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.  Temporarily or occasionally 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.

2015 experiment: I am very reluctant to recommend particular businesses or professionals.  But in the course of talking with readers over the years, two professionals have piqued my interest.  Let me wind up this list by suggesting that you look into Dr. Robert Nara (Dental Self-sufficiency) and Dr. Mark Manhart (Calcium Therapy) and share your experience with me.  You can Google both of them.


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.

Unknown 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: that made a lot of sense too - I thought I'd post it here in case it was useful to others.


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?

Unknown 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...


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?


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.

Unknown 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.

Anonymous 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...


Anonymous said...

You're a gum inspiration Tom. When you say that your gum pockets were reversed, does that now mean you have perfect normal gums with no signs of gum pockets? I currently have invisalign, I went to the ortho and they purposefully pushed down my gums at my front lower teeth, when I expressed my concern and upset, they said it was part of their "big plan" and they would grow back. I went to the dentist for a clean and asked her about it, she didn't believe me that the ortho would have done it and told me they wouldn't grow back. I have 1x5mm, 1x3-4mm and 1x1-2mm. Because I have invisalign saliva can't get in and plaque grows like nobody's business. I have a clean booked for March to clean all the subsequent plaque out, I didn't have any plaque in my mouth before they hacked my gums away. It looks so horrible. When I came across your blog, I was excited! I have ordered a Waterpik and Philips Sonicare toothbrush in preparation for maximum gum regrowth after my clean. I'm going to order GSE and I'm doing oil pulling every day. What got me the most pumped is how you described when your gums were growing back as "gum lumps", I have them!!!!!!!!! but the plaque is in the way, so I think they're trying to push past, but the plaque is stopping them, hence my excitement about my March clean. My invisalign treatment ends in August and then braces for a few months, so this time next year, I plan on being back on here saying boasting my total gum regrowth. Thanks for the awesome ideas. Krystal :)

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Krystal, all I can tell you for certain is that I had 7mm pockets, and now the dentist says I have no problems, and they don't even measure my pockets any more. I fasted for 12 days, then faithfully sonic-brushed, waterpiked, nightly fasted, and rinsed after food every day for about 2 years.

Thomas Gail Haws said...

p.s. I still sonic-brush, waterpik, and fast nightly plus after-food rinsing.

chrysanthemum said...

I am so happy that I found your site; your meditative rituals have elevated my new habits into a very calming routine. I have medium-level perio, which I've been working on w Co-q 10 supplements, Perio-Wasg and perio-Brite toothpaste (from health-food store), vitamin C, and lots of water. In a month's time, my gums are now nice and pink...hopefully the exposed root behind my right incisor will get better as well. I will start swishing and attempt a fasting ritual. Thanks again for sharing your wisdom!

Thomas Gail Haws said...

I love your invoking that word: rituals. They are so effective especially when implemented with awareness. And they are effective beyond our awareness. I'm glad you added your insight to this post.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tom. Love your post. Just wondering is it ok to use bleach with braces.

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Sorry, I don't know the answer to that.

Anonymous said...

I was diagnosed w gum recession a few weeks ago and told to see a periodontist for gum surgery. I firmly believe gum. Tissue can heal and find this blog so wonderfully hopefull. Anything to avoid mouth surgery. Thanks

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Yes. If you are sure you are going to change your home care habits, please put off the surgery for a few months while you heal your gums.

Unknown said...

Hello Thomas Gail Haws!
Tyanks so much for all these information. I am gonna write everything down, my gums are having a hard time and I think it is related to my ulcerative colitis which I am beating without any medication and I can tell you that doctors are skeptical with this.
I have question : do you use regular toothpaste?
I don't want to use toothpaste and want to make my own but I am worried to do something wrong. And if I don't use toothpaste I still want to have an okay breath!
Thanks again!

Unknown said...

I just wrote an answer I wonder if it worked

Unknown said...

Hello, thanks so much for your blog.
I am gonna give it a try cause at my young age I am already having this problem. It is probably caused by the ulcerative colitis which I am bering without anymore medication. So I really believe in healing our bodies by loving ourselves and treating it right.

I have a question : do you use regular toothpaste? I wanna get rig of toothpaste but I am scared to make a mistake if I try to make my own or have a bad breath;)

Is it important to add that the hygienist want me to go every 3 months to get my teeth cleaned? I find it is too much. Lately I bought a water pick and an electric toothbrush . I find my teeth cleaner but I also find the electric toothbrush can hurt the gums. I am worried that it would make the recession worse.

Thanks go your advice!

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Martha, I do not use toothpaste at all. The key to keeping my breath clean seems to be swishing and a good night cleaning with a brush and an irrigator. When I feel my breath is not quite as clean as it should be, I rinse for a few minutes, a few times, with water.

I am single at this time. If I had a lover, I probably would also use mouthwash or gum. :-D

If after a week or two the electric toothbrush is still hurting the gums, you may want to show your hygienist how you are brushing and ask for advice.


Unknown said...


Thomas Gail Haws said...

Hi, Lynn.

Possible elements of why I don't use toothpaste:

1. I am lazy.
2. I am simple.
3. I am to some extent opposed to industrial concoctions.
4. I do not like the foaming, to be honest.
5. I fell out of the habit.
6. I want connection with the smells of my mouth.
7. Sometimes I brush away from a sink, and rinsing is easier without toothpaste. I can swallow if necessary.

Thanks for asking the question. Great thought question!


Unknown said...

Anonymous said...

Hi Tom, thank you for your blog and your advice! I love that I found your posts through googling alternative treatment for gum pockets, and find myself reinspired to think about fasting as a result. I was told recently that I have deep (9-10mm! yikes!) pockets around my three wisdom teeth. I do not want conventional dental treatment if possible but feel a bit anxious about choosing to go my own way as I think I have an active infection in one gum pocket- it is sore every night in particular despite salt rinses, applying neem/ clove oil to area and only eating at meal times. Wondered if you might be able to guide me to feel less fearful!? Are dental infections more difficult for the body to overcome than other infections without external help? I have ordered calcium therapy materials which I am awaiting and relented to use chlorohexidine last night. I did a mini 30 hour fast recently but felt weak rather than invigorated, perhaps the benefits take a longer fast to manifest though I realise. Thank you for this discussion on gum health on your blog and sense of hope!

