Gum disease or gingivitis is a common, non-destructive periodontal disease that happens due to inflammation in the tissues that surround and support the teeth. In gingivitis, a bacterial infection of the gums leads to the development of a sticky film called plaque, and this consequently destroys the gums. A hardened plaque will subsequently turn into a tarter, thus causing irritations and inflammation in the affected gums. Gingivitis is characterized by swollen and red gums which bleed. Prolonged gingivitis can destroy the bones supporting the teeth and might necessitate removal of the teeth. So, looking for a natural treatment for gum disease is essential if you do not wish to visit the dentist ever so often.
Causes of gum disease: One of the most important causes is poor dental hygiene. A few other causes include stress, smoking, nutritional deficiency, excessive consumption of sugars and immune disorders such as cancer, diabetes, or AIDS. Dietary factors such as processed foods containing additives and sugars, hydrogenated oils which cause inflammation in gums can also cause gingivitis. Common symptoms of gingivitis are bad breath, tooth pain, bleeding, and inflamed gums.
Treatment: There are several options for natural treatment for gum disease. A few are listed below:
- Diet: There are several dietary components which reduce the inflammation and provide essential nutrients. For example, wild-caught fish, fat-soluble vitamins, raw vegetables, and fresh vegetable juices are good for gum health.
- Oil pulling: It can be effectively employed as a natural treatment for gum disease. In oil pulling, the mouth is swished with coconut oil or sesame oil. This helps remove the harmful bacteria from the mouth by improving oral hygiene. Coconut oil, arimedadi oil, and tea tree oil are commonly used for oil pulling.
- Oral probiotics: Use of oral probiotics populates the mouth with “good, beneficial bacteria” which helps in removing the disease-causing bacteria.
- Wheatgrass: It is an amazing food for the natural treatment for gum disease. Wheatgrass is rich in nutrients and chlorophyll. Chlorophyll possesses antibacterial properties which improve oral health.
- Salt: Salt is one of the most common remedies for the natural treatment for gum disease. It possesses antibacterial properties and removes toxins. It also fights inflammation and infection, thus helping in improving dental health. A teaspoon of salt in a cup of water can be used to rinse the mouth 2-3 times a day.
- Vitamin C: It is a very powerful antioxidant and an important factor in the proper functioning of the immune system. Inflammation and toxins released from plaque-forming bacteria cause collagen destruction. Vitamin C helps in connective tissue repairs such as gums and ligaments and helps in bone regeneration. Vitamin C can be easily obtained from fresh fruits and leafy vegetables.
- CoQ10: Co-enzyme Q is another option for natural treatment for gum disease. It is an antioxidant which fights infections and reduces periodontal inflammation.
- Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil or melaleuca oil possesses natural disinfectant and antiseptic properties. It promotes gum healing and reduces gum inflammation.
- Honey: Honey has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which kill disease-causing bacteria. Honey can be applied to gums with the help of fingers, and a gentle massage can improve the gum health.
- Cranberry juice: Cranberry juice is a rich source of phenolic acids and anthocyanins. These natural molecules are anti-microbial in nature and kill harmful bacteria present in the mouth.
- Turmeric: Turmeric is a well-known natural treatment for gum disease. The curcumin compound present in the turmeric has potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. A mixture of turmeric and mustard oil can be gently rubbed on gums to improve the oral health.
- Natural mouthwash: There are several homemade mouthwash options that can be tried. A few are lemongrass oil mouthwash, Aloe Vera mouthwash, sage mouthwash, and guava leaf mouthwash.
- Clove application: Cloves can prevent plaque formation and reduce inflammation. They also have anti-oxidant and antiviral properties.
- Ayurvedic remedies: Ayurvedic remedies are some of the common natural treatment for gum disease. Some of the remedies are:
- Triphala tea: It is an effective option for the treatment of bleeding gums.
- Regular use of orange juice, apples, raspberries, lemon water can help in healing and strengthening the gums. Regular massage with coconut oil provides strength to the gums.
Other than the above listed natural treatments for gum disease, regular brushing and flossing the teeth, especially after consumption of sugar-rich drinks and processed foods is essential to maintain oral hygiene. Moreover, the consumption of green tea, soy, garlic, and yogurt keeps gums healthy.
A number of natural treatment options for gum disease are available, and most of them are safe to use. However, special precautions should be taken in case of children and pregnant women.