10 Easy Ways to Improve Gum Recession

Many people worry about receding gums, and it is sometimes associated with loss of jaw bone. Don’t underestimate these symptoms, because they warn that something is wrong with the health of your mouth. On the other hand, if you believe the universal answer to dental problems is to brush and floss, I hope you will consider a different approach.

Gum recession is usually a symptom of too much cleaning or unbalanced mouth chemistry, which is why additional brushing and flossing may make things worse, not better. Pellicle is a slick, slippery film that covers healthy teeth and gums to protect them from scratchy foods, strong spices, hot and cold, and other things that we eat or drink. Harsh products that strip the pellicle layer from your mouth can cause recession. Without the waxy coating of pellicle, teeth stain, become sensitive, and easily wear away.

Pellicle Damage

Acids from juices dissolve the pellicle layer, and periods of dryness may cause it to fray and frizzle. You may be pellicle-deficient if you sleep or breathe with your mouth open, which explains why gum recession is a frequent problem of older adults. Today young people experience recession, because damage is caused by allergy medications, acidity from energy and sports drinks, or the frequent use of whitening products.

Bleaching strips, peroxide or baking soda can remove pellicle and leave teeth sensitive at the gum line. Flossing and brushing only make the situation worse, eroding enamel and causing more recession. Teeth need protection, nurturing, and help to rebuild healthy pellicle. This involves correct mouth care and a good diet with adequate protein, Omega-3s and vitamin D.

Here are 10 tips to improve gum recession:

  1. Each morning, sip a drink made with 1 teaspoon of xylitol dissolved in water
  2. Take a flossing holiday
  3. Clean your teeth with the Complete Mouth Care System, twice daily
  4. Eat Zellies mints or gum after every meal, drink or snack (unless you finish the meal with cheese)
  5. Use Probiotics for 2-3 months to improve your digestive health
  6. Take supplements to benefit your immune system
  7. Include fermented organic dairy in your diet – yogurt, kafir or aged cheese
  8. Keep juices, teas and acidic drinks to meal times only
  9. Ensure lunch is nutritious – include green leafy vegetables to boost body alkalinity and improve the quality of after-lunch saliva
  10. Try not to eat or drink anything for a couple of hours after lunch each day – give your teeth time to interact with un-diluted, natural saliva

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Categories: Acidity, Common Problems, Natural Solutions, Plaque, Prevention, Recession, Sensitivity, Xylitol

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65 replies

  1. Hello Dr. Ellie, Do you have any thoughts on green drinks and beet juice? I am trying to replace black tea with more alkaline drinks and my saliva pH after these is quite alkaline, I am just wondering if the naturally occurring sugars (in beets in particular) would be counter productive. Water with xylitol is my usual drink these days but I am also keen to remineralize with the incorporation of nutrient dense foods as overnight my mouth becomes quite acidic.
    Thanks for all your wisdom! Looking forward to your next book!

    • Hi Anne, this is an interesting question. Alkaline drinks should be good for teeth – and I am not at all worried about the naturally occurring sugars. I am simply not sure if the phytates in the plant-based green ingredients cause any damage. My general feeling is that you will be fine – but if you notice your teeth get sensitive or loose their “shine” – consider protecting your teeth (after the drink) with some Zellies!

      • Thank you! Yes the phytates complicate things don’t they, I will incorporate xylitol after just in case. I’m also wondering about probiotics. Will swallowing capsules be helpful for gum health or do they need to come into contact with the mouth? I am thinking it would be good to swish them around the mouth but am uncertain about acidophilus (most probiotics contain lactobacillus acidophilus) as I have seen some association with high acidophilus levels in the mouth and cavities. How do you suggest using probiotics?

  2. Hi Dr. Ellie,

    For tip number 10 in the list above, would you not recommend a little xylitol after lunch *before* you take the couple of hour break?

    • You surely could! Or perhaps a cube of cheddar cheese ( very mineralizing) – or some Zellies……they are all good ideas!
      Thanks so much for your thoughts and your interest in Zellies.

      • Hi Dr.Ellie,
        when I look in the mirror I see that my teeth look longer in the gum area and aim nervous about it.My dental appointment is is 28 days.What can I do about this

        • My advice about gum recession will likely be different from your dentist, so be certain to ask if he/she has seen recession improve? I have.
          The most important thing is to stop damaging your gums – damage is usually from some kind of acidity or from bleaching. Here is an article that spells out the recommendations: LINK

  3. Hi Dr. Ellie! I love kiss your dentist goodbye, I have learned so much! Thanks for all you do. You mention several times in your book to avoid sorbitol because bacteria learn to process it as sugar. You also recommend act fluoride rinse and crest cavity protection. I noticed, however, that they both contain sorbitol. Is this a change in their ingredients since you have written the book? Are they acceptable to use with sorbitol? I also noticed that my travel size of original crest cavity protection contains glycerin (something not found in the larger tubes) Any thoughts on this? Thanks for the help!

    • Thank you for your kind message. Sorbitol can be a problem when consumed – as happens when it is incorporated into candies or gum. If sorbitol is combined with xylitol in chewing gum (like Trident or Orbit) studies show that it can energize plaque bacteria and that it slows re-mineralization ( even though the gum is labelled “sugarless”). They say it takes 2 or 3 sticks of gum to provide enough sorbitol to energize plaque, so this warning applies mostly to people who chew a lot of “sugarless” gum each day.
      In mouth rinses the amount of sorbitol does not pose problems. Of course I wish all the products were sweetened with xylitol, but it’s too expensive for this to happen!
      I did not notice glycerin in the travel-size crest ……ugh! Zellies may have to start making toothpaste!