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Hi. 9-10 sounds deep!

A lot of people have trouble/distress in the first 2-3 days of fasting due to detoxification. The general solution to this is to repeat the 1-3 day fasting periodically until the detoxification response is less. It's safe to fast 30 hours once per week as long as you have the weight and energy. Don't forget that you need to drink a ton of water (the Natural Hygienists--the Herbert Shelton tradition--say to use distilled water), and you should ideally rest. I'm not sure whether you can fast for a long time or how soon you will be ready to do it, but I am sure that would weaken or stop your infection.

I assume you are fasting nightly and rinsing like wild after every meal. As a last resort, you could try antibiotics, I guess, though I am deeply concerned about our global abuse of them.

Anonymous said...

Yes scarily deep ;-/ Although my dentist said that I don't technically have periodontal disease as it only affects my wisdom teeth which are notorious for pockets (?!). Thank you for your reply, I didn't mean to post without leaving my name but forgot to include it. I am also inclined not to use antibiotics for many reasons. I am fasting nightly and rinsing after meals and itching to fast again although I am a long term vegan and don't carry any (or much) excess weight. I did read up on fasting following your references- thank you again for this!


inspires me to try a 3-day fast! Not sure I could do longer, but does the capacity for fasting build?

Thomas Gail Haws said...

In the sense of detoxification, every time you fast it becomes easier and less of a cleanse. And of course you become more experienced. Repetition and water seem to be the cure for all woes in short fasts of 1 to 3 days. It's true that a three-day fast is a significant experience.

I rarely eat animal products, and I weigh 155 pounds @ 72 inches tall. So I understand about the need not to fast too often.

There are some other thoughts I've had for you since yesterday. First, I wondered whether you have been able to get a Waterpik. They are very powerful for cleaning deep into teeth and flushing away bacteria and food. Second, I wondered if you have been able to discover all of your food sensitivities. For example, I discovered after long experimentation that I am sensitive to wheat and oranges. I get mucus and acne easier when I eat my toxic foods. I got some good tips or hints from the genotype diet book. Third, I wondered about sleep. Fourth, I wondered whether you might I'll be damaging your gums with something like coffee or hot soup.

In general, it sounds like your gums are in pretty good shape. Taking your general health and your life is a whole into account, do you think there might be a missing component that could be preventing you from reducing the depth of those pockets? Or do you just need to make sure you're doing your tooth care without fail?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your thoughts. I am looking forward to fasting in the new year + particularly interested in the suggestion that it may help reset gut bacteria, and the body's ecosystem (I had a 6 month spell of taking several courses of antibiotics about a decade ago in my twenties). I eat a mostly whole foods vegan diet and have not considered food sensitivities, but will do now, thank you.

Also hoping to get a waterpik soon! My feeling is the pockets are deep because of the wisdom teeth being so difficult to clean/ reach, and difficult to reverse because it's hard to keep food out? Unsure. Perhaps they need dental treatment which I am unwilling to undergo! Have little faith in dental procedures, at least in their being in our long term interest :-) Am enjoying using an ionic toothbrush now- without toothpaste- my mouth feels clean all the time (with the rinsing after food too suggestion you gave- something my grandparents always did but didn't occur to me to do).

many thanks! bani

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Great thoughts, Bani. The Waterpik is amazing. I think you will really like it. I think it will make the difference for your wisdom teeth.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tom. Just to say I brushed my teeth with a neem stick this evening! Really wonderful! :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your experience how you reduced receeding gums.

I suffer from terrible receeding gums although my oral hygiene is not bad and the gums have a pink and healthy color. I've always had very good oral hygiene with barely any plaque (none) yet my gums started receeding and only got worse.

Once when I worked in Asia a very good dentist with a great reputation told me receeding gums are actually caused by high-acidic food and drink intake. I think he could be right as I indeed tend to have a habit of more high acid intake of food and drink than alkaline intake although I am more or less vegetarian.

Another cause I am wondering about is whether conditions of the kidneys and spleen can effect the teeth. My gums started receeding really bad after I was diagnosed with kidney and spleen problems which I got from infections in the third world (malaria and monsoon related hepatitis). I also started developing plaque at the same time which I never had before.

I want my gums and healthy teeth back... I am now going on vegetable juice fasts to see if this will help with both the receeding gums and the kidney/spleen issues I have.

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Do you think you have an infection that is causing your gum recession?

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hi, I am 18 and in the last few days my gums have suddenly become very red and very very sore and my gums have started receeding, also I have two strange red and sore marks on my tongue also when I brush I am nearly crying with pain and they bleed like there is no tomorrow. I don't know what to do and I'm very worried and I could really do with your advice

Thomas Gail Haws said...

I am guessing that you have either an infection or an allergic/toxic reaction to something. Did you eat, touch, or breath something out of the ordinary this week? Did you have a stressful week or month and miss sleep? Could you have caught a disease?

When you are super worried is the best time to fast on water for healing. You may want to read my articles about fasting ( or go to Fasting is for everybody at some time or another.

Let me know your answers to my questions. Ponder. Remember. Discuss. Record.

Anonymous said...

There's nothing that I can think of other than I had a sorr throat around the same time, could that have spread and caused it?

Thomas Gail Haws said...

It's great that you remembered about the sore throat. I definitely think that the sore throat is another symptom of the same infection, and it sounds like you definitely are going through a general immunity challenge for some reason. Something has weakened your defenses, and infection is raging in your body.

There are many possible causes. You could have run across a new microorganism you aren't prepared to handle. You could have developed a sensitivity to something that was bad for you all along that you have been eating.

On the bright side, these times of deep crisis are the best times to start habits that will be a blessing throughout your whole life. For example, if you start rinsing and swishing with water throughout the day and drinking lots of water all the time at a gentle temperature, it will bless you your whole life. Learning that you can fast, and actually resting and fasting for a few days or longer on nothing but pure water will bless you your entire life and in many cases can put a quick halt to this infection. Learning about the proper care of your microbiome through diet and probiotics when necessary will make a big difference. And discovering any lurking food sensitivities you have will serve you well.

