A person’s smile is the best accessory they can adorn to lighten up their face and brighten up someone else’s day. For this reason, we often come across people who take very good care of their teeth going to the extent of getting teeth whitening done with periodic cleaning and flossing, accessorizing one’s tooth with diamond implants and whatnot. But in the quest to attain pearly whites for smile enhancement often they tend to sideline the gums which is also another important part of the mouth. In this article, we will throw light on gum disease and how simple home remedies can help to get rid of gum disease.
What Is Gum Disease
Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is a disease of the gums which can be blamed as the main cause of tooth loss in adults. It happens as a result of bacterial growth inside the mouth and can cause major harm to the teeth and tissues if left untreated. In some cases, gum inflammation occurs a few days before the actual gum disease. This inflammation is termed as gingivitis but it is not necessary that all cases of gingivitis advance to periodontitis. In the case of the latter, pockets are formed inside the gum resulting in the dirt getting collected within the pockets, plaque gets formed and this leads to infection. This can lead to bleeding, loosening of the teeth and subsequently results in tooth loss.
Causes And Symptoms
Factors that lead to gum disease are as follows:
- One of the major causes of gum disease is plaque formation due to poor oral hygiene.
- Changes in hormones during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause can cause gingivitis owing to the gums becoming sensitive at these stages.
- Certain diseases like diabetes, HIV, cancer can cause gum disease.
- Some medications can cause affect the health of the teeth adversely and can lead to gum disease.
- Family history can be considered as another factor that causes gum disease.
- Smoking and drinking alcohol can cause the overall health of the mouth to get affected and can lead to gum disease.
- Certain teeth deformation like overlapping or rotated tooth causes easy plaque formation which in turn can lead to gum disease.
- Stress can also lead to gingivitis.
- Eating an imbalanced diet can lead to reduced oral health.
Common symptoms of gum disease:
- Bleeding while brushing the teeth.
- Pain in the gums.
- Tender gums, accompanied by swelling and redness.
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Bad odor from the mouth
- Receding gums exposing more portion of the teeth.
- Formation of pockets between the gums and the teeth.
- Loosening of the teeth.
- Change in tooth formation or how they fit together.
Some Home Remedies To Treat Gum Disease
Simple home treatments that can help get rid of gum disease at its initial stages are as follows:
- Clove – being an antioxidant with an antiviral property, clove is known to ease inflammation. Clove oil is effective in getting rid of bacteria, relieves pain and it helps to maintain oral health. Clove oil is also known to stop stroke or certain heart disease. Clove is a common ingredient in dental products like mouthwashes, toothpaste, throat spray, etc. Rub the gums gently using a damp cotton ball dipped into crushed cloves. Let the cloves stay for up to 1 minute and then rinse the mouth with water.
- Aloe Vera – Aloe vera works wonders for those suffering from gum disease owing to its anti-inflammatory and healing properties. It also helps to get rid of mouth ulcers and mouth odors. Extract fresh aloe vera gel and using it massage the gums leaving it on for about 30 minutes. Clean with water. Repeat as often as possible and continue the treatment for a good few weeks until one feels better. It is also advisable to drink 2 teaspoons of aloe vera daily for better gum health. Also, vera is also an excellent antimicrobial agent so in all it’s excellent for oral health.
- Oil Pulling – in Ayurveda, oil pulling is considered as an ideal technique to treat oral diseases as well as reduce toxins. It helps to strengthen the gums and teeth, helps to get rid of plaque as well as reduces bad odor. Some oils ideal for this purpose are arimedadi oil and coconut oil. The former is said to heal mouth sores, get rid of swelling, relieve pain as well as make the gums and teeth strong wheres the latter helps in inducing fresh breath, lead to teeth whitening, relieves sinus symptoms and reduces tension. For arimedadi oil rinse the mouth thoroughly with 1 tablespoon of the oil for 15 minutes ensuring the oil goes through the teeth covering the gums. Spit the oil and rinse with water. Repeat for a month but refrain from using this oil if you have sinusitis. For coconut oil, put 2 teaspoons of it in the mouth and let stay for 20-30 minutes avoiding the back of the throat. Spit the oil out and rinse the mouth with water. Follow the oil pulling with teeth brushing.
- Tea tree oil – the anti-inflammatory properties of this oil helps to soothe irritated gums, gets rid of bad breath and it also helps to treat the symptoms of gingivitis. Tea-tree oil also helps to treat oral herpes infection and thrush. Mix 3 drops of tea tree oil with warm water. Wash the mouth with this mixture for up to half a minute. Spit it and rinse with water. Repeat thrice a day for several weeks. Do not ingest the oil.
- Chamomile Tea – known for its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, this tea is a preferred choice for those looking to treat gum disease. It also helps to get rid of symptoms of gingivitis. Mix a few flowers of chamomile in hot water, let stay and then strain it after 10 minutes. Once cooled, use this as your mouthwash and notice a considerable improvement in your gum health over the next few weeks.
- Guava Leaf – owing to their antibacterial properties they fight plaque formation and helps to maintain oral health. It also helps to freshen the breath, relieve pain as well as reduces gum inflammation. Crush about 5 leaves of guava and add it to boiling water, leaving it to simmer for 15 minutes. Allow it to cool, add a little salt to it and then use it as a mouth wash, gargling it within the mouth for about `15 minutes. Repeat thrice a day.
- Turmeric gel – owing to it anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antimicrobial properties, turmeric is excellent to treat red, bleeding gums. Turmeric also relieves pain and gum inflammation as it contains curcumin. After thoroughly brushing the teeth, apply turmeric gel to the gums, let it stay for 10 minutes, rinse with water. Spit the water out and repeat twice a day.
Gum disease can be fought naturally using simple home remedies but it is important to prevent its recurrence. For this one must regularly practice oral hygiene by brushing twice a day, floss after meals, change their toothbrush once every 3 months, use a natural mouthwash, limit sugary food intake and pay periodic visits to the dentist’s office to make sure the teeth and gums are healthy and strong. Consuming food rich in calcium like tofu, salmon, dairy products also helps to improve oral health and keep gum disease at bay.