      • Hello! Just to clarify, is it that 2 or 3 sticks of Orbit or Trident chewing gum would be bad if they were all consumed after one meal, say, or is it still bad if they were consumed over the course of 1 day?

  4. thank you so much for the information… i have gum erosion and vitamin d has helped some i thought the cause was peroxide now i know it is true… thanks a million

  5. Dr. Dr. Ellie,
    I’ve followed the whole program for several months. I went into it with some gum recession, I think from brushing too hard, but with no sensitivity or gum disease that I’m aware of. Now, the spaces between my teeth and where the gums receded have turned dark. What could be happening?
    Dave

    • It’s hard to say without a picture – but it could likely be one of the following two things.

      First time users of this system often start with high levels of plaque in their mouth. These germs are gradually eradicated over the first 6 months. If the sticky plaque is attached to the root cement of the teeth, the “dead plaque” can remain attached. This dead plaque appears as a dark line around the gums, exactly where the teeth and gums meet. This dead plaque is nothing to worry about – and it will get cleaned away at your next dental cleaning appointment. The dentist will usually comment how great your gums look – and this stain is often mis-diagnosed as tea or coffee staining.

      Other stains form on teeth when people switch quickly from using a baking soda product to the Complete Mouth Care System. The stain can even form after a dental cleaning, if the dentist office uses baking soda during the cleaning. If you want to switch from using baking soda to my system – we suggest you make the transition slowly. Start with xylitol and Crest Cavity Protection paste only for the first two weeks. Next add the Closys step for a week, and finally add the Listerine and ACT ( add these together). By introducing the Complete System slowly it appears you can prevent this staining completely.

      I don’t fully understand why this stain occurs – and only with a few select people. Dental text books talk about how some people have chromogenic bacteria ( technically bacteria that are harmless, but they create a colored film on teeth). What we discovered is that baking soda appears to disable a natural protection that normally repels these stain-forming bacteria. Then, when you stop using baking soda, the stain forms. You can avoid this stain by allowing Crest and xylitol to work together. Its likely that xylitol and Crest are able to reduce plaque adhesion and limit all co-adhesive bacteria while ( at the same time) re-establishing the natural film that repels chromogenic bacteria.

      We have successfully used the step approach for a number of people. These patients loved the results of the system but they were upset with the staining – often within days of a dental cleaning. We figured that the dentist offices were using baking soda as a part of their polishing process.

      I’d be interested to know what you think your stain is from.
      We’d love to hear the outcome when you next go for a dental cleaning! If you don’t want to wait for a dental cleaning – some people have used oil pulling with coconut oil for several months to remove this stain. Let me know if you’d like more information about oil pulling.

      • Dear Dr. Ellie,
        It’s good of you to respond. Thanks. I imagined the stain might be from the dyes in the ACT, but I don’t really know. I’m relieved to hear from you that it’s likely nothing serious. I would like to hear what you have to say about oil pulling. I’ve read on the internet some suggestions that it’s good for gum recession. Also, I’ll let you know what happens next time I get my teeth cleaned.
        I appreciate your work, and I trust somebody who feels strongly about what they know but also freely admits what they don’t know!
        Dave Bellefeuille-Rice

  6. Hi Dr. Ellie, i was looking into the oil coconut oil pulling as an aid to remove stains from my teeth; they are minimal but can be a bit annoying. I had read in one of ur blogs that u were unsure of the coconut oil since it has lauric acid and u didnt know if this could be harmful for the teeth. I know my teeth are very week from many years of acid erosion and I am unsure if coconut oil would be a good idea. The stains don’t really bother that much (and wont if they stay just how they are) cause they are very light but I know my next dental is in november so am praying they stay put… But so far, my teeth are in their best shape since a very long long time. The zellies are flying like crazy for i use them after everything;snacks, coffee/cigarette brakes, meals plus in sipping water…

    • If Zellies system is working for you ( improving your teeth for the first time in many years) I don’t suggest making any changes! Keep doing what you are doing! Oil pulling may have benefits for people with ulcerative gingivitis ( an infectious and nasty gum disease) or someone with serious ( 7-9 mm) periodontal pockets who is not able ( or not prepared) to use my system of care. It’s good to hear about your oral health improvements and that you find Zellies so easy and effective!

  7. Hi, I started your system 3 weeks ago and am excited at the progress so far. I literally never have morning breath anymore-ever.

    I have a few questions. The first part is regarding Lupus. I have Lupus,a me whenever it’s active my gums get swollen and bleed more. I get me teeth cleaned every 4-6 months, and the lupus still destroys my teeth. 18 of my teeth have had root canals, and I’ve lost 6 of those and replaced them with implants. Will the zellies system control further damage? Or at least help it slow down?

    Second, my gums swell in a way I’ve never seen pictures of before. They don’t get red, and they’re not puffy. It’s like someone has taken a string and wrapped it around my teeth right under the gums, so only that top section is swollen-and its a lighter pink. Is that something I can eventually get the swelling down on? It’s been like that for years, and after a cleaning it doesn’t change.

    Finally, I had demineralization on my teeth after having braces on my teeth as a teen (I’m 38 now). For the first time ever those white spots are going away. Is that because the system remineralizes my teeth? And that’s good, right?

    Also, I work from home, would doing the system a 3rd time after lunch help? Or would that be overkill?

    Thank you again for the great system. My teeth feel as great as when they’ve just been cleaned-only every day now!

    • I don’t have a lot of experience with patients who have Lupus, but I do have a number of patients with other auto-immune problems. These folks have been amazed at the two-way improvements: their teeth have maintained and improved, and their body health appears to have somewhat stabilized. In many cases these conditions create exaggerated reactions to inflammation, so healthy gums and teeth are paramount. I think, in your case, you could try a third rinse system during the day – but maybe on alternate days ( and compare how your teeth feel). More than three times a day would be overkill – and not recommended.