My immediate suggestion to you is to take a couple or more sick days and stay in bed eating nothing at all and drinking and swishing lots of plain water or distilled water. As long as you fast no more than 2 or 3 days, you don't need to really know a lot about what you are doing.

Keep your eye out for symptoms of infection and possible causes in the future. Acne, mouth sores, and sore throat are a few examples of symptoms.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, I will take all this on board and hopefully whatever this is will pass soon and I will try fasting

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Best wishes in both healing now (water, rest, fasting, probiotics) and figuring out for the future the cause (food toxicity/sensitivity or deficiency, antibiotics, stress, burning the candle at both ends, environment, or an unusual contagion).

Anonymous said...


I love this. Also this:


although would be interested to read your explanation of why you think this is the case?


Thomas Gail Haws said...

Bani, I am sorry I don't understand your nice comment. Can you try again?

Anonymous said...

I was quoting from your comments! Not sure why they didnt appear:

I love this: "On the bright side, these times of deep crisis are the best times to start habits that will be a blessing throughout your whole life."
Also this: "and actually resting and fasting for a few days or longer on nothing but pure water will bless you your entire life and in many cases can put a quick halt to this infection."

although would be interested to read your explanation of why you think this is the case? How does it bless your life?

Thomas Gail Haws said...

-Knowing by experience that you (I) can go a few days or weeks without food is incredibly liberating and empowering.

-There are unmatched insights and feelings of compassion etc that come when you fast.

-The change of perspective toward food when you fast even a few days can be life-changing.

-You will have to discover!

DJ Rosa Elena said...

Hello Tom. I been through 3 deep cleanings and all the shots have been painful. I have had red, swollen gums for a few years (gum issues are genetic in my family). I had a wisdom tooth removed recently and my entire mouth still feels sore and sensitive. My gums bleed at random and I use salt water rinserinse to calm it down. I use a waterpik but my gums are still in bad shape. Some pockets are deep. How does water fasting work? I am 25 and weight 116 pounds. I am tired of the pain and I need to stop this asap. Thank you.

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Water fasting is pretty simple, but lots of info is helpful. I suggest looking at Youtube videos on water fasting and the Natural Hygienists materials. I would make sure to try a few one day fasts and two to three day fasts to see how they make you and your gums feel.

I am assuming you have studied all the ten actions, and that you don't do anything damaging like smoking or drinking super hot drinks or soups. Given that, have you tried "Ninja" swishing all day long? Has your breath and the color of your gums improved at all since you studied this top ten list?

Thomas Gail Haws said...

p.s. I also have a lot of posts on water fasting under the Fasting label at the side of my blog here.

marydoesmurals said...

I have been urged by my dentist to have the root planing/scaling done as I have several pockets ranging from 3 mm to 7 mm. I am skeptical about this procedure since I have had it done before and here I am again. I have tried a few alternative treatments like gum packs and oil pulling ; this has resulted in nice pink gums but it has not reversed the pockets. My question is should I have the root planing done and then follow your protocol? Or should I Just follow your protocol? Most dentists don't believe you can reverse gum disease. They (dentist snd hygienist)are getting frustrated with me because I won't submit to procedure. I feel pressured when I go for my six month check ups.

Thomas Gail Haws said...

That's a tough situation. Of course I had 7mm deep pockets. The problem is that I don't know how much my 12-day fast contributed to my recovery. I am passionately supportive of using a Waterpik, and you might try that for 6 months.

But everything else aside, here I am. No gum disease. All I do is brush and Waterpik nightly. I hope you will keep me informed of your progress.

marydoesmurals said...

After reading ALL of your posts and comments I've decided to ask for periodontal cleanings instead of the root planing procedure. I already have a water pik and will use your protocol to hopefully reverse the gum disease. Many thanks for all the information. Will be in touch!

Thomas Gail Haws said...

I think that is a good plan. If you get discouraged, come back and read my poss again for inspiration.

I wish that the comments on my gum disease posts were as inspiring as the comments on my hemorrhoid posts. But I guess it takes a little longer with gum disease :-D All I can do is offer you hope and tips. It would be really nice if you could come back after a year or two and do a guest post once your disease is gone.

These days I hardly have any refined sugar or even honey. My only sweeteners are generally whole fruit or immediately pureed smoothies. I have given up wheat, which I determined to be an immunity killer for me. I never have midnight snacks. I generally fast 12 hours at night. I swish with water (water pulling :-D )always after eating anything. And I am near 100% faithful with my nightly sonic brush and Waterpik. Like I said, I am not sure how big a knockout blow my 12-day fast was my gum disease, but it did wipe out every last pimple on my body.

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Oops. " was to my gum disease..."

marydoesmurals said...

I appreciate your prompt reply. I will definitely post my comments as soon as I get any results. I follow a starch based /plant based diet( Dr. McDougall). I also fast at least 12 plus hours every night. I once fasted for 7 days but I do t know if I could do a longer fast now. I have not been as observant about keeping my teeth clean during the day but I will now start using my water pik and swishing with peroxide at night and I've also started swishing with water during the day. You said you don't use toothpaste and don't floss. If you did use toothpaste what would you recommend? I'm on the fence about not flossing. In the link for the periodontal self treatment guidelines they recommend antibiotics, iodine snd GSE. I'm guessing it's not required. I plan on alternating with the bleach and mouthwash. I was also going to look into Dr. Man harts calcium therapy depending on results I get from your protocol. I agree with you on keeping it simple.

Thomas Gail Haws said...

That all sounds really good. If you are like me, you probably aren't anxious to do another longer fast. It's hard to gain weight on a whole foods plant-based diet (At least for me).

marydoesmurals said...

Thomas, I just had a question on how you managed to have periodontal cleanings done without the root scaling procedure done beforehand. Everything I've read said that the root scaling procedure should come first. I just need some verbal ammo in case my dentist insists that they can't do the perio cleaning without the scaling. Thank you. I've been religious doing your protocol and fasting 18 to 19 hours at night. My teeth feel great! But I would like to schedule a perio cleaning ASAP.

Thomas Gail Haws said...

