Gum disease is a common oral health condition. It causes inflammation on the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. When the gingival inflammation is considered to be mild, the condition is referred to as gingivitis. However, in the case of more severe inflammation, the condition is termed periodontitis.
According to the American Dental Association, if severe, gum diseases can lead to the loss of the tissues that hold your teeth in place.
Causes of Gum Disease
The primary cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene, resulting in plaque build-up along and under the gum line. Plaque builds up when bacteria attach to the tooth and gum margins.
Other factors that contribute to the problem are:
- Chewing tobacco
- Crooked, rotated, or overlapping teeth
- Poor saliva production
- Hormonal changes in the body during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause
- Genetic predisposition
- High alcohol intake
- A diet high in sugar and carbohydrates and low in water intake
- Deficiency of important nutrients such as vitamin C
- Certain medications
- Cancer and cancer treatment
Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
Gum disease is characterized by symptoms like:
- Persistent bad breath
- Red or swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Pain when chewing
- Sensitive teeth
- Partial dentures that no longer fit
If not treated, it can advance to periodontitis and lead to further complications.
To relieve pain and discomfort from gum disease is you can try some effective home remedies. Remedies can be used to alleviate symptoms, treat gum disease and prevent further complications.
Natural Treatment Options for Gum Disease
Here are 10 home remedies for gum disease.
1. Try Oil Pulling Technique
Oil pulling is a traditional Ayurvedic technique that is excellent for oral care. It helps strengthen the teeth and gums, reduces plaque, and relieves bad breath. It is also considered good for overall health as it removes toxins.
A 2009 study published Indian Journal of Dental Research reports that regular practice of oil pulling can aid in the reduction of plaque and is beneficial for plaque-induced gingivitis.
Another 2017 study published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine reports that oil pulling can bring improvement in oral hygiene when practiced correctly and regularly.
For oil pulling, sesame oil is a good option.
- Swish one tablespoon of sesame oil around in your mouth and through your teeth.
- Do this for about 15 minutes or until it becomes thinner and turns milky.
- Spit it out and rinse your mouth with water.
- Repeat the process daily for about a month.
- For better results, use coconut oil for oil pulling.
2. Rinse Your Mouth with Hydrogen Peroxide Solution
Hydrogen peroxide works as a strong antibacterial agent that kills germs and fights gum disease.
In a study, it was found that prolonged use of hydrogen peroxide aids in the reduction of plaque and gingivitis indices.
Again, in a 2016 study published in the Journal of International Society of Backentive & Community Dentistry, researchers analyzed the effect of hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash in comparison with chlorhexidine in chronic periodontitis patients.
In this study, it was found that both the mouthwashes significantly reduced the gingival index.
Plus, it helps whiten and brighten your pearly whites. Make sure you use the 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution that typically comes in brown bottles, rather than the highly concentrated version.
- Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water. Rinse your mouth with the solution for a few seconds, and then spit it out. Use it a few times a week until you are satisfied with the results.
- Alternatively, mix hydrogen peroxide little by little into one teaspoon of baking soda to make a paste. Put the paste on your toothbrush and gently brush it on your gums and gum line. Finally, spit it out and rinse your mouth. Use it a few times a week for a few weeks.
- You can also apply a paste of clove oil and hydrogen peroxide, leave it on for a few seconds and then spit it out. Repeat as needed.
3. Baking Soda Mouthwash
You can use baking soda to keep your mouth free from germs and bacteria, and consequently, prevents gum disease. Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate neutralizes acid production in the mouth and also works as an antiseptic to prevent infections.
A 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association suggests that the beneficial effect of baking soda in gingival health is due to its antibacterial and biofilm-disruptive activity.
Another 2018 study published in BDJ Open found that baking soda is effective for plaque removal.
- Pour 1 cup of water into a glass or jar. Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Add 4 drops of pure peppermint oil. Add 4 drops of tea tree oil. Mix the ingredients together well. Use it as a mouthwash twice daily for a few weeks.
- Put a little baking soda on your wet toothbrush and use it to brush your teeth, once a day.
4. Use Aloe Vera Gel to Massage Your Gums
Due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and healing properties, aloe vera has been found to be beneficial in dealing with gum disease.
Being an antimicrobial, it also kills the bacteria that cause gum disease.
In a 2006 study published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dentistry researchers found that aloe vera is effective in reducing plaque and gingivitis.
Plus, it fights bad breath and heals mouth ulcers.
- Massage your gums with fresh aloe vera gel, leave it on for at least half an hour and then rinse it off. Repeat several times a day.
- Alternatively, swish some aloe vera juice around in your mouth a few times, and then spit it out.
- You can also drink about two teaspoons of aloe vera juice on a regular basis.
Follow any of these remedies daily for several weeks.
5. Swish Gently with Salt Water
To deal with pain and swelling in the gums due to gum disease, a homemade salt water mouthwash is very effective. Being an antiseptic, salt helps kill the harmful bacteria and improves oral health.
A 2016 study publsihed in PLOS One reports that salt solution as mouth-rinse in conjunction with routine oral care is beneficial in healing gums inflamed by gingivitis.
- Add a ½ teaspoon of salt to a glass of lukewarm water and mix well.
- Swish the solution in your mouth for up to 30 seconds.
- Spit out the solution.