      I have a number of questions for you – (are you taking probiotics, what is your diet like, do you have additional vitamins / anti-oxidants or digestive enzymes?) Good nutrition is essential for gum health, and this includes thinking about diet, digestive efficiency and digestive health. I am happy to offer you a bit more “one-on-one” and give you support to answer specific questions you may have. Perhaps you can contact me and then we can arrange for you to email a photo of your teeth and gums. If you are interested, please use the coaching request form ( but mention you wrote the blog question about Lupus) and let’s talk a bit more by email.

  8. thank doctors .i have gum recession problem from last 3 years.
    is any chance to cure it,or ?

    • Gum health is closely connected with nutrition, so “curing” recession is a more complicated.
      Begin with xylitol and the system of care I recommend – because it will ensure that there is no infection or plaque compounding the problem.

      In some cases it is a good idea to stop flossing – and concentrate more of stimulating gum circulation around the area with toothbrushing. The blood flowing through the gums will bring nutrients and cells to “fix” many gum problems naturally – but not all recession can be “cured” – especially if you have lost part of the tooth in this area.

  9. You mentioned earlier about chromogenic bacteria. I have developed this same bacteria after having work carried out by a biological dentist. My amalgam fillings were replaced with composite, my root canals extracted and at the same time the dentist referred me to a nutritionist and I went on a strict diet to detox the mercury. Just before I finished the treatment the back of my teeth formed thick white calculus. I have never had this occur before but the dentist said it can happen from free calcium after the detox. He then sent me to the hygienist at the same clinic to have it removed. After the clean, I developed this black line on my teeth where the gum line meets as well as in between my teeth. The hygienist polished with baking soda and I was advised to use this also at home mixed with a little water to make a paste. After 3 weeks, I returned to the dentist because the black marks occurred again. He said i just have to detox a little longer. My patience is wearing thin. It is very embarrassing as it looks like my teeth are decayed and I don’t brush them. I floss and brush after every meal to try and prevent this but nothing helps, it just keeps getting worse. I am desperate to get this fixed. I’ve never had this problem before. I used to have a really white smile and rarely needed a professional clean. I have had them professionally cleaned 3 times in the last 9 months and I’m concerned this will wear the enamel away. Now I’ve rang the dentist again but he won’t return my call. You mentioned how to prevent this bacteria but can you advise how I can get rid of it once it has formed. I have tried coconut oil. i take a probiotic daily as well as vitamin D3. Sorry for the long letter but I would really appreciate any advice.

    • I hear your frustration – and I would like to work with you on this problem – one step at a time.

      1.) Protect your teeth from acidity as much as possible, all day by using Zellies mints and gum after every meal, snack, or drink. ( IF you are drinking outside of meal times – only drink water, and add a half teaspoon of granular xylitol to this water). Try to stop drinking and eating for several hours every day – to give your teeth time to interact with your saliva ( afternoon is when your saliva is at its most useful). The reason to give your teeth a break from eating and drinking is to try and encourage a layer called Pellicle to form on your teeth to protect them from staining.

      2) Use ONLY Crest Cavity Protection toothpaste – ( put everything else you have been using away for now). [Make sure this is the Cavity Protection kind of paste and NOT any of the newer Pro-Health varieties] Clean your teeth for about two minutes twice a day (three times at most). After meals, you can rinse with water and eat Zellies gum, but don’t over-brush your teeth at this time. Use only Crest toothpaste for the next 21 days ( 3 weeks) and then you will step back into using Closys and the rest of the system we recommend.

      3) Take an effective digestive Probiotic (maybe try a different kind – I suggest Garden of Life Raw Probiotics for women/men) during this 3 week period. The idea is to let your natural mouth bacteria stabilize – and let a protective protein layer called Pellicle re-form over your teeth.( ensure you have enough protein in your diet – hard cheese is also helpful, if you eat cheese.)

      4) There is a toothbrush made by Phillips called the Sonicare Diamond. I have been experimenting with this brush ( it is the first battery operated brush that I have ever felt worthy of mention). It is an expensive brush – but in your circumstances I think you may want to consider it. I have used this brush myself for a short time, and now I am experimenting with clients who have experienced similar staining. This is not my official recommendation yet, but providing you use the correct toothpaste ( Crest Cavity Protection) it appears this brush is gentle on enamel and may have the ability to help remove staining.

      After the three week period using toothpaste only is over – would you be kind enough to get back to us? I am sure others would like to know how things are going. The goal for the 3 weeks is to stabilize your mouth -make it feel good and prevent any more staining – possibly notice improvements.

  10. I have suffered with bad breath for many years (about 13). I have had scaling and root planning twice. I was having my teeth cleaned every three months. Nothing cured me of the awful smell. I do suffer from acid reflux and have had to internal exams that show my esophagus and stomach is fine. I’m currently taking probiotics and protonix. I recently saw my dentist after a year ( I fell into a deep depression due to breath odor). She said my teeth were beautiful and I had little to no plaque on my teeth but my back teeth had pockets between 4 – 6. I’m so discouraged that no one can assist or cure me from this misery of bad breath. What do you suggest?

    • If you want a quick fix go to Walgreens (today) and purchase Closys Mouth Rinse and a tube of Crest Cavity Protection toothpaste.
      Use these, and you will enjoy improvement with your breath – but my suggestion is to start using the Zellies Complete Mouth Care System, ASAP!

      If you want to improve your oral health, get rid of bad breath, and end the pocketing issues – get onto the Zellies Complete Mouth Care System. You need to read and learn how to do this – but is not difficult. You will be amazed how clean and wonderful this system makes your mouth feel. Zellies cool mint mints will be a breath mint that gives you confidence while it works to change the bacteria in your mouth.