I'm encouraged to hear that your teeth feel great. I assume your gums also are looking pink.

Sorry it took so long to get back to you. I was checking with the dentist I had in 2010. According to their records, they did not do a root planing/scaling on me. And I was not going to a dentist regularly before that, so I am pretty sure that the April 6, 2010 visit was the beginning of my periodontal care. The lady I talked to today assumed I may have had a root scaling/planing before I started with them, but I did not have a dentist in the few years before them.

My teeth and gums never looked terribly bad (to me, at least), if that makes a difference.

After a few cleanings with them, seeing how much my condition had improved, I was dissatisfied that they were continuing to charge me for periodontal cleanings. So I changed dentists. And the new dentist never said a word about gum disease. When I asked him specifically about pockets and gum disease, he told me, "You are fine. You don't have any problems."

You might try to get a different dentist.

By the way, don't fast too long too often! :-D Fasting is great, and so is eating.

Unknown said...

Dear Thomas,

I have a deeply recessed gumline on a bottom, back molar. It's so recessed that it has reached the "looser" area of inner mouth skin that connects to the cheek.

It hurts SO bad. In fact, I have developed trigeminal neuralgia (TN: chronic facial nerve pain) originated from a nerve sore spot located on that recessed gum.

Here's the thing: I have great oral hygiene. No gum disease or cavities or bone loss. My recession is from clenching teeth and over brushing. Obviously, I'm changing my brushing technique, but I don't really have faith that my gums will grow back. After all, with such good oral hygiene, then why haven't my OTHER gums grown back from the teeny tiny recession that they have?

I'm really scared of what will continue to happen to my trigeminal neuralgia. Obviously, I can't have gum surgery at the site of the TN trigger point, because that will permanently worsen my facial nerve pain as soon as anyone stitches into that spot.

But I don't have any faith that my recessed pocket will grow back, because I haven't seen any other gums grow back, even though I have a healthy mouth.

Please help, please.


Thomas Gail Haws said...

Annie, I am really sorry to hear about the trouble you are having. If I understand correctly, you have a little bit of gum disease in general, and you have terrible trouble on a bottom, back molar. You think your recession in general (or just for that tooth) is due to clenching teeth and overbrushing.

Let's talk a bit.

1) You say you have great oral hygiene. Does that mean great effort and consistency or great result? If consistency, congratulations! Do your teeth maybe want you to take them swimming every night? Do you already use a Waterpik? Do you rinse (ninja swish) during the day after all meals and snacks? Could you possibly reduce your brushing to nightly after your last meal/snack? How about germicide once daily? Would it be a good idea to give that a try for a while? (I haven't used it regularly in a long time, but it may help).

2) It might be possible to end your clenching pretty quickly. Have you read "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle? It's not perfect, and I don't know if it is your style, but it worked for me. You might also try "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle, a bit different style. Those books don't mention the word "meditation", but they help you become more conscious or aware moment by moment, which could cause your clenching to fall by the wayside. Another possibility could be to learn about meditation from the likes of Jon Kabat-zinn, Jim Carrey (yeah, the comedian), your local meditation teacher, or another source that you like on the internet. I also recall getting a lot from something like this

Unknown said...

Hi Thomas,

Let me answer your questions!

About my great oral hygiene: I'd say my effort and consistency are about 70%, and my dentist says my gums and teeth are healthy. My dentist has also said the recession is from clenching and hard brushing. I never paid too much attention to the one receding gum, because it didn't used to hurt. I assumed I was doing well in my oral hygiene, so that's why I said it was great.

A WaterPik is part of what got me in trouble with that one gum. I used to WaterPik on too hard of a setting and the first spot the WaterPik would hit in my my mouth was the gum that's bad now. That spot was also always the first contact spot when my medium-bristled toothbrush would enter my mouth.

I brush once or twice a day, and I go through cycles where I floss everyday, but then other cycles where I only floss a couple of times a week. I prefer the rubber-tipped GUM cleaners to WaterPik. As with flossing, I sometimes use rubber tip daily (, but sometimes only a couple of times a week. That's what I mean by 70% consistency. The brushing happens, but it's the floss/rubbertip deep cleaning that wavers.

I don't ninja swish during the day, but I made day one of ninja swishing TODAY when I found your blog. I can commit to ninja swishing for sure. I learned today that even water hurts on that gum. I'm pretty sure it's gum pain, not tooth pain. I'm 99% sure.

I already do brush at least nightly, so I think I'm good there.

I use mouthwash daily. Is that the same thing as germicide?

Coincidentally, I started working on meditation yesterday and today to help the clenching.

If I add ninja swish and get more consistent about flossing and rubbertip, do you think my gums could grow back?

Another reason I'm certain they won't is because my folks ARE consistent with their teeth, and they both have recession that has NEVER grown back. They are lucky because they do not have pain, though.

I honestly don't care how this tooth looks. It's the pain that's killing me, and the fact that I KNOW it is triggering my Trigeminal Neuralgia. I guess I just don't see evidence that consistency will bring my gums back, because if that were the case, then my folks' gums would have grown back. Like I said, because of the TN, I CANNOT get a gum graft, because my TN will get inhumanly worse, and will likely paralyze my face and worsen the pain. But if this gum keeps receding, my TN will eventually cripple me anyway.

Despite all the signs pointing to doom, I can't help but find hope in your story. That's why I'm here begging for help.

What does it mean that my parents are consistent and their gums haven't grown back? What does that tell you about my prognosis? I've read that you can't do anything about the genetic recession, so I have the sinking feeling that if theirs don't grow, mine won't grow.


Thomas Gail Haws said...

Annie, I am really sorry to hear about your Trigeminal Neuralgia. Here are several thoughts on your gums:

I wouldn't rule out heredity as a factor, though inherited culture may also be a factor, especially since you indicate that BOTH parents have the gum issues (???). In my case, my family has dietary sensitivities that compromise my general immunity and aggravate all my infections if I eat wheat or too much sugar (even oranges!) Your family may have something that is undiscovered. You might have to identify all your symptoms and then try an elimination diet to identify if you have any triggering foods or environmental factors that aggravate those symptoms. Good science on your part can identify any such factors with enough patience and good record-keeping.

