worried about my teeth, but after reading your blog, I found out that I can get better. One question, though, can this reverse even the worse case of periodontal disease?

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Thanks, Twee. In the extreme, I think that the worst cases involve lost teeth. I don't think it would be reasonable to expect reversal of that kind of loss. In fact, I understand that sometimes when you are past the point of no return, a 6-week fast can result in the loss of some teeth as part of the gum healing process.

However, I do believe that the disease itself can be stopped, and the body can begin whatever healing is possible. Our days are limited after all, and sometimes the best we can do is heal ourselves spiritually and enjoy disease free days while we are here.

vito m said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Could you please tell more about that water fast you mentioned in your post? Thanks in advance.

Thomas Gail Haws said...

I just wrote a post to answer you.

Angie Greer said...

First of all THANKS for sharing....LOVE YOUR INFO! Secondly ramiel nagel has a good book on building the teeth back up, thirdly I laughed when I was watching the video of your gums!!!! Great stuff!!! Fourthly I love and agree with the slowing down! I think we r sooooo blessed n lucky to have the Internet to allow us to see/know different ways....ahhhhhhhh! I have healed myself in many ways over the last three years n it all just keeps getting better n better....if you r willing to take your own responsibility n choices...instead of relying on ANYONE else to tell u what they will do to u, and you blindly follow...only to be surprised later with, well, surprises!

I wish and send to you Tom, all manner and sort of love and kindness and trust that you know how much you are loved! Chris

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Very, very nice. Thank you, Chris.

Anonymous said...

I am suffering from minor gum recession. My teeth have become more sensitive after changing to this new tooth brush. On another message board I saw people posting information on special mouth wash and toothpaste that would help reverse the situation. Do you have any advice on these items ?

Thomas Gail Haws said...

How many times are you brushing daily? I've had great success brushing only 2 minutes once daily before my nightly fast. The rest of the day you can just swish explosively with plain water (neither hot nor cold).

WildAppleTree said...

This is really helpful info...and I love the mind meditations too. I look forward to healthier gums and a healthier state of mind.

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Thanks, WAT. I like your blog too!

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Anonymous, I'm sorry I didn't really answer your question. I haven't used toothpaste in a long time. It just sort of slipped out of my routine at some point. As far as mouthwash goes, I think pretty much anything is better than nothing. Rinsing often throughout the day with water is more important than using the right mouthwash. I seldom use mouthwash any more, but any (or a rotation) of the germicides I mentioned in my list, if you use them after a thorough night cleaning, should help get your morning breath cleaned up and your gums pinkened up.

Anonymous said...

Thomas Gail Haws
I am so glad I came across you on my web search , I have just been diagnosed with Gum Disease
and I had one 8mm pocket
My deep cleaning sessions start in January
But I am going to follow all your tips
So nervous but you have given me hope

Thomas Gail Haws said...

You can do it! Just lots of water and clean, clean nights!

Jen said...

Hi Tom and all,

I am working on your suggestions and also found this site recently: http://eyalcohen.com/en/the-natural-cure-to-the-common-gum-diseases/ that made a lot of sense too - I thought I'd post it here in case it was useful to others.

Jen

Anonymous said...

I thought gum recession was permanent and the only way to recover was to get grafting done? I've got a few mm of recession. It can grow back?

Thomas Gail Haws said...

I don't know what to tell you other than that my pockets were up to 7 mm deep, and now they are not worth measuring. And my gums are very pink and happy. Maybe my 12-day water fast was an important part of the healing?

Terrance Tang said...

Just to make sure if my gums already receded if I follow these I should see some sort of improvement like you right? I don't have gum disease I think my problem is from aggressive brushing

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Yes, TT, that's what I would expect. Limiting your normal major brushing to two minutes of sonic brushing after your last meal/snack of the day should give your gums a break. The rest of the day you can usually get by with water swishing unless you eat something stale or processed that coats your teeth a lot. Even then, liberal water swishing may clean them up fine until your night cleaning.