      Zellies works with probiotics – to help get rid of acid reflux, get rid of bad mouth odor, and promote healthy bacteria to look after your mouth.

      You may need want to sign up for our newsletter, read our websites, download our booklets, and buy new toothbrushes and Zellies mints and gum! If you need personal help we offer half hour consolations. Make sure you keep drinks to mealtimes and end every meal or snack with Zellies!

      We have helped many people overcome awful breath problems – which is usually caused by an imbalance of mouth bacteria. It’s important to wipe out the bad ones, but it is equally important to promote the healthy ones. Most of the remedies do not do this – which is why you need Zellies Complete System of Mouth Care!

  11. Hi,

    I’ve had chronic gingivtivitus for over 2 years now. I go for cleaning every 6 months and for some months after that (with good oral hygiene methods like brushing twice a day and using mouthwash) my gums remain healthy, but after like 5 months, they start swelling again. This is a cycle that keeps repeating itself. This time the doctor asked me if i sleep with an open mouth (because the swelling just doesnt go away)…i think i do but dont know whether its fully open or not when i sleep. She has suggested covering my mouth before sleeping this time around. How is an open mouth related to swollen gums?

    Also, i eat a lot of Extra chewing gum, like 2-4 strips/cubes per day. Some people say its healthy, some say its not..i use it to combat bad breath.

    Also, how much of coke/pepsi consumption is okay (say, per week)?

    Thanks,

    • My guess is that your gums are is desperate need of help. If you follow my advice and the system of mouth care that I recommend – it will help you – even if you breathe through your mouth at night. The only time breathing through your mouth at night becomes a problem is if you are using damaging oral care products – like rinsing with a mouth wash like Listerine – which is too acidic to be left on teeth at the end of the day. Check into the system that I recommend and you will be amazed at the improvements – plus you won’t have to cover your mouth at night!

      Also, regular and appropriate use of Zellies xylitol products will make all the difference to your breath. You will like the cool mint mints – they will not only mask your breath, but will improve your gum health at the same time. Keep coke/pepsi/ drinks of any kind to meal times and end the meal with Zellies mints. It is the acidity of these drinks that promotes harmful bacteria and gum disease. Zellies take away acidity and protect teeth.

      If you don’t like the taste of water – be encouraged! It appears that gum disease bacteria “dissolve’ in water when you drink it, they can make the water taste bad. Once you start using my system of care, these bacteria are eliminated, and you will probably find water tastes fine (and water is a much healthier drink for general health).

      • Yes, i do use listerine (less intense with zero alcohol) before sleeping at night. I brush before using it. I use Sensodyne Total Care toothpaste.
        I live in Saudi, and i havent found Zellies brand over here. Will Extra do?
        I will have to check for Closys. Whats the generic name for its ingredient if i cant find the brand?

        I dont mind drinking water, normally i dont take any drinks along with meals ( i drink water only after 30 mins so that the stomach doesnt bloat).

        Also, please tell me how does breathing through mouth affects gum health??

        Thanks

  12. All artificial sweeteners cause me immediate stomach upset and excessive gas. I do chew sugar free gum at times, not frequently. How can I use your system without ingesting the xylitol? I have gum recession due to bruxism. I wear a night guard which causes me to mouth breath at night. Six months ago when my gums became very sensitive my dentist told me to brush more, after every time I ate something. The gum recession has gotten worse. The sensitivity went away when I stopped using Crest Pro Health which by the way was also causing my lips to peal and bleed (that has also stopped). I have used ACT for many years. I am certain the gum recession is from my teeth shifting, bite problems and the bruxism but will this all lead to gum disease? I also noticed the sensitivity and gum recession got worse when the hygienist changed and my teeth weren’t being cleaned as well. I guess I’m asking how do I stop the gum recession when my bite is constantly shifting? The dentist has told me to have a periodontal deep cleaning even though I don’t have gum disease. I’m 65 and don’t want to and can’t afford bad teeth. I’ve always had good teeth until last year when the gum recession started. I appreciate comments.

    • It sounds as if your mouth health has become unbalanced over the past few years. My guess is that it may have begun with a course of antibiotics, a period of stress in your life, or even just because you started using a night guard – which dries your mouth as you are sleeping. The oral care products that you were using were not adequate to protect your teeth – and then it sounds as if Pro-Health finally upset everything ( and I am not surprised! We warn everyone NEVER to use this product.)

      I recommend Zellies Complete Mouth Care System for you because I am sure you will be happy with the results. You need the exact products – so maybe consider purchasing a kit to get you started from our website at http://www.Zellies.com. If you decide to go shopping yourself, be careful to get the exact ones and use them in the exact method we recommend. Closys is available in Walgreens. Our system is designed to help gums and teeth – and you should expect to feel improvements in a matter of a days. You may want to stop flossing around the area where you have recession.

      FYI – always avoid whitening, pastes for sensitive teeth, and baking soda ( which can make recession problems worse).

      I’d recommend Probiotics( let us know if you need more information about this) and definitely use Zellies mints and gum to protect your teeth from acidity after everything you eat or drink. Keep drinks to mealtimes as much as possible – especially if you like to drink citrus juice, soda drinks or iced tea – which are very harsh on mouth health.

      Zellies contain NO artificial sweeteners and are unlike any of the gum you have used in the past. You can start slowly with just one mint or one piece of gum after each meal. Your digestion will benefit and so will your teeth! I hope you give this a try – because only then will you understand why we promote this system of mouth care! Enjoy.

  13. I was looking around the web at information on receding gums and gum disease and ran across your article and website. You have provided some very sound advice here for dental patients suffering with gum recession hoping to reverse it before it gets too severe.

