Here you will find a range of products and techniques that are natural, healthy, relatively inexpensive, and are great for helping to maintain gum and overall oral health.
Disclaimer: It should be noted that periodontal disease is a serious inflammatory disease that is best maintained by periodontists, dentists, and dental hygienists. While the natural treatment of gum disease at home is a wonderful first step, regular periodontal maintenance visits are strongly encouraged and recommended.
Gum disease is the deterioration of the gum tissues and supporting structures around the teeth (bone, ligaments, gums.)
Plaque biofilm, which builds up on the teeth, is composed of billions of pathogenic oral bacteria. Plaque bacteria consume fermentable carbohydrates and excrete lactic acid and toxins into the surrounding tissues.
Over time, and if left undisturbed, the acid and toxins create a chronic inflammatory response throughout the body while the tissues, ligaments, and supporting bones begin to deteriorate. This chronic infection and inflammation can contribute to the development of systemic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.
Apart from the systemic implications, gum disease has the potential to cause bone and tissue loss and the rampant loss of teeth over time. The more advanced forms of gum disease cannot be cured, but can be maintained with the help of dental professionals. Natural remedies for gum disease help arrest the cycle of inflammation and infection.
"Gingiva" = gums, "itis" = inflammation. Gingivitis is mild gum disease characterized by bleeding gums when brushing or flossing. This is reversible and does not cause bone loss, tooth loss, or permanent damage to the mouth or body. Over time gingivitis can develop into a more serious and irreversible form of oral disease called periodontitis.
"Peri" = around, "odont" = teeth, "itis" = inflammation. Periodontitis is a moderate to severe gum disease characterized by bleeding gums, bone loss, tissue loss, deep pocket depth measurements, loss of attachment of the teeth to the body, loose teeth, and tooth loss. This is irreversible and causes ongoing inflammation of the entire body, contributing to the development of systemic diseases (diabetes, heart disease, cancer.) Generally periodontitis must be maintained on a regular basis at the dental office to ensure it does not progress. There is no known cure for periodontitis, but natural remedies for gum disease help keep the disease in check. By decreasing plaque-induced inflammation by properly removing plaque, some attachment can generally be gained back and then maintained with excellent oral hygiene.
This list of natural remedies for gum disease includes some of the best methods to help reduce inflammation and heal gum infections at home.
Many other home remedies for gum disease are out there, but these are generally all you will need to help maintain your oral health.
Each of these topics is expanded in detail below.
Because gum disease is caused by undisrupted plaque that sits against the gums for too long, the proper removal of plaque is the most important of the natural remedies for gum disease.
Maintaining a mouth free from plaque bacteria requires that a person minimize the bacterial load in the mouth.
By continually removing the source of inflammation of the gums (plaque bacteria), the gum tissues will be allowed to heal over time, and the inflammation will go down. Though periodontitis cannot be cured, it can be improved over time and then maintained. This is why periodontal maintenance visits are a critical ingredient in periodontal care.
The most common reason for gum disease is the improper removal of plaque at the gum line.
Though most people brush daily, many people are either brushing ineffectively or actually harming their gums by using an improper technique.
A Waterpik is a device that shoots a stream of pulsating water into the gum line, dislodging plaque around the gums, between the teeth, and in the periodontal pockets around the teeth. This reduces inflammation and cleans out the infection. In addition it helps stimulate blood flow to the tissues around the teeth, and is perfect for cleaning under and around bridges, crowns, and braces.
Waterpiks have been clinically proven to be up to 50% more effective at removing plaque bacteria than string floss, are easier to use, are faster, more enjoyable, and frankly they get much, much better results. I recommend a Waterpik to all of my patients and have seen amazing results even after their first use. In my opinion this is the most important tool in the fight against gum disease. As a dental hygienist I cannot recommend this product enough, as it is one of the most effective natural remedies for gum disease.
Waterpiks range in price from $37 for a cordless model up to $90 for the designer series, with a mid-range of $50. Find out more in my article specifically about Waterpiks. Different tips are available, such as the pikpocket for cleaning deep periodontal pockets, and various other tips for removing plaque from below the gum line. Warm water or warm salt water is recommended.
Activated coconut charcoal is one of the most beneficial natural remedies for gum disease now available.
It is excellent at latching onto toxins in the body, and is widely used in cases of food poisoning.
Since it's not absorbed by the body, toxins adhere to it and are completely removed from the system with no side effects.
It works the same way in the mouth. The toxins released by plaque bacteria that cause gum disease adhere to the surface of the activated charcoal. These are then expectorated out into the sink and disappear forever. This is one of the best products I've found for actively and effectively removing toxins from the gums and teeth.
