13 Ways You Can Treat Gum Disease

You probably weren’t aware that most people experience gum disease at some point in their lives.  The good news is that treating mild gum disease (i.e. gingivitis) is really easy. Once treated, you can prevent re-occurrences by following a simple oral hygiene routine. If you have sore or bleeding gums and think you have gum disease, don’t panic.  There are several ways to treat bleeding, swollen, irritated gums.

How to know if you have Gum Disease?

The first sign is blood on your toothbrush or in the toothpaste you spit out after cleaning your teeth. Your gums may also bleed when you are eating. Another sign is halitosis or bad breath.

Home Treatment Options:

  1. Improve your brushing and oral care routine (brush and floss a minimum of twice daily)
  2. Remove bacteria from below the gum line
  3. Use mouthwash
  4. Continue to brush, even if your gums are sore or bleeding
  5. Watch your diet. Stay away from carbonated drinks, sugary snacks and alcohol.

Holistic Options:

  1. Oil pulling:  This method cures swollen, red gums, and even reverses gum disease. Oil pulling pulls toxins right out of your mouth and gums. Tip: Use 100 percent organic oil – sesame, olive, or coconut oil works best. 
  2. Sage leaf:  Sage contains antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.  Boil 50 fresh organic sage leaves in water.  Gargle the mixture several times a day like a mouthwash. You can also drink the mixture as a tea.
  3. Garlic/turmeric paste:  Garlic and turmeric are full of antibacterial properties and anti-inflammatory agents. Rub garlic cloves on irritated gums, or make a garlic and turmeric paste to use like toothpaste.  Leave the paste in your mouth for several minutes and then rinse well.
  4. Neem:  Neem is a plant that is common in India and used in a variety of healing remedies. Neem oil has several antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties and can be used in mouthwash to reduce irritation.
  5. Mustard oil:  This method has been used for hundreds of years to combat bad dental hygiene. It destroys bacteria in the mouth and heals the gums quickly with its anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties.
  6. Aloe vera gel:  If your gums are red and inflamed, aloe vera is a great anti-inflammatory agent. Tip: It’s best to get the gel right from the aloe plant itself. 
  7. Eat more fruits and vegetables:  The skin on most fruits and vegetables helps clean the teeth. In addition, the antioxidants in both fruits and vegetables also prevent plaque build up in the mouth.

Professional Options:

Gum disease is a sneaky, progressive disease. If left untreated, it can turn into a more severe form of gingivitis called periodontitis.  Toxins from this buildup of bacterial plaque affect your gum tissue, as well as the bones and ligaments that support your teeth. As the infection progresses, your teeth may become loose and need to be treated surgically or removed.  If you’re in the advanced stages of gum disease (i.e. persistent bleeding gums, extreme sensitivity, loose teeth), or need advice about your oral health, book an appointment with a dentist immediately. Your dentist will discuss your options and what you can do to maintain a healthy smile.

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A version of this post was first published on Altima Dental Blog