    • Hi Dr. Gover,
      Thank you for your message. I was amazed at a recent CAMBRA course to hear the well-respected lecturer say that recession is part of aging and it happens to everyone. I dispute this. I was also shocked to talk with a CAMBRA leader who appears unaware of gender differences in salivary pH.

      Fortunately the system of care that I recommend limits acidic damage and remineralizes teeth adequately to deal with the most severe problems of acidic saliva and dry mouth. It’s important to use good xylitol and Zellies have been formulated particularly for acidity and dry mouth problems. I believe everyone considering a course of orthodontics should start this program in advance and during the therapy – to avoid the white spots, tooth scars, and recession, that is currently accepted as “normal”.

  14. This is great information. I went to dentist today and discovered two teeth with medium gum recession and I’m in my 20’s. :( I’m really concerned and don’t want it to get worse. And I want to avoid at all cost the gum grafts. Is there anyway to reverse recession or just prevent it from getting worse? Thanks!!

    • Hi and thanks for your question. The first thing to do is try and figure out why this happened – have you been using baking soda, whitening products, drinking acidic drinks between meals? If you don’t see a reason here, maybe consider hormones, stress, or other things that may have made your mouth acidic or dry recently. My book Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye suggests and explains a laundry list of “risk factors” – better known as the reasons why teeth and gums have problems.

      Once you know “why” this happened, then you will be better able to stop any more damage in the future. I’d definitely get you on Zellies after every meal, snack or drink, and also the Complete Mouth Care System as the best way for you to care for your teeth in the morning and before bed at night. You may even want to take the ( radical) step of stopping any flossing in this area ( let me know if you need help with that concept!) Probiotics, good nutrition, fermented foods, reduce stress, get a good toothbrushing system that stimulates gum circulation etc…etc… Read some of the posts on this blog about gum health – you can reverse the problems, but it is even more important to stop future damage!

  15. Dr Ellie,
    I’ve been following your Complete Mouth Care System closely for about 4 months. I’m using xylitol mints after meals and snacks and very recently started drinking water with added xylitol. I’ve noticed a definite improvement in my teeth, but I’m concerned about the gradual appearance of small black triangles between some of my front teeth. I’m 65, do not have gum disease, and I don’t think I’m a clencher. According to my dental hygienist my pockets measure 1, 2, with a few 3s. I recently figured out how to stop night-time mouth breathing so this risk is no longer a problem. I’ve switched to using the softest brush heads on my electric toothbrush and have started using a child’s manual soft tooth brush for my front teeth. I attempt to floss very gently and have completely stopped flossing my front teeth. But so far I can’t see that these changes have slowed or stopped the recession. I just read where you say spinach, kale and tea can present a risk to gums. Do you recommend completely avoiding these foods or is it more a matter of frequency? Do you have any other suggestions for me? Thank you.

    • To prevent gum recession there are three things to consider.
      1. Control any Risk Factors of dry mouth and acidity – and it sounds as if you have done a good job on these. Keep acidic drinks and foods to meal times – particularly spinach, kale and fruits, citrus fruits and juices and raw veg smoothies. End every meal with Zellies mints or gum.
      2. Avoid damaging toothpaste and mouth rinses, especially those with baking soda or peroxide. ( You are already using the CMCS – so that is great).
      3. I’d suggest you stop flossing ( at least for a month) and start a brushing routine to bring the circulation to the gums in this area of recession. Brush the gums with enough pressure to give them the kind of massage you could give with your finger. I like the Mouth Watchers brushes we sell on our website. Get up on the gum tissues.

      You already eat well I am sure, so this will support your immune system. It is nutrients in your blood, plus immune cells, that will circulate to the gums and heal them. The gums have a venous blood system – so they need YOU to activate their circulation. I think you may have become a bit too timid. Use Closys for exactly one minute before brushing and then spit out. Use Crest Cavity Protection toothpaste on your brush get to work- all around your mouth on the inside and outside of your teeth – on the gums – above the teeth. Now wash the toothpaste off with Listerine and immediately wash the Listerine off with the ACT. I’d suggest using original flavor Listerine.

      Please let me know if this helps – and if not, let’s chat on the phone for a few minutes to go over ways to improve your immune system with probiotics, digestive enzymes etc. I’d begin with using a good toothbrush that we know has helped other people. The brush I recommend is available at Whole Foods Markets (if that is more convenient for you) or on our website. Here is a link.

      • Hi! I have a question about using a substitute for the Listerine. Im currently in the process of getting a dental implant and I was told to stay away from Listerine. Is there an alternative that I can use?

        • I wonder why they wanted you to avoid Listerine? Often the reason is that Listerine used alone will dry the mouth. Of course, in the Complete Mouth Care System the Listerine is washed away by the final rinse with ACT.
          If you really cannot use the Listerine – my suggestion would be to leave it out of the system or you could step down and just use Closys for a week or two. If you are getting implants gum health is of prime importance. Closys is the rinse that is of particular help for gums. Use it for exactly one minute – and then brush your teeth and gums. Closys needs a full minute to work its magic!

  16. I have been on a drug called Carbamazepine or called tegretol for the last 20 years, I have noticed that my gums have been receding a lot in the last 2 years. Presently I have 4 bridges plus numerous caps to stop the tooth nerves from getting worse. I had talked to my Dentist about this problem but she blamed everything on the drug . Will my gum line every come back at this time I am confirming with my doctor on other drugs that will not be so harmful to my gums. Have you ever heard of this problem. Jim

    • Mouth health depends on the development of a healthy bacterial “garden” inside our mouths. Avoid any strong or damaging oral care products that could cause problems( whitening, peroxide, baking soda, etc.) and also avoid long spells of acidity or mouth dryness – which can be a side effect of many medications, stress, hormones and even our age.

