Dear Dr. Ellie:
Hello – I was reading (and trying to absorb) all of the great information on your web site. I have a specific question about decay at the gum line. I have receding gums – due, my dentist tells me, to overzealous brushing and the removal of teeth as part of my orthodontic treatment. The roots of several of my teeth are exposed and now I am noticing brown staining, which my dentist tells me is decay. He does not want to fill these areas because the fillings would likely fall out in a couple of years and he would have to drill out healthy tooth to install the filling. He recommended remineralizing thru dietary changes (cod liver oil, high mineral butter, etc. based on Dr. Weston Price’s research) but frankly the approach is too complicated for me to implement. My questions are: can you remineralize the root of the tooth? because I thought there was no enamel below the gum line. Second, what would you suggest for treating these areas? I did read about a new technique that uses adhesives and blue light to seal these areas. Would your treatment system help reverse decay at the gum line?
Thank you. KM
You may benefit from reading a bit more – in my book Kis YOur Dentist Goodbye.
Your dentist is correct that fillings (and sealants) at this location on the gum line are not stable and usually fall off. If you dig deep enough to make them lock into place – you can set up sensitivities and even damage the nerve. I would agree with him that fillings here are not a great idea.
I cannot tell you if you will be able to reverse the damage – or recession completely – but that should not be your #1 concern. Your urgent need is to stop this progressive damage – that will only get worse. If it is truly caries – then you have a bacterial disease in your mouth – and it won’t stop.
My guess is that some kind of mouth acidity has caused this problem – directly or indirectly. Acidity dissolves the root surface very easily – and creates a groove at the gum line. Gum recession allows the acids to reach this quick dissolving area of the tooth. If you are familiar with measuring acidity – #7 is neutral – and roots dissolve at any pH lower than 6.5!
My suggestions are always to use xylitol – in sufficient frequency and also amount. If you have read the blog you know about the idea to dissolve granules of xylitol into water – and sip this during the morning each day. If you prefer to use mints and gum – you must get into the habit to take one or two mints or some gum after everything you eat and when your mouth is dry. Use a mix and match approach to suit your lifestyle.
The mouth rinses will certainly stop the damage – and over time will start to reverse it. I expect your dentist will notice good results in 6 months which will encourage you. If you keep doing all of this for two years – you will notice a big difference and feel and possibly some reversals that you can see.
This damage took years to happen. It will take less time to reverse – but people today want instant results – and this will not happen. Mark your calendar and check at 3 monthly intervals! Make sure you have the products and system exact – with no water rinsing between the steps – this is very important. You may want to purchase the kit from our website – it helps you to get started – has a booklet etc.
Your dentist has been kind and ethical to give you the chance to remineralize your teeth. Nutrition is also important – and general body pH is also important for your general health. I think you have an excellent professional to work with – and I am impressed by the information that he gave you. Many would have filled these teeth – since there are no $ with preventive and non-treatment information.
Ellie Phillips DDS
Solutions for Oral Health!
author, Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye
Hi Dr. Ellie,I am not sure how to ask questions here on this blog. Where do you post them?So my question is about Dentrust tooth brushes. I've been using them on and off for years. They are very convenient because they have three sides, and so they brush your whole tooth all at once, and also brush the gumline well. Do have any experience or knowledge about them?Thanks for all the great information on this blog!Rar Jungle
If something is working for you – then don't change it!!That is my motto – and common sense if you think about it.If on the other hand, you have bleeding gums, bad breath, sensitive teeth or gum recession – then what you are using is NOT working!Don't accept these problems as OK – they are NOT OK.I would suggest if you have any of these problems that you explore my websites, read my book and think about keeping your toothbrush clean, more than what brush you use.Hope this helps.Zellies brushes are excellent – but only if they are kept disinfected and stored properly.I would like to know if the brush you have been using helps you maintain and sustain perfect oral health?If not – start reading my information about oral health – quickly!!Thanks for your question,Ellie
What causes gum line cavities? Not root decay but cavities at the gumline? I’ve been getting them over the last year and a half. Can’t figure out what’s causing it. I don’t have dry mouth or acid reflux. My diet isn’t terrible either. Will your system help? Any dietary changes I should make? Thank you
This groove or depression at the gum line is caused by acidity and is often associated with a dry mouth or mouth breathing at the same time. Acidity makes the prism crystals of enamel very fragile – like flakes of dry skin – and they literally flake off at the gum line (which are the shortest ones). You need to identlfy the cause of acidity: but it can be anything from being pregnant (nine months of saliva acidity) to eating grapefruits or citrus, to acidic mouth rinses (like Toms of Maine or Biotene). This is not a complete list – but my book Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye explains the “risk factors” that make the mouth acidic and damage mouth health. My Complete Mouth Care System would prevent more damage if you follow the system and use xylitol to control after-meal acidity. Also, stop sipping drinks – even water – especially in the afternoon, so your teeth have contact with undiluted and healing saliva.