Is it possible there is something in the way your family eats or anything else that could foster gum problems? Have you discussed your difficulties with your parents? I assume there's no smoking or super-hot coffee, tea, or soups in your habits, though those (or something similar) would make the most sense as a link between both parents and you. You aren't dehydrated, are you?

In my very humble opinion, the key to oral hygiene is to maximize the percentage of *time* your gums are clean vs. dirty. The reason I hammer NIGHTLY hygiene is that it is the simplest way to leverage your clean time (and a good, deliberate nightly fast has other benefits) without too much abrasion and abuse of your teeth and gums.

I am going to beg you to figure out how to go back to the Waterpik on super low setting and use it faithfully every single night. Here's the deal. Based on my experience and every person I have heard from, the Waterpik is the biggest game changer other than faithful nightly cleanings. No matter what else you do to clean, when you irrigate with the Waterpik, more bits of food come out into the sink. And that is hard evidence. I am very lucky that when I bought my first Waterpik my dad (wise old dad) told me, "Remember it's an irrigator, not a sandblaster." And I have therefore never used it above 4. And I recommend 2 to 4. Please at least keep occasionally trying very gentle irrigation just to test the effectiveness of your other cleaning if nothing else.

Now, all that said, I am going to tell you that if you cannot bring yourself to use the Waterpik, you can probably get close to as good results using your GUM cleaners plus ninja swishing (think along the lines of oil pulling, very serious ninja action). Swish, spit (or swallow), repeat.

The right inspirational/spiritual teaching and practice, if you can find it, will alleviate your clenching. If your recent meditation undertaking resonates with you, there may be promise in it. The reason I liked "A New Earth" and "The Power of Now" is that they explained very well some core reasons I was not happy. In the end, not only was my mouth permanently relaxed and ajar, but I was no longer speeding, and I was generally early to my appointments!

But for the short term, do you think maybe you need to get a mouth guard that could alleviate the stress on that tooth?

I'd like to ask you more questions first:
-Have you made any observations of changes in your morning breath depending on your home care? What can you tell me about it?
-Have you made any observations of the color of your gums depending on your home care? What does the dentist say about the color of your gums? And those of your parents? What can you tell me about it?

With you in hope,

Unknown said...

Hi Thomas,

Let me go through your topics one by one:

My mom has one severely recessed gum by one tooth. She has another moderately recessed gum by another tooth. That's all. But she is clean, clean, clean and consistent, consistent, consistent. Never any regrowth. My dad has four badly recessed bottom gums due to crooked teeth that warped and receded the gums around them. He is also clean, clean, clean and consistent, consistent, consistent. No regrowth. I had some testing done to see If I have food sensitivities. Waiting for results back. Have never tried a serious elimination diet, partly because I have extenuating circumstances and can't.

Non-smoker. No boiling drinks. No booze. No drugs. I am eating a Paleo-ish diet and don't have a big sweet tooth. I'm not dehydrated. Water is my drink of choice.

I agree on this and am so far on day three of being awesome.

To be honest, I've always gotten better result with the GUM rubber tip cleaner, but I'm starting to wonder if maybe that actually also contributed to the recession. Tonight, I actually cleaned along with the gumlines with Q-tips and it worked awesome. It also stressed out the recessed gum less.

Even just a couple days of meditation and stretching has already helped my clenching lessen. I have a bite guard, but it needs to be adjusted.

When I clean real well, my morning breath is just a tad stale. But when I only clean halfway, then my morning breath feels tangy and my whole mouth feels coated with fuzz.
-My gums are now and have always been pink. Dentist says color my gums is healthy. Parents' gums look pink, too

The trigeminal neuralgia I deal with is actually trigeminal neuropathy. Imagine the recession on my gum as a very deep wound that went so far as to expose a nerve in the gum. Now, any contact with that spot on the gum causes severe facial tics and zapping pains. I mean ANY contact. Even rinsing with water. Even oil pulling. So you can see why I'm asking for a miracle.


Mary said...

After about three months of following your protocol...waiting at least 12 hours between eating at night till the next morning, brushing with a Philips Sonicare, and using the waterpik with 1/2 tsp of bleach, I do not eat in between meals, I brush as soon as I am done eating and try to swish as often as I remember... My pockets have gone from 6 and 7s to 4 and 5s. I'm so thrilled. I decided to do an extra cleaning this year - I'll be getting a regular cleaning every 4 months. I'm hoping that will speed up healing the 4 and 5 pockets even faster. The periodontist would not do a perio cleaning without performing the scaling and root planing first. He said the two cleanings are almost identical so I just opted for an extra regular cleaning. I'll let you know in four months if there is more progress.

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Mary, that is really great to hear. Congratulations.

Thomas Gail Haws said...


Since your gums are nice and pink and assuming you keep your morning breath good and find a way to clean less frequently (only once per day before your nighttime fast) and more gently, you may be doing about all you can do. My only suggestions are the following for you to at least consider:

-Look into Dr. Mark Manhart's calcium therapy.

-Consider experimenting with some slightly longer fasting to see how it makes you feel. A 24-hour (maybe monthly) to 72-hour (maybe once or a few times per year) fast is minimally disruptive if it works for you. I understand you have extenuating circumstances that prevent your doing an elimination diet, so fasting may also be out of the question. But it's a possibility and a potential avenue to a miracle.

More than anything else, you need REST and RELIEF without allowing infection to grow. I am thinking that you are not seriously infected based on all you have said. So I am thinking you mainly need rest. I would be very careful about touching your teeth and gums, especially in that area, more than once daily.

Sorry I can't help more. Please do stay in touch.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tom,

Ninja switching is basically rinsing with water for a few minutes, right?
Should I lightly brush my teeth every time after eating small snacks and meals or 2 to 3 times a day that is recommended? Thank you.

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Yeah, basically that is right. Ninja swishing means swishing like crazy all day long. In other words, every time you put food in your mouth, rinse a few mouthfuls or a couple of minutes. And every time you think you may need a breath freshener or a tooth rinsing, rinse again.

If you go through my exchange with Annie above, you will see why I don't suggest brushing and irrigating more than once nightly.