      I recommend reading as much as possible on our blog and books, and also begin using the Complete Mouth Care System, Zellies xylitol after every meal, snack, or drink, consider taking digestive probiotics, your nutrition, possible supplements, and make sure you use a good tooth brushing technique that stimulates circulation to the gums.

      It is not the “drugs” that cause recession and sensitivity – but the effect that drugs have on saliva quality and flow. The system that we recommend can protect you and over time you should see the benefits. I would probably suggest you stop flossing and see if that helps also.

  17. Hi Dr. Ellie,

    have anyone of your patients you seen in person actually regrew gum tissue using your oral health system?

    What about teeth grinding at night, do you think that can cause gum recession? I read a night guard can help but in some cases it may actually make gum recession worse?

    • I wish I had taken before and after photos (and video) of all the people we have helped over the years! Gum health depends on good circulation to the gum area, good nutrition, and also protecting a healthy biofilm ( a thin protein film that covers the teeth and gums in a healthy mouth).
      Unfortunately many things can damage healthy biofilm or cause it to become infected. Acidity and dry mouth are classical reasons, but today we see a lot of damage from whitening products or the use of abrasives and baking soda.

      Once protective biofilm has been damaged, teeth are left without normal protection. They are easily abraded, often sensitive, and at far more risk for damage when they bend or twist ( as we chew or grind out teeth). The outcome is similar to skin that looses its protective waxy covering ( when skin cells flake or peel). Tooth enamel cracks or flakes in small pieces to create a groove at the gum line. Unless healthy biofilm is restored, this damage will continue.

      Dentists often suggest a bite plate or night guard, to “protect” vulnerable enamel. I prefer to restore healthy biofilm through correct nutrition, probiotics, xylitol use( Zellies) and the system of oral care that can restore the balance of correct bacteria in the mouth. Most people grind their teeth at night, and this is why correct care before bed is vital. I hope this explains why I believe you need to treat the cause, not simply put a band-aid on the problem!

  18. Hi there. I am 20 and I had braces. My retainer push my gum up on my front tooth. I feel like it looks bad due to being so uneven with the rest of my gums. I don’t even want to smile for pictures. What can I do to help it?

    • First I’d suggest you begin to use the Complete Mouth Care System – to ensure this gum is in the best possible health (something we call Ultimate Oral Health). You need to read our booklet carefully and be sure to use correct products and always a clean toothbrush!( see the link below)

      Make sure you have a well designed toothbrush ( check out http://www.Zellies.com – the Mouth Watchers brush) and brush the gums around this front tooth ( high on the gum above the tooth and around adjacent ones). The idea is to massage circulation into the gums. This way, nutrients in your blood can heal this area (which would happen in about one month). Nutrition is important – so you may want to add vitamins to your diet during this time (or ensure you eat fresh fruits and veggies every day). It may sound weird but gum health is related to gut health!

      I’d also suggest some Garden of Life Oral Probiotics ( purchase on Amazon or at a health store) They have a lozenge called Probiotic Smile that you can use in addition to Zellies.
      We’d love to hear the outcome ( before and after pictures) but if these suggestions do not work after one month, please send me a picture and I can make other suggestions. Here is a link to the booklet about the system: LINK

  19. Hi Dr Ellie. First thank you for your great advice. I’m in the beginning stages of using your system. I’m using Oral 123 toothpaste ( trying to source the Crest brand), along with regular intakes of xylitol granules mixed in water. I’ve stopped snacking as well. After only two weeks, my gums are pinker and far less sensitive.
    Please would you consider distributing zellies to the UK, I’m sure they would sell well.

    • Hi Nick – I have my fingers crossed that distribution of Zellies to the UK will become a possibility in the near future! Thanks for your message – I am so grateful to hear success stories. Cavities and gum disease are preventable diseases – and it is great that you have discovered the way to empower yourself and improve your oral health. Congratulations!

  20. Dear Dr. Ellie,
    I am so happy to come across your site. I have had terrible teeth (cavity ridden) before I even lost my baby teeth. I had caps on all 4 molars. This was in spite of good dental care (my uncle was a dentist). I am 52 now and have been battling periodontal disease – had surgery & get teeth cleaned 4 x’s per year. my measurements range from 2-5 generally. I have been getting arrestin in 1-3 places most times I visit the dentist. I am so frustrated because I spend so much more time and money cleaning my teeth than others but the struggle still persists. Oh, about a year ago I began using Evora Plus probiotic for the mouth. A week ago I began using your system and bought a an ultrasonic toothbrush sanitizer. I have definitely noticed a change in how my teeth feel–CLEAN!. I have 3 questions. Do you think it is possible for me to reverse my gum disease? What do you think of Arrestin? Also, about a year ago I purchased and use an Emmident toothbrush which is supposed to be Ultrusonic and clean deep into pockets. Should I continue to use this with the crest or just use a regular toothbrush? Thank you and I appreciate any help you can give me.
    Sincerely,
    Nancy

    • Hi Nancy – I’m not saying this to promote my book Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye, but I really think that reading it may explain the bigger picture to you.

      “Cleaning” teeth is not about “cleaning” teeth. Healthy teeth require a bacterially healthy mouth. OUr aim is not to kill the bacteria in the mouth ( and Arestin is a killer). We need to stop disease in clever ways that protect the healthy bacteria and promote them. Zellies can eliminate harmful bacteria that form plaque, but Zellies also adjusts the pH of the mouth to favor healthy bacteria and feeds them.