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Jen,

Thank you for giving me the link to an article that points out a very important possible contributor to gum disease, namely the cooking of your gums with hot drinks. We must be nice to our gums. I wonder how many people swish boiling water through their teeth repeatedly throughout every day as I have done rarely with hot soups?

Tom

Anonymous said...

hey tom, thanks for all the info. i have a question, as i am really trying to get on top of my condition. i have red swollen gums around the top from 6 teeth and am pretty sure i have medium stage periodontitis. my question is about dental cleaning. i havent been to the dentist in 9 years. seems like a Deep Cleaning would be necessary to remove hardened rock-like plaque formations before i can expect the home-care to be effective. i feel like the little jags of hardened material that are just barely under the gumline are causing it to stay red and irritated. did you have this as part of your condition?

Anonymous said...

hey tom, thanks for all the info. i have a question, as i am really trying to get on top of my condition. i have red swollen gums around the top from 6 teeth and am pretty sure i have medium stage periodontitis. my question is about dental cleaning. i havent been to the dentist in 9 years. seems like a Deep Cleaning would be necessary to remove hardened rock-like plaque formations before i can expect the home-care to be effective. i feel like the little jags of hardened material that are just barely under the gumline are causing it to stay red and irritated. did you have this as part of your condition?

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Well, I've never gone more than a year or two between dentist visits. Normally I have visited at least once per year. So my buildups have never become that bad. I do think you should visit the dentist and get the cleanings you need every 6 months for a while if you really want to keep your teeth. Be sure you ask for a copy of your examination chart.

Obviously, if I were you, I would quit any bad habits like smoking and soda pop, get that professional cleaning, and start a faithful nightly cleaning/fasting program immediately. Then I would start studying fasting (Shelton, Goldhamer, Gingras, Natural Hygiene), do a couple of 2 or 3 day fasts, and prepare to start a several day fast in the spring of 2015 if you are not happy with your progress by then.

RachedHayek said...

So Tom u only used water and a toothbrush to brush ur teeth while reversing ur receding gums?

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Yes. But that was only part of the success. I used a sonic brush, I followed brushing with a water pik, I swished throughout the day, and I fasted 12 days once and then carefully every night after cleaning.

Anonymous said...

yeah whatever mate....i would have something tangible to say however proving i was not a robot proved painstaking trying to decipher distorted words and i lost interest...

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Hey, I'm sorry about that frustration. I'll see if I can do anything to remove that without getting deluged by spammers. Best wishes.

Jen Smith said...

Hi again, just to share another success story, a year ago I found out I had receding gums (over 6-7 mm in places) and today I've been told that all are under 3 now and I should be discharged from the periodontist in 3 months. This sure has been really helpful for info about healing gums (I've also been looking at Louise Hay's ideas on gum recession as we'll as using affirmations alongside). Aware of continuing vigilance but pleased with the result today and wanted to share my progress. Thanks for your help Tom. :)

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Thanks for the follow-up, Jen, and congratulations!

Anonymous said...

But gum recession and gum pockets are not the same thing. Gum pickets can be corrected. Gum recession can only be corrected via surgery.

Thomas Gail Haws said...

I can't confirm the significance of what you said. a) Measurement of pocket depth is a method of diagnosing gum disease. b) Gum recession is a part of gum disease. They are indeed not identical terms. They are related terms.

Ahtayaa said...

thank you so much for all your sharing... in a sea of fear you shine a light in the darkness and I'm very, very grateful.... Preparing for my water fast with watermelon and papaya :)

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Thanks for the kind words, and best wishes to you. Watermelon and papaya sound like nice preparation as well as a nice way to end your fast.

Ahtayaa said...

thanks, I thought the same :)

Miss Dreadluck said...

I like this blog. :-). I went through a period of time where I was not taking good care of my body. I am now making efforts toward recovery. I have many new habits to learn, but I am on my way to health, both oral, and otherwise. Your words are encouraging, and the methods seem simple, and effective.

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Thanks.

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