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Receding Gums & Electric Toothbrush/Waterpik

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  • Receding Gums & Electric Toothbrush/Waterpik

    So I recently went to the dental hygenist after not having gone since Jan 2012 (dentist recommends every 6 mo). I eat about 90-95% primal I would say. I brush and floss daily, with my Oralb electric toothbrush, recommended by the dentist.

    The hygenist said my gums are receding (which is not new) and I had a fair amount of tartar buildup and the hole where one of my wisdom teeth had been pulled (~15 years ago) has gotten infected. I have had only a handful of cavities ever (all of them came when I switched to a new dentist interestingly, and have not reoccurred at my current dentist). She suggested a visit with the orthodontist to check the infection and for me to change my brushing style (small circles preferred), my toothbrush head (small circular head, not the rectangular one), and to try and floss behind my last teeth in the area where the vacant wisdom teeth are. She suspects my electric toothbrush is contributing (perhaps entirely) to my receding gums. She also suggested Welenda salt toothpaste (I had been using Tom's of ME non-flouride): Weleda Salt Toothpaste - Weleda.com

    Based on what I've read elsewhere here it seems flossing gives most of the benefits. I'm wondering if my best strategy would be to ditch the electric toothbrush, switch to a manual brush, adjust my brushing technique and maybe get a water pick?

    Thoughts? Good water pick model? Would electric be better or also have drawbacks? I noticed some people said to brush angled to the gums? Is that then at a 45degree angle with the brush facing away from the gums, or to the gums?

  • #2
    Does the 10% of non-primal include gluten?

    I used to have inflamed gums and bought a water-pik on the recommendation of a woman who had cleared up her gum inflammation by using one. But the problem just completely went away after I gave up gluten. I didn't go to a dentist for several years and had no problems, where previously I was already inflamed by 6 months.

    I have always used a manual toothbrush. It seems to me that to get the equivalent effect from an electric, you would need two, or one that had two separate modes to simulate back-and-forth and up-and-down motions.

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    • #3
      I had the same problems as you do, back before my primal days. I use an electric toothbrush because I (apparently?) brush too "vigorously" and so cause some of the receding gum issues. I use a water pick as well, and use hydrogen peroxide in the water tank along with the water (about 1 tbs per tank), which helps keep plaque away, "bleaches" my teeth, and helps with any budding problems.

      I went to the dentist since primal, and they commented on how they wish all patients took as good of care of their teeth...but some of that may be the food? IDK

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      • #4
        You may want to investigate oil pulling.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by drjoyous View Post
          I had the same problems as you do, back before my primal days. I use an electric toothbrush because I (apparently?) brush too "vigorously" and so cause some of the receding gum issues. I use a water pick as well, and use hydrogen peroxide in the water tank along with the water (about 1 tbs per tank), which helps keep plaque away, "bleaches" my teeth, and helps with any budding problems.

          I went to the dentist since primal, and they commented on how they wish all patients took as good of care of their teeth...but some of that may be the food? IDK
          I have receding gums and my dentist also suggested I get an electric toothbrush (I apparently brush too vigorously as well). I love using it to brush my teeth, and I rinse with listerine and floss daily. The dentist always comments on how clean my teeth are. It feels like a great injustice in life that I take such good care of my teeth yet my gums betray me.

          But I also noticed one day that I had an abrasion (an ablation, actually? I forget the term) from "trauma" (likely grinding at night. I got a night guard and never wear it, oops). Dentist said that the grinding could possibly be behind the gum problem.

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          • #6
            I was told to use a round spinning headed electric toothbrush by one dentist, and the next dentist I saw said it was damaging my teeth and causing more gum erosion. Allllways use super soft bristled toothbrushes.

            Have your dentist show you how to brush properly with a manual brush. Be gentle! Rinsing with anything for a few minutes every day (or multiple times a day) can be great for your mouth, not just with oil.
            Depression Lies

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            • #7
              I have started to make my own toothpaste, and my teeth have never felt cleaner. It is just find ground sea salt, baking soda, and coconut oil. I sometimes put in peppermint extract for a minty flavor, and I have started to grind up one or two calcium magnesium pills into it to re-mineralize my teeth a bit since I have some old cavities that were never filled, but haven't gotten worse since cleaning up my diet.

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              • #8
                Any suggestions on a type of water pick or is that also bad news?

