Gum disease, or periodontal disease as it is commonly called, is a type of oral infection that affects the tissues of the mouth that hold the teeth. This condition usually ends manifests itself in the form of gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), annihilation of the periodontal ligament, loss of supporting bone and eventual tooth loss.
While nearly everyone who doesn’t observe proper oral hygiene will suffer some degree of periodontal disease, only a small percentage go on to develop advanced periodontal infections.
What causes gum disease?
Our mouths are one of those ecosystems with conditions conducive to growing disease-causing bacteria. These bacteria tend to appear in oral biofilms – or what we commonly refer to as dental plaque. If plaque is not cleaned by oral hygiene procedures such as brushing and flossing, it hardens to form tartar.
This hard-to-clean material attracts disease bacteria that move into defects known as periodontal pockets around the teeth, from which they are exceedingly difficult to remove. This in turn leads to gingivitis and later periodontitis (chronic presence of tartar and plague that destroys the bone structure and the gum).
Home remedies to combat gum disease
In the absence of a good oral hygiene program coupled with regular dental checkups, most people suffer from gum disease. However, with a few home remedies, you can combat gum disease.
This technique is not only known for curing swollen gums but also for reversing gum disease with bone loss. As the name suggests, this procedure helps “pull” toxins out of the gums, preventing the buildup of plaque. Be sure to use coconut, sesame, olive oil or other organically approved oils when swishing.
Garlic and turmeric
Both garlic and turmeric have great antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, respectively. If mixed together to form a paste, they can help in fighting bacteria and gum inflammation.
While brushing at least twice a day helps eradicate food particles and plague, flossing daily can remove plaque in places between your teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach.
Green tea contains catechins: antioxidants that help repel diseases by combating free radicals in your mouth that cause gum disease and strengthening the bond between your gums and teeth. In addition, green tea also contains anti-inflammatory properties that reduce gum swelling.
Besides having numerous skin healing properties, aloe vera is a great remedy for combating gum disease. This natural herb has both anti-inflammatory and cell repairing capabilities. These two properties not only reduce the soreness on the gums but also help to reactivate the cells that are vital in the repair of tissues.
Salt has both antiseptic and antibacterial properties that can help in treating gum disease, as well as easing pain and inflammation. However, excessive usage of saltwater can damage the teeth.
When used as a mouthwash or as gel in a custom fitted tray, hydrogen peroxide can kill bacteria in the mouth. However, keep in mind that it should not be swallowed.
While proper oral hygiene is the key to great oral health, the rate at which plaque turns to tartar is highly dependent on the individual. In fact, some of us are genetically prone to gum disease, but we only see the signs in later years.
If you are experiencing red, swollen gums, chronic bad breath, receding gums or a growing space between your teeth, please contact Dr. Sadati today for advice on other dental treatments for gum disease.