Let me know if you have more questions. And thanks for commenting!

Thomas Gail Haws said...

P.S. The e3xchange with Annie is just recently above.

Unknown said...

Hi Thomas,

Well, I have good news and back news. The good news is that I have zero infection anywhere in my mouth. I visited a perio and my gum health is top-notch, as is my tooth health. My gum recession is due to the position of my teeth. Basically, I have back teeth that are tilted at an angle that causes the roots to protrude against the gum, making the gums more prone to recession. I also have naturally thin gums and big teeth. My problems are structural, not hygiene-related.

Due to my neurological disorder, I may not be able to get a gum graft, because the risks mean that gum surgery might permanently worsen my facial tics. In that case, I'll just have to live with the gum pain until my gums erode enough that the teeth eventually will naturally loosen and fall out. It will be a horrible shame, because I'll be losing perfectly healthy teeth and suffering in pain due to a wild card medical situation. I could be looking at partial dentures before the age of 40 for what boils down to bad luck, as opposed to careless dental hygiene. My periodontist and neurologist will speak to each other to see if they think a gum graft is worth the risks

Gums don't grow back from this kind of erosion, like mountaintops don't. It's essentially amputated tissue that's disappeared over time in my case. Thanks so much for your help, though. Your advice is quite sound for people who are in a different situation from me!

All the best,

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Dear Annie,

I am sorry to hear your bad news. At least you have no infection. I had thought about asking you about a gum graft. I am glad you mentioned it.

Coincidentally, my teeth are big too. In my youth I had 5 teeth removed (all four of my first bicuspids/pre-molars and one of my lateral incisors) to make room. I never have yet had any orthodontic work. Has your dentist suggested orthodontics? I'm glad your professionals are going to consult jointly.

Unknown said...

Hi Tom,

Thanks for ur blogs. This one and the original page. I find myself coming on here to read the different stories whenever I get down and feel lonely about this problem only my wife knows about.

Despite the pain in my molars and evidence my teeth were in motion (i simply thought it was my wisdom tooth coming through) it was my wife who alerted me to a serious problem i might be having.

She said i had very serious bad breath so i did what everyone that was told that would do brush like crazy n go through tons of mouthwash. Made no difference.

So i went to the dentist who did some plaque removal and told me to come back in 6 months. The smelly mouth still wasnt shifting.

A good friend at work also mentioned i had a mouth odour problem. I couldn't understand what was going on. As i was brushing and using mouthwash twice daily.

I then decided to floss one day and my sink became full of blood. I went back to the dentist who took x rays told me i had perio and referred me to a specialist.

At my meeting with the specialist i was told i had pockets ranging from 5mm to 9mm and 1 12mm around a molar and he wanted to pull about 5 teeth.

I sunk into a deep depression at that moment 24th November 2016.

However something inside me told me to get a 2nd opinion do some more research and thats how ive found your blog.

Since that day i stopped smoking, started oil pulling daily and taking vitamin c, vitamin d and calcium supplements. Apart from Christmas i have generally stayed away from acidic drinks, chocolate (we dont say candy in the UK) and have tried to reduce my Carbohydrate intake.

The halitosis has disappeared, the bleeding gums are almost gone and happens just occasionally. The pain in my back molars have reduced considerably and at my last dental check up this week i was told my gums are looking fine.

However i still have the issue of receeding gums which makes about 4/5 teeth highly sensitive. I have one tooth that is badly receeded and pus keeps coming from it (antibiotics and OraMD have not healed it)

I will be getting a waterpik in a few days time so will start that regimen soon. In the meantime ive started swishing after every calorific intake and trying to have my last meal at 8pm latest.

I have developed a big mistrust of dentists because none of the steps i have taken to battle this issue came from them. All they said was brush n floss. Nothing was said about diet,vitamins,swishing etc they just wanted to pull my teeth.

Do you think scaling and root planning helps or should i just plan for a fast to cure the pus in my gums and the occasional mouth ulcers i still get.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Once again thanks for the blog its been keeping me going the last few months

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Pablo, I am so glad you wrote. I bet you are thankful for the couple of people who were brave enough to tell you about your gum disease breath.

Huge congratulations on the changes you are making! I think with all those changes it may be a good time to be patient and see how everything looks in six months to a year after rinsing and doing your nightly cleanings including the Waterpik.

Fasting could be helpful for the pus and mouth sores. You might try some short fasting periodically. But there may also be something you are eating that isn't agreeing with you. It's hard to tell, and your next step depends a lot on your current life situation and energy/enthusiasm.

My biggest suggestion for now would be that you keep rinsing like crazy with water and that you reduce your heavy cleanings (brush and Waterpik) to once nightly. I personally also like to have the dentist clean my teeth twice yearly.

I hope you will let me know how it goes when summer has passed and you have been to the dentist again.

Unknown said...

Hi Thomas!

Ironically, I have had orthodontic work done, and the angle at which the teeth were positioned by the braces is what helped speed up the recession. Although, because of the natural large sizeof my teeth and natural thinner of my gums, I'd probably have recession anyway.

I'm terrified to have a gum graft, because I am not eligible to have donor tissue taken from my own mouth, and EVERYTHING I've researched says that outside donor tissues fail after 4-5 years. Why do it in the first place if it's just going to recede back after 4-5 years?

My other choice is to just wait until there's so much recession that the tooth loosens so much that they HAVE to pull it out. But that's even more scary because tooth extraction can cause permanent nerve damage and chronic nerve pain in the gums, teeth, and face.

I'm SO upset and SO scared, especially since this gum recession is due to a structural reason beyond my control. I just want my gums to miraculously grow back, so that I don't have to face any surgery, any tooth extraction, or any risks of damage that come with those procedures.

I was already the victim of serious medical malpractice many years ago, and all medical procedures now terrify me. TERROR. My options are terrible: gum graft that will eventually recede again, or eventual tooth extraction that carries surprisingly high risk of nerve damage and chronic pain. All I do is cry and worry.

Best and thanks,

Unknown said...

Thanx Tom i will definately get back to you

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Hi again, Annie. I thought I had published and answered all your questions. But I can't find the word "ironically" higher up in the comments, so I guess your latest post was never addressed.

