Receding Gums Treatment: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Expected Results, and Food to Eat for Healthier Gums

Woman with healthy teeth

Most people don’t even know they have receding gums because of its subtle onset. Many people have receding gums and have no concerns about them early on. Gum recession occurs very gradually and will just hit you hard if left unchecked. In fact, because of its sneaky nature, receding gums is a common dental problem not only in Singapore but also around the globe.

That being said, there is also a chance that you have receding gums and it is best to know everything about it and see your dentist for a receding gums treatment before it’s too late.

What are the symptoms of receding gums?

Dr Marlene Teo, the director of An Dental, one of the leading dental clinics in Singapore that specializes in gum diseases, identifies the different signs of receding gums. In brief, the following signs of receding gums are:

  1. Tooth becomes more elongated

Receding gums is a medical condition where the margin of the gum tissue surrounding the teeth pulls back, making them look elongated. With receding gums, one may notice a tooth may appear longer than the surrounding teeth.

  1. Tooth sensitivity

One common sign of gum receding gums is usually tooth sensitivity. This is due to the pulling back of the soft tissue and sometimes, exposing the tooth roots.

  1. Gaps between the teeth

Receding gums can create noticeable gaps between the teeth making it easier for disease-causing bacteria to build-up in-between the spaces. A little bump or notch may also be felt under the gum as well.

Patient with receding gums

Why do gums recede?

  1. Bacterial Build-up

Bacterial build-up on teeth surface causes gum infections that destroy gum tissue and the bone that surrounds the tissue. Gum disease or periodontal disease is the leading cause of receding gums.

  1. Poor oral hygiene and improper brushing techniques

Irregular brushing, flossing, and rinsing invite bacteria to reside in your mouth and this can cause your gums to recede. In addition, having toothbrush bristles that are too firm can cause the gums to degrade. Brushing your teeth too hard may also cause the enamel of your teeth to wear leading to receding gums.

Why do people undergo receding gums treatment?

In Singapore, a lot of adults have some degree of gum disease and this can lead to receding gums over time. Hence, patients have different reasons for undergoing receding gums treatment. The common reasons are:

  • the appearance of their teeth and gums (usually the main concern)
  • fear of eventual tooth loss
  • increased tooth sensitivity due to exposed tooth or tooth roots

What to expect before a receding gums treatment?

At An Dental, Dr Marlene Teo will measure your gum recession in millimetres, and even two millimetres of gum loss is already significant and immediate treatment is necessary. During a consultation, she will look for the signs of gum recession and may make recommendations for receding gums treatment or extra oral hygiene measures to help manage and reverse the gum recession. If left untreated, the supporting tissue and the teeth structures can be severely damaged and result in tooth loss.

Can gums return to normal after receding gums treatment?

With the help of a thorough dental cleaning session, and when done by a skilled gum specialist like Dr Marlene Teo, gums can recover from mild gum recession. Some moderate to severe cases may involve laser or manual tooth scaling or root planing to remove bacteria build-up like plaque and tartar and to prevent them from accumulating at the teeth surface again. If the gums are infected, antibiotics may be prescribed to kill the bacteria. If your gum recession has gone too far, for receding gums treatment to work, gum surgery and grafting may be needed.

What is food to eat for healthier gums?

While medical treatment is the number one solution, without the proper nutrition to combat the effects of bacterial build-up on the teeth and gums, there is still a great risk that bacterial build-up can progress to more a more serious gum disease called periodontitis, where total gum recession and tooth loss can occur.

For healthier gums, these are the top food recommendations by Dr Marlene Teo:

  1. Food rich in Vitamin C

Fruits and vegetables with vitamin C

The high concentrations of vitamin C in these fruits and vegetables make for an excellent antioxidant in treating oral problems. Excellent sources of vitamin C are orange, grapefruit, lemon, strawberries, broccoli and red pepper. Make it a habit to add vitamin C in your regular diet to help prevent bacteria from building up and hardening into the teeth and gums.

  1. Food rich in rich in Omega 3

Particular fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, spinach, strawberries, blueberries, and nuts are rich in omega 3 possess potent anti-inflammatory properties that help fight inflammation around the gums. If you’re into seafood, fatty fish like salmon, sardine, tuna and mackerel have high levels of omega 3 in them and are highly recommended to combat gum inflammation that can cause receding gums.

  1. Food rich with antioxidants

Antioxidants produce excellent benefits with regards to easing gum recession pain and inflammation. Food with rich in antioxidants like green tea helps rid the mouth of gum disease-causing bacteria and keep gums in good condition.

  1. Food that is low in sugar

Sugar and carbohydrates are the leading cause of tooth decay and gum related problems. It is only natural as bacteria feed on these kinds of materials. The more sugar stuck in teeth surfaces, the more food for bacteria and eventually, cause bacterial build-up. This is why cutting on your sugar intake will bring great benefits to your overall oral health and prevent bacteria from accumulating.

  1. Food that is slightly hard and has a crunchy texture

Healthy food like apples, celery, nuts, and carrots are excellent cleansing agents. Chomping on these crunchy fruits and vegetables enables the natural scraping of food debris and bacteria build-up around the mouth area. These foods are also high in fibre that stimulates increased saliva production that helps flush out the unwanted gum disease-causing bacteria. As an alternative to unhealthy processed foods, try snacking on these crunchy fruits and vegetables to help your gums become healthier and stronger.


Dr Marlene Teo
360 Orchard Rd, #03-06/07 next to Lido,
International Building, Singapore 238869
+65 8588 9868