Gum disease, as known as periodontal disease, is the name for a range of oral health problems. These problems include gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) to the more severe periodontitis, where gums pull away from the teeth and allows the potential for more severe infection. Without treatment, gum disease can destroy the bone that supports your teeth, causing a large number of serious conditions.
According to David Kennedy, DDS and past president of the International Association for Oral Medicine and Toxicology:
- Over 90% of adults over the age of 30 have some stage of active gum disease.
- 65% of 15-year-olds already have active gum disease (yikes!)
Symptoms of Gum Disease:
- Swollen or red gums
- Bad breath
- Bleeding gums
- Sensitive teeth
- Painful spots on the gums when chewing
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
Although gum disease is very common, it is also mostly preventable if you begin treatment at an early stage. We have put together some great home remedies you can add to your regimen to correct minor stages of gum disease.
However, before we get into the home remedies, it is essential to note that these home care tips should NOT replace your routine dental visit check-ups. Instead, they should complement them.
Our Top 5 Home Remedies to Fight Gum Disease
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil contains several antiseptic and antibiotic properties that can help get rid of bacteria and plaque. It is important to mix one drop of tea tree oil with your regular toothpaste. You should make sure not to add too much tea tree oil or swallow it accidentally.
Coconut Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is an ancient method of cleansing the teeth and gums by swishing oil in the mouth. Coconut oil, in particular, has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
How to Do Coconut Oil Pulling:
- Put 1 to 2 teaspoons of fractionated coconut oil (which is liquid at room temperature) into your mouth.
- Swish the oil around your mouth for 20 minutes. Be careful not to let the oil touch the back of your throat.
- Spit the oil out after the time is up.
- Rinse your mouth with water.
- Spit the water out.
- Drink a full glass of water.
- Brush your teeth.
Oil pulling is safe to practice and is best if done first thing in the morning. Be careful not to swallow it, as it contains the bacteria pulled from the tissue in your mouth.
Honey is also known to contain natural anti-bacterial properties that help eliminate bacteria which cause gum infection. Applying raw honey over the gums after brushing can have beneficial effects for those suffering from periodontal disease.
Turmeric Powder contains antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. When utilized as a toothpaste, turmeric can help create an environment where bacteria die. Mixing turmeric with water to create a paste and brushing with it two times a day is a great approach to keeping gum disease under control.
Nutrition is vital for all aspects of your overall health, including your oral health. However, there are specific nutrients that are needed for healthy teeth and gums.
Basic Nutritional Guidelines:
- Eat Protein from whole food sources like pastured meats.
- Eat Fat-soluble vitamins and beneficial fats from food sources like fatty fish, liver, and coconuts
- Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits
- Avoid processed foods that contain sugar or refined flours, which can be harmful to teeth (and other parts of the body).
As you start to implement some of these home remedies, you can expect to see fairly rapid improvements in milder cases of gum disease. However, you'll still need to make sure you are visiting your dental provider on a routine basis. That way, your provider can thoroughly monitor your symptoms.
If you have any questions or need to schedule an appointment, give us a call today!