On the bright side, my teeth are large too, and I had 5 of them removed (all four first premolars and a lateral incisor) when I was around 15-20 years old. Maybe having some of yours removed won't be a really bad thing for you. Maybe it will help.


Amanda C said...

Dear Annie,

I had a very similar issue to you. A cracked and badly filled tooth which should have been removed 10 years ago, was causing trigeminal neuralgia and affecting my optic nerve and sinus on the affected side. It was a right upper molar. I was suffering from 'short spins' of dizziness for years, which doctors thought was BPV. I noticed that my eyesight diminished considerably in my right eye, and the optician suggested that I see a specialist because my optic nerve was swollen; for a few scary weeks there was talk of a suspected brain tumour, but the specialist was able to rule that out, saying I had unspecified optic neuritis.

Eventually, the cracked tooth developed an abscess and my dentist, who was wonderful, insisted it be removed.

I was SO scared, as I had bad dental experiences in the past- but I can tell you, that the moment that tooth was out, I immediately felt better. I got my life back.

The trigeminal neuralgia and the dizziness went away; my vision improved, and I went from feeling terribly ill with no explanation that doctors could find, to feeling my life come back to me.

I did some research on Pubmed and found papers which said that trigeminal neuralgia and dizziness can be linked to dental problems. While I still had the neuralgia, I found that Vitamin B12 made all the difference. It has to be Meythlated B12, which can easily be found on Amazon. Even before my extraction, with B12 the dizziness and pain were managable, and I felt I had found a 'quick fix' which I could rely on. Each time the pain came back - I took a B12 under my tongue. So if that's something you haven't tried, it could be worth investigating.

Now I am still dealing with the perio issues, which run in my family. I live in France and a French dentist suggested they are aggravated by my overbite, as my gums are not receiving enough stimulation. He wants to give me orthodontic work and then a jaw operation....because he thinks that otherwise I will lose all my teeth!

None of the dentists I had in the UK or in Paris ever suggested such drastic (and expensive) treatment, so I am looking for other solutions - which is how I found this page!

I was terrified before the extraction and did all that I could to avoid it. I also worried about it making my nerve problems worse, but it had the opposite effect. I took good care of myself after the extraction, using salt water, and rest...and had no problems.

I have been fanatical about brushing my teeth after every meal or snack, but my UK hygienist said that I was in fact brushing too much and that was contributing to the erosion. I just bought a sonic toothbrush and a waterpik, so am excited to get started with this protocal.

Thanks to you all


Jachan said...

Hi Tom,
Very informative blog here, thank you! I'm left with a couple of questions, if you have a moment please?

1) When you refer to reversing gum recession, do you just mean pockets getting smaller, or that, once the pockets get smaller, the gum actually grows up to cover roots that have become exposed?

2) My dentist told me to avoid swishing or brushing after eating something like lemon juice, the idea being: "its so acidic, don't spread it around." This left me feeling a little stuck... what do you recommend? (I eat 1/4 lemon's worth of juice on salad daily, but don't eat any of the other common stainers)

3) I have a damaged(?) tooth that has gone gray (from some funky orthodontic work as a kid)- are there ways to lighten it up naturally? Same for 2 brown lines that recently appeared down the centers of 2 my front teeth ... my dentist says they are "greenstick" fractures, probably from a head injury I sustained years ago that are only showing now due to the staining.

4) Speaking of natural, are there natural ways to strengthen enamel?


Thomas Gail Haws said...

1) I believe that the gum (and maybe even the bone; see the videos of my gums) actually grows. But I have very little actual knowledge about the matter.

2) I am HIGHLY skeptical of this advice due to the nature of pH as a matter of concentration. I am sympathetic to the advice not to brush until after swishing because the acid may have weakened the enamel. But swishing actually dilutes the acid. I VERY STRONGLY advocate swishing with room temperature water after all eating. And I wager failing to swish actually leaves acid on your teeth longer.

3) I know nothing about this subject.

4) I know nothing about this subject.


Unknown said...

Hello Tom,

First thank you for the time you taken to help all of us.

I went to the doctor and he said that the gums on the canines have receedes and that I need grafting. Of course I do not want to do it so I went online and found this.

I have Colgate Omron that I use to brush my teeth (45* from up to down so I don't push bacteria in my gums) and a water pick. I only brush and use the water pick like 8 PM and then I eat at 9 AM.

I also do oil pulling once every 2-3 days with coconut, so you think I shall do it often than this (like 2 times a day)?

I am skinny so I can't really fast more than once a month for a day. And I am afraid a bit of doing it more than a day to not pass out or something at work (I do not have a phisical job).

I now received my hydrogen peroxide and I am not sure if I should swish in the morning or at night. I also got Listerine Original but it contains 27% alcohol I think and I am not sure if this is a good idea , what do you think? I got listerine because I want to do two days with peroxide and one with listerine to not use peroxide non stop. I am also thinking to swish with mouthwash in the morning more than before I go to sleep as the bacterias form during night time...

I try to swish with water every time I eat.

Is there anything else you recommend because I really want to try to see if they grow on the tooth again. At the moment is just a tiny bit of pink left and if I move the lip I can see the pink gum moving on my tooth. The doctor said that because it receeded so much the lip drags the gum even further down.

I was not concerned much about teeth because I always saw them great and never had problems so I did not notice if they were like this or they just receeded.

Kind Regards,

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Do you or the doctor have any idea why it receded? Do you have gum disease? Did you brush too much? Do you eat something that pushes them (like apples)?

Unknown said...

Because my teeth had plaque on them a little bit of grey he might had thought is from it and did not ask me anything like this.

I definitely do not have gum disease and I don't eat apples very often.

The only thing I can think is clinching my teeth during sleep. And I used to smoke and normal brushing maybe once to two times a day. I can't really think of anything else.

One other thing I want to ask is that I am not sure what toothpaste to use, I stoped using Fluoride and had been using "Splat Blackwood", Kingfisher baking soda and Himalaya Neen and Pomegranate.

Thomas Gail Haws said...