      The idea of Evora Plus was generally good, but I like results we have experienced from Garden of Life Probiotics ( Note:I love this product and have no association with the company). Alternatively I wonder if Arrestin ( an antibiotic) was killing any helpful bacteria? I recommend you consider Probiotics for digestive health first, especially if you have any digestive issues. I believe a mouth and gums cannot be healthy if your gut is not healthy. I’d start here, and maybe later (when your periodontal problems have resolved) you could move to an oral Probiotic then.

      I suggest you use two kinds of brush – so keep your ultrasonic, but also use a good manual brush ( like the mouth watcher’s brush we sell on Zellies website).Use the sonic brush in the morning, but use the manual one at night. You cannot clean gum pockets with a brush. When you use Closys rinse for exactly one minute, this rinse will take care of cleaning gum pockets!

      Use a toothbrush to massage circulation in your gums. There is a huge capillary network of blood vessels in gums, but this circulation does not flow unless you stand on your head, get your blood pressure high with vigorous exercise, or brush with a good brush around your teeth – on the inside and outside ABOVE the teeth – right on the gums! Good nutrition and healthy digestion support your immune system and these cells and nutrients heal your gums when you stimulate the circulation in them.

      Please get back to me in a few months – maybe after your next cleaning – and let me know what your hygienist has to say!

  21. Hi Dr. Ellie,

    I’ve been reading the questions and answers you’ve given to others. Because I wanted to start right away though I bought the separate products from Whole Foods and Walgreens. At Walgreens they only had a Closys toothpaste – not a rinse.

    I had a couple questions. I have a bit of gum recession on my bottom front tooth. I’m trying to eat healthier but I’ve been eating spinach and kale, which it appears is not good. What healthy foods (that are gluten free) are good for teeth? And is it okay for me to continue drinking green tea and herbal teas throughout the day as long as I eat the xylitol?

    Because of the recession I was scared to brush. And I have been using sensidone (which also has whitening) over the past few months, but stopped when I came across your website and bought the Crest. I had slight gingivitis last time I went to my dentist a month ago, but I’ve been much better about flossing and brushing and now using your care system for the past few days.

    Thanks!

    • If Walgreens sells Closys toothpaste I am sure you can ask the manager to get the rinse for you. Often the store managers can get deals and coupons for this product – and with a Walgreen’s shopper card it can bring the price down a lot. Closys toothpaste cannot be part of the system because it does not protect teeth adequately from the acidity of Listerine. Use Crest Cavity Protection paste if you are doing all the steps.

      A good diet is important for oral health. Eat and drink whatever you like, but finish every meal, snack, or drink, with Zellies mints or gum. The xylitol is able to alkalize your mouth and protect your teeth after your tea, spinach etc. Hard cheese is the only food that we know can mineralize teeth. Saliva is the liquid in your mouth that provides minerals to mineralize and harden teeth. Xylitol stimulates a flow of mineral-rich saliva for this purpose! As you mention, there are foods that damage teeth and many that do not (salty nuts, celery, strawberries and raspberries etc.) although these foods do not have any ability to strengthen teeth.

      If you want to improve your oral health – think about massaging the circulation in the gums when you brush your teeth. I suggest Mouth Watchers toothbrushes – which you can purchase at Whole Foods. In addition to diet, you may want to take a Probiotic. I like Garden of Life brand, and I suggest the Raw Probiotics for men/ women as a place to start. If you are able to make these changes( and stop using Sensodyne whitening – ugh!) then you will soon see improvement. Please let us know how things go….

      • Hi Dr. Ellie,

        I have been using your Total Mouth Care System. I have to pick up some supplies soon so I’ve gone a couple days with just doing the Closys and crest toothpaste. I have noticed a difference in terms of the thin lining right at the gums growing back on my teeth. The one tooth that’s receding though, I’m not noticing much change. I don’t know if it looks a bit worse or not or if it’s just because I’m paranoid about it. I swish my mouth with the zellies mints after tea and meals. I do still wear a night guard for the clenching. I’m going to pick up that toothbrush you suggested. The one I have at home is a soft one from my dentist’s office, but maybe that one would help. Is it possible, even though I’m brushing REALLY softly and in a circular motion that I’m doing something wrong? I only brush the receding gum for like 1 second and it’s always very gentle and slow. I’m just trying to make sure it doesn’t get worse and maybe improves a little bit.

        I read this website where they say if you mix baking soda and water into a paste and massage the gum it can help stimulate gum growth. Is this true?

        I’m just very paranoid about it. The gum recession is just under the tooth, exposing the root. I think my dentist measured it at 3 mm last time like 6 months ago. But the gum is attached pretty much on either side of the tooth and I’m keeping the other gum and teeth surrounding it healthy. I have no pain or inflammation, but I have noticed that the gum seems a little thinner at the bottom, like it almost seems whiteish when looking at it, as if the tooth root is more visible through the gum. It’s just on the receding tooth – the one in the very front on the bottom jaw, and the gum is whiteish on the tooth next to it. It’s just one tooth and I don’t want to have to go through any type of surgery or anything. I’m just afraid that even with the night guard maybe there’s still a lot of pressure on the tooth (even though I feel that I’m clenching more with my back teeth).

        Thanks!

  22. Upper left molar -corner filling broke off. Can see some gum recession between molars. Going for root canal and hopefully have enough tooth structure for crown. Dentist said cavity was under filling. What can be done to prevent this from happening again?
    Do you think this can be crowned/saved? I have no pain. But can see the decay. I am guessing my dentist would not be sending me for root canal if it was bad, or he just can’t see the decay if it is further If it is beyond gumline can it still be saved?