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                • #9
                  Hi Abexman, I've been through this, and it can be really tough. It led to a periodontist operating on my gums, in 4 operations. From my experience:
                  1. Don't floss your teeth. Use a Waterpick. It has to be that brand because it has the correct pulse speed. Use it only on the 1 or 2 setting which is very gentle but still very effective at removing all bits of food. This Waterpick is an electric device.
                  2. Don't use an elelctric toothbrush, use a regular, soft toothbrush. Brush horizontally only, side to side, in very short strokes. Then when you rinse your teeth with water after brushing, brush up from the bottom (on the bottom teeth) and down from the top (on the top teeth).
                  3. Oil pull for 5 min. after brushing. (Waterpick first). Use Sesame or Coconut Oil.

                  This regime has been very beneficial for me over a period of more than 10 years (except for the oil pulling with is new for me).

                  EDIT: If your gums are already receeding it probably means that you already have pyorrhea or Periodontitis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periodontitis unless it's only caused by hard brushing with a hard toothbrush. You could see a periodontist to check. In any case you should probably add another step after step 2: gargle and swish with a good bacteria-killing mouthwash. Your dentist can prescribe one.
                  Last edited by Cryptocode; 05-13-2013, 02:08 PM.
                  "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." - Alston Chase

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                  • #10
                    Are we all sure the water pick is safe for use? I'm just worried like electric brushing it may be overkill.

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                    • #11
                      Floss your teeth every day. Waterpiks are great to supplement flossing. Waterpiks do not take the place of flossing. You can start on the lowest setting and work up. They will not put excessive pressure on your gums to damage your tissues. Add a little listerine if you want to kill more bacteria. No matter what toothbrush you use, make sure it is extra soft. Brush in circular motion gently. (No horizontal back and forth. This can wear away gum tissue and teeth in the long run.) Chronic clenching and grinding can cause recession, but will not cause periodontal disease(inflamed gums and bone loss around teeth). Wear a night guard to protect against tooth wear and recession. I have seen inflamed gums greatly improve if gluten is removed, inflammation in the body is decreased, hormones become more balanced, stress is decreased.

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                      • #12
                        receding gums

                        It seems like we are on the same boat. I had the same problem as yours. My friend suggested me to see as they are the best and experienced dentist Maloney Stephen M Dmd in our local and I started using soft brush recommended by my dentist. He also suggested me to eat fresh fruits to reduce receding gums.


                        http://www.wellness.com/dir/2052707/...-stephen-m-dmd

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                        • #13
                          Gum recession is often caused by the Streptococcus Mutans bacteria. This bacteria thrives on sugar and excretes plaque & acid in the process. If the tool you are going to use to fight this bacteria and the plaque/acid it leaves behind, is abrasion you are fighting a battle you will never win. In our opinion electric toothbrushes should only be used by people with mobility issues. That is what they were originally created for. There are for too many highly abrasive toothpastes on the market and an electric toothbrush creates the damage faster.

                          The Streptococcus Mutans bacteria love Xylitol even more than they like sugar. Unfortunately it is unable to use Xylitol as a fuel source after it gorges on it and soon dies of starvation. Now you have addressed the source of the problem instead of fighting the symptom.

                          There is a lot of Xylitol toothpastes on the market. There is even one that can be used with your water flosser so you deliver Xylitol into your gum pockets where the most serious damage begins, like bone loss, which causes your gums to recede.

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                          • #14
                            I've just started reading up on CoQ10 and gingivitis. Some interesting studies for both ingesting and topical application.

                            Evaluation of Co-Q10 anti-gingivitis effect on plaque induced gingivitis: A randomized controlled clinical trial. - PubMed - NCBI

                            I have a Phillips Sonicare at the advice of my dentist. I use the sensitive heads because I press too hard. I also switched to flossing at night vs in the morning at their suggestion.

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                            • #15
                              I've had good luck with adding a K2 supplement to my diet. Just couldn't bring myself to eat natto.
                              http://www.thorne.com/products/dp/vitamin-k2-liquid

                              I have pretty irregular brushing and flossing habits and the last dentist appointment the doc commented how little plac and calculus buildup I had. They said that cleaning and fluoride treatment was optional. I opted for the cleaning anyway and it was much less painful then last time, less digging under the gum line. I was too embarrassed to tell the doc that I brush maybe once a day and almost never floss.

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