- Repeat twice a day.
6. Give a Turmeric Massage
To help prevent gum disease, you can also use turmeric.
The compound curcumin in it has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce pain, swelling and inflammation due to gum disease.
A 2012 study published in the Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology found turmeric mouthwash to be effective in controlling plaque as it has anti-plaque, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.
Another 2015 study publsihed in the National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery found turmeric gel to be effective against plaque and gingivitis.
- Mix ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder with a little water to make a paste. Apply this paste on your gums with a clean finger and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Massage gently for 1 minute before rinsing your mouth with warm water. Repeat twice daily.
- You can also boil a ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder in 1 cup of water, allow it to cool and use it as a mouthwash once daily.
7. Dab Tea Tree Oil
The anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil help soothe irritated and inflamed gums.
A study published in the Australian Dental Journal in 2008 found that topical application of a tea tree oil gel helped reduce gum bleeding and gingivitis. It did not reduce plaque though.
Another 2014 study publsihed in Contemporary Clinical Dentistry found that tea tree oil mouthwash is effective in reducing gingival bleeding.
- Add 3-4 drops of tea tree oil to a cup of warm water. Use it as a mouthwash 2-3 times per day.
- You may add a drop of tea tree oil to your toothpaste and then use it to brush your teeth.
8. Chomp Indian Gooseberry
Indian gooseberry, also known as amla, can promote oral health and prevent gum disease.
The vitamin C and other nutrients in amla help strengthen the gums and support connective tissue health. It also prevents the growth of bacteria in the mouth that can cause oral problems and bad breath.
A 2014 study published in Pharmacognosy Reviews reports that amla is considered a general rebuilder of oral health in Ayurveda.
- Thoroughly chew 1 to 2 fresh amla fruits daily.
- Prepare a mouthwash by adding 1 tablespoon of amla juice in a ½ cup of water. Rinse your mouth with this solution once daily.
9. Brush Your Gums with Indian Lilac Paste
Indian lilac, also known as neem, is an effective ingredient for treating plaque associated with gingivitis.
Since it is rich in antibacterial properties, it helps to destroy bacteria that cause gum disease as well as other oral problems.
In a 2011 study published in the Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology, researchers found neem to be effective for preventing plaque.
- Grind a few neem leaves into a paste. Use this paste to brush your gums as well as your teeth a few times a week.
- You can use tender neem tree twigs to brush your teeth.
- Another option is to rub the juice from neem leaves on your teeth and gums. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes and then rinse it off with warm water. Do this once daily.
10. Chew Guava Leaves
Guava is considered an excellent anti-plaque agent and it helps to remove plaque accumulated on the teeth and gums.
It also has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that help reduce swelling and pain in the gums.
A 2014 study publsihed in the Journal of Indian Association of Public Health Dentistry reported that guava leaves possess antibacterial activity and is effective against gum diseases.
Another 2014 study publsihed in Pharmacognosy Reviews highlights the potential of guava in the treatment of periodontal disease.
- Wash some tender guava leaves and chew them properly before spit them out. Do this daily to reduce the risk of plaque formation on the teeth.
- You can also use a mouth rinse containing guava leaf extract.
11. Consider a Tea Bag
Tea, particularly black or green tea can be used to reduce pain and inflammation due to gum disease. In addition, it contains antioxidants that help fight infections.
In a 2012 study published in the Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology, researchers found that green tea promotes periodontal health by reducing inflammation, preventing bone resorption and limiting the growth of certain bacteria associated with periodontal diseases.
- Steep a tea bag in hot water for 10 minutes, and then allow it to cool. Place the tea bag on the affected area for three to five minutes. Repeat a few times a day until you get relief.
- Steep a cup of green or black tea and allow it to cool down. Now use it as a mouthwash.
- You can also chew sugarless gum made with green tea.
Backenting Gum Disease
To prevent any form of gum disease or oral health, the first step you need to do is maintain good oral hygiene.
Good oral hygiene tips include:
- Brushing your teeth twice daily
- Flossing once a day to remove food particles stuck in between the teeth
- Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and replacing it in every 3- 4 months
- Rinsing the mouth with a mouthwash twice daily.
- Eating a low-sugar diet
- Saying no to smoking
- Having regular dental exams
When to See a Doctor
When it comes to gum disease, it is better to treat the problem as early as possible. Untreated, gingivitis can lead to other oral problems.
See your dentist immediately if you have:
- Extreme tooth pain
- Bad breath
- Bleeding from the gums
- Swollen or inflamed gums
Depending upon the condition of your teeth and gums, the dentist may prescribe medicated mouthwash or antibiotics.
- As deficiency in vitamin C can cause gum inflammation and bleeding, you must include more vitamin C rich foods in your diet.
- As vitamin D also helps reduce the risk of gum disease, take a vitamin D supplement daily.
- Include calcium rich foods in your diet for strong teeth.
- Eat crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots and radishes to stimulate saliva and help keep your mouth clean.
- To rinse your mouth, do not use tap water. Instead, use filtered, bottled, distilled or mineral water.
- Be as gentle as you can while brushing your teeth.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stimulate the production of saliva, which naturally helps kill bacteria.
- Quit smoking and chewing tobacco, as they can increase your risk of oral problems.
- See your dentist twice per year.
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