    • My advice to anyone who is currently experiencing dental issues is to get on the Complete Mouth Care system.
      Some people (like you) are already using the rinses and toothpastes I recommend, but if you continue to have problems with cracked teeth – something is not right with the details. Check the system process. Often someone will forget that Zellies are THE vital component of this system ( and look-alike products may not work because some have less xylitol and others add things like glycerin that can work against you). If you don’t curb acidity and acid-loving bacteria in your mouth with Zellies, you will likely have dental problems of one kind or another.

      Other people forget to clean toothbrushes. Some buy the wrong toothpaste. A few try to economize with look-alike products or mix products to try and follow my advice and also the advice of their dentist at the same time. This WON’T work!

      My system is like a recipe for a delicate soufflé – one single change in the ingredients will make it fall flat. You need to use the exact products, in the exact order, without water rinsing between the steps. I think it is also good to read other blog entries – and know that success is in the details!

      If you do this, I promise to try and make my websites easier to read, easier to follow and offer more bullet point lists of things to do and not to do.
      My goal is to offer these improved tools later this year – along with ( hopefully) a book to help everyone enjoy a healthier mouth!

  23. I have had a strange popping sensation in my teeth. My teeth do not feel loose when pushed with my finger but I can feel this popping with my tongue and its quite worrying. I have booked into the dentists to check it out but I am really concerned. The popping happens when I eat also and seems to be in my top teeth which actually look like the healthiest of my teeth, no signs of plaque built up or anything. Gums are a little tender from it however. Normal pink colour though. I also have a slight white spot on the gum above the effected tooth. What could it be? It has only recently happened, for a week and a half now, never noticed this abnormality before.

    • There are too many unknowns for me to help. You need to see a dentist and let them check. If you do not get resolution, then write back – but I’d need to know your age, general health, what you are using to care for your teeth etc.
      Periodontal disease is not visible, and once it takes hold, plaque is not the concern – it’s bacteria below the gum line that are hidden in periodontal pockets. At first teeth do not loosen and people are generally unaware they are infected. About 50% of 30 year olds have periodontal disease, but this number increases with age – and is a real problem in later life.
      If you suspect this disease, I’d suggest starting the Complete Mouth Care System – but if you are not prepared to use all the suggested products, at least use Closys ( available from Walgreen’s Stores) and Zellies.
      When you find out – do let us know. Thanks!

  24. Hi there, pls I need help!!! :(
    My sister told me many times my teeth is yellowing. So I did search how to whiten my teeth. so I followed the step by dipping the brush into apple cider vinegar. What happened then…my gum was receding within seconds!!!!!! I was so panic. Seriously just happened 2 hours ago :(
    So I spit everything, washing mouth with water and applied toothpaste. washed. then applied honey.
    CAN IT GROW BACK??? What to do to grow the gum back?
    receding on my 6 bottom teeth :(
    This is crazy, I know it’s acid but I dont know how I lost my logic to use it. I’m so stupid

    • Anyone who notices their teeth yellowing, should be concerned that their teeth are softening. Most often this is caused by teeth being damaged by too much acidity – either from your own saliva (which may be acidic), from something you are drinking, or from an acidic diet. The answer is to use a non-abrasive toothpaste that contains the correct-grind silica and sodium fluoride (Crest Cavity Protection is ideal). You can get seven times more help if you follow brushing with a dilute fluoride rinse (use ACT mouth rinse at 0.05% dilution).Think about what you eat and drink, and consider using Zellies mints and gum after every meal, snack and drink – because they stimulate alkaline mouth conditions and limit damage caused by eating and drinking.
      If you start to use the Complete Mouth Care System religiously for several months, you should see these damaged gums slowly grow back. Read and learn how general health ( especially digestive health) impacts your gum health and maybe consider digestive probiotics at the same time.

  25. Hello,
    After using the whole system 100% for 5 months, I have noticed that one area of gum above my back molar has gotten red – a line of redness next to the inner edge of my molar. What could be going on? This is a molar that has a cavity that I am trying to heal. Has the xylitol knocked out the s. mutans, but allowed something else to take hold?

    • The products that constitute the Complete Mouth Care System do not to “knock out” all bacteria, but provide an environment for healthy bacteria to dominate and protect teeth and gums. If one small region is a problem, I would begin by ensuring that you are using the Closys rinse for a full minute (especially to bathe this area) twice or even three times each day, before you brush your teeth. You amy also want to look at a PDF file which gives a list of suggestions to ensure you are doing everything correctly. Here is a link to this:

  26. So I’m a 24y/o male who just recently noticed that my bottom front teeth are receding pretty badly. I can’t afford a dentist, should I see my doctor? I don’t know what to do.

    • This is not a question I can answer without more information.
      Do you mean that your gums are receding down the roots of your teeth? If so, you would be sensible to think about how you care for your teeth – check out Zellies and the Complete Mouth Care System of rinses that I recommend.

  27. Hi, I just came upon this page. I have significant gum recession on the inside of my mouth by the last 2 molars, more on my left side than my right. It has been gradually worsening over the last 5 years or so. I am 37. I have tried ACT rinse (didn’t help that I noticed) and finally cut down a lot on flossing that area. I am really careful about brushing there gently too. There hasn’t really been an improvement. One thing I was thinking today was maybe it could be related to my hot drink intake? I drink about 3 cups of hot coffee or tea a day. I like to drink it piping hot… do you think that could be contributing to my gum recession?

    • The most likely reason is you have some hidden periodontal disease/problems. This is a painless condition – so you could not know unless you are diagnosed by examination or bacterial testing. Bacteria get between the tooth and the gum – and a rinse like ACT will have no effect on these bacteria – none. If you decide you want to get started on my Complete Mouth Care System – it will help you a lot – but ensure you use the correct products and use them in the correct order. Closys is valuable for this condition – and you use this rinse for a total of one minute before brushing with Crest Cavity Protection paste. etc.etc. The details of this system are here on the website:

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