I'm 61 years old and in good health, have brushed and flossed daily for years, and recently was diagnosed with some gum recession, none very severe.
I mentioned this to my older brother, who said he actually reversed recession of his gums within half a year of starting two practices: brushing with Phillips Sonicare, and using a cheap anti-plaque mouthwash.  These results were in spite of the fact that he brushes and mouthwashes once every three days, since he is handicapped and the routine is difficult for him.

Is this result credible due to these practices, and if so, which of the two probably has the greater impact?

I have another question about my gum recession. The one spot that is the worst, and may require a future skin graft, is the 3rd tooth from the back on the upper right.  I later realized that, for unrelated reasons, I had come to chew almost exclusively in the left side of my mouth for at least the last couple of years.  Could this lack of stimulation on the right have led to the recession?

Thanks, Paul

ANSWER: I cannot imagine that using a sonicare toothbrush and any mouthwash would reverse recession.  Lack of stimulation has nothing to do with recession.  

Best of Luck
Dr. Scharf

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dr. Scharf,
Thanks for the quick response.
How much does plaque have to do with recession?
Does recession ever reverse? If so, under what conditions?
Thank you,

In general if someone has thin gum tissue plaque and inflammation will lead to more recession then if they have thick gum tissue.  Usually gum recession is irreversible unless a gum graft is done.
Best of luck
Dr. Scharf
Gum grafts Long Island


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David Scharf


I am a board Certified periodontist which means that I am an expert in treating gum disease (periodontal disease) and placing dental implants. I can answer questions related to treating gum disease, bleeding gums, maintaining healthy gums, and structural issues with the gums such as recession, to gummy a smile, crown lengthening etc. I am also certified in Laser Periodontal therapy which allows me to treat gum disease with a laser rather than a scalpel. I can address those questions as well.


I have been practicing periodontics and placing dental implants since 1990. I have treated thousands of patients for both gum disease and dental implants. I currently an a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Periodontics and Implant Dentistry at the nations largest dental school.

Journal of the American Dental Association, Journal of Periodontology, International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, International Journal of Oral and Maxilofacial Implants

BA/DMD Boston University Cum Laud. Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Periodontics fro New York University. Board Certification in Periodontics 1995

Awards and Honors
e was elected to Omicron Kappa Upsilon (the "Phi Beta Kappa" for dentists), and received the Boston University award for Excellence in Periodontology, the Boston University Predoctoral Prosthetic Award for Excellence in Prosthetics, and the Academy of General Dentistry Outstanding Senior Student Award, the Boston University Operative Dentistry Special Achievement Award, and the Quintessence Publishing Company Outstanding Senior Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice. Following dental school, Dr. Scharf completed a year long General Practice Residency at The Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, New York. As a resident at this top New York program, he gained extensive clinical experience in such fields as prothodontics, periodontics, endodontics, orthodontics, oral surgery, management of the medically compromised patient, and general dentistry. This experience was completed by clinical rotations in the departments of general medicine, anesthesia, and emergency medicine.

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