I don't use any toothpaste at all, and I don't brush more than once daily. If you do not have gum disease, my experience may not be helpful to you. It's important to determine why your gums have receded. Is there any way you can determine it? Do you have any hunches? Why do you think that clenching your teeth may be a culprit. Is there something about your teeth and lips that is so tight it presses your gums?

marydoesmurals said...

I've had success with your recommendations. I wanted to know if they could also help my husbands failing implant. He has an infection around the implant and he says it feels like it is loose. He has an appointment today. He feels like the dentist will recommend pulling and start all over again. I believe he has a bone graft in that implant as well.

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Hi, again, Mary. If infection is the culprit, the same steps may help, especially the Waterpik and fasting. What did the dentist say?

marydoesmurals said...

The dentist didn't say the implant was failing, just that they would have to redo it or give him a partial denture. My husband thinks it was an infection that may have started a year ago. He does swish with a prescription anti bacterial mouthwash but does not do the fast, waterpik etc. I'm trying to get him to come around but I don't know if he will follow the procedures. Don't know if he's waited too long to make a difference.

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Well, hope and pray for the best. Breath and gum color are the main indicators that the stuff I did/do might help or are helping.

Anonymous said...

How deep are your pockets now?

Thomas Gail Haws said...

The dentist no longer measures my pockets, because I have no more symptoms of gum disease. Yay!

I still clean every night with a sonic brush and an irrigator. And I still rinse thoroughly with water swishing every time I eat.

Unknown said...

Hi Tom, what foods do you eat out of curiosity ?

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Hi. My staples are
-berry, citrus, banana, carrot, ginger, date, etc smoothie with a spoonful of plain yogurt
-Over 50 vitamin including B12 (necessary for vegetarians)
-steel cut oatmeal with dates, raisins, apple, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice
-brown rice, pinto beans, corn tortillas, lentils, misc beans (garbanzo, white northern, etc)
-frozen stir fry veggie mixes
-garlic, onion, chile, herbs, and spices abundantly
-lately I have been buying mackerel, olives, and avocados to provide more fat etc.
Aside from my staples, I sometimes have treats like Taco Bell tostadas, frozen yogurt, chilaquiles, etc including meat sometimes. I don't really like meat much, but I will eat it if it's on the menu.
NO wheat at all.

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Above I meant a 50+ multi-vitamin.

Unknown said...

Hi Tom, I've been diagnosed with gum disease recently by a new dentist (my previous dentist didn't seem too concerned). Apparently I have bone loss in some areas and lots of pockets (no idea how deep yet). I've had to wait a few weeks for a deep cleaning but that is scheduled next week. I've found your story fascinating and have been doing the following:

>oil pulling and brushing in the morning.
>mouthwash around lunch time
>constantly swishing with water
>eating healthier
>fasting 12 hours each night
>water flossing each night before brushing (sometimes with mouthwash)

However some of my gums seem a bit more red today, do you think this could be due to putting some listerine in the water flosser the last 2 days? It burns like crazy on my tongue!!!

I've been thinking of trying Gengigel due to the tissue healing properties it contains. What are your thought on this please, do you think an actual anti bacterial mouthwash would be more beneficial?

Thanks., Heather

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Hi, Heather.

Congratulations on the new habits.

I don't think it's too unusual to have redness and bleeding in the first few days of brushing and flossing if you have neglected them before. I'd give yourself a week or so before being too concerned. Make sure you aren't running the irrigator on too high a setting. I have generally used about 4 (40%) power.

I haven't used toothpaste or mouthwash in recent years. But I believe the recommendations of researchers who say that antimicrobial treatments are helpful at first (see Antimicrobial Periodontal Therapy). I don't know about Gengigel or lots of mouthwash types. Listerine sure does hurt!!!

Jen said...

I am trying to heal my gums!  My fault, less care, stressful life situation.  Eventually went to a periodontist who wanted to cut gums etc - ran away in terror for two years and did nothing.  Now having laser surgery and deep cleaning by new hygienist.  Have been reading and reading.  Great to find this blog.  Have 7 mm pockets and ? split roots?  Hygienist wants me to go and have root procedure by periodontist.  So I am really really trying hard to avoid this.  I am 76 and trying to hang on to my teeth.  Originally was told needed at least 3 extractions.  
Now following your routine plus floss as nothing else gets lumps out of my teeth.  Have WaterPik, Sonicare toothbrust, Interdental brushes (TePe).  Like the floss that has a fluffy end bit - just use that fluffy part.  Water swishing as per your recommendation.  One thing I am doing is using disclosing tablets - I use them before cleaning and then remove every trace of the dye a couple of times a week.  Hygienist says I should use after cleaning to see what I miss......  I know my difficult areas so do my own thing.  Just wondered if anyone else might find these tablets useful.  I am in the UK.  With the ninja swishing plaque seems to be getting less.  Thank you for your blog.

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Thanks for the disclosing tablets tip. I hope your next exam shows your pockets closing.

Jen said...

I went yesterday for another visit to the hygienist.  She said my teeth were very clean.  She worked for about 80 minutes on my mouth - the second time around of deep cleaning.  She uses advanced air flow cleaning - seems to be water/air/bicarbonate mixture plus some sort of ultrasonic machine.  Then the Biolase Laser Therapy.  It is not pleasant, I am ultra sensitive being Asperger's and the anaesthetic does not work completely but it is not agony.  The hygienist said that all these sessions (about six) are because I chose to save my teeth.  They originally suggested three extractions and one root canal.  I had an abscess as well at the beginning.  The thought of false teeth or implants just did not seem something I could cope with.
At the end of this last session I was declared to be now on maintenance and to come back in three months which is great.  I need two fillings which I can get done locally and hopefully not a root canal.  My pockets are really deep - do not know exactly how deep but one goes down and twists between the roots of my teeth.  I was told that my smaller pockets were becoming less deep - but she has only just got to the bottom of the really deep pocket.
So on with the routine you describe plus some gentle flossing with that fluffy end I described before.  If I heal that big pocket it will be a miracle!   I am using something called Gengigel which is hyaluronic acid and xylitol to help healing after the treatment.  I am not sore today - just a bit tender.  Must go and WaterPik gently!!

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Wow! What an ordeal. Now for a miracle.