Another huge benefit of activated charcoal powder is that it is one of the best home teeth whitening systems, and it's natural and fairly cost effective. It doesn't scratch the enamel and absorbs stains and toxins within the teeth and gums. I have noticed significant results on my patients' teeth and gums with just one use. I recommend My Magic Mud brand loose charcoal powder, designed specifically for teeth and using only naturally-sourced ingredients. Another great option is to use Colgate's Charcoal Toothbrush.
Chlorhexidine gluconate oral rinse is a prescribed antibacterial mouth rinse. Generally a dentist or periodontist will prescribe this when periodontitis is in an advanced stage, is deteriorating at a rapid rate, or when low bacterial counts are wanted such as before and after surgery.
Chlorhexidine (CHX) is widely accepted as being very beneficial in the fight against gum disease. Often CHX, in combination with a Waterpik and proper brushing, will decrease the bacterial load in the mouth, thus decreasing inflammation.
The drawbacks of chlorhexidine are the taste and the fact that it can temporarily cause the teeth to stain. This is generally seen as a somewhat short-term solution to widely decrease the bacteria in the mouth. It is one of the more effective natural remedies for gum disease.
Salt is a natural antibacterial sterilizing agent and disinfectant. In addition to its antibacterial qualities, it works to draw out toxins from the tissues. This is one of the most ancient forms of fighting infection and inflammation in the mouth, and one of the most common natural remedies for gum disease. It has withstood the test of time because it is so effective.
Make a warm salt water rinse:
Swish this salt water mixture around the mouth, keeping it in contact with the tissues, then spit it out and do it again until the whole cup is gone. Do this 2-3 times daily, preferably after brushing.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and is important in both tissue health and in immune system function.
Plaque-induced inflammation and toxins produced by plaque cause collagen in the gum tissues to deteriorate.
Vitamin C helps repair the supporting connective tissues around the teeth (gums, ligaments) and to speed the regeneration of bone. It's also known to help speed the healing of sores in the mouth.
The RDA for Vitamin C is 60 mg daily. It's found in fresh fruits, bell peppers, and in dark green leafy vegetables. Alternatively it's available in supplement form, but avoid dissolvable tablets as these may contribute to gum irritation and tooth erosion due to their acidity.
CoQ10 is another of the natural remedies for gum disease that has clinically proven results from top peer-reviewed sources.
This co-enzyme is a powerful antioxidant well known for its benefits in the fight against inflammation. Use of CoQ10 suppresses periodontal inflammation and promotes healthy oral tissues.
In combination with excellent oral hygiene and other natural remedies for gum disease, CoQ10 will help the body fight infection and inflammation in the mouth and gums.
Tea tree oil (melaleuca oil) is a natural antibiotic, disinfectant, and antiseptic commonly found in alternative dentistry.
Many people use tea tree toothpastes and gums to help promote healing and to reduce inflammation of the gum tissues.
In addition to the benefits listed above, tea tree oil has these positive properties:
One of the key factors in natural remedies for gum disease is to reduce the bacterial load in the mouth. Pathogenic bacteria, after all, are responsible for causing the irritation, infection, and inflammation seen in gum disease. By removing these bacteria, gum disease can effectively be kept in check and maintained.
Teeth compose just 20% of the surface area in the mouth, with the oral tissues and tongue making up about 80% of the surface area. The tongue is like a sponge that soaks up and retains bacteria, even after brushing.
By using a tongue scraper daily, bacterial loads will be reduced, and less pathogenic bacteria will be circulating in the oral cavity. There are many different types of tongue scraper, but the most effective, hygienic, and long-lasting is the type made of antibacterial stainless steel. Dr Tung's tongue scraper is one of the best on the market, costs around $8, and lasts for years.
This is one of the natural remedies for gum disease that is more often used when extreme or advanced infection of the gum tissues has set in.
How To Use: Briefly soak a tea bag in cool water. Press the tea bag against the infected or inflamed gum tissues. Try to lodge it next to the affected area using the lips and tongue. Leave on until pus or infection is lessened.
This method should be followed by a warm salt water rinse or other naturally disinfecting rinse like hydrogen peroxide to help further clean and heal the tissues.
Hydrogen peroxide is one of the most cost effective and widely used natural remedies for gum disease on the market. It is often used in dentistry and has been shown effective at decreasing bacterial loads in the mouth.
Plaque bacterial colonies surround themselves with a slime matrix which serves to protect them from damage and pathogens. Hydrogen peroxide has been shown to dissolve this matrix and expose the bacteria to antibacterial agents.
3% hydrogen peroxide solution is a mild antiseptic known for its foaming action when it comes in contact with broken skin. An enzyme in the blood called catalase reacts with the hydrogen peroxide. This reaction gives off bubbles or pure oxygen, with water as a byproduct. This bubbling action helps remove mucus and clear out infected tissues in the mouth.
However, hydrogen peroxide should be used somewhat sparingly. Repeated long-term use actually "burns" the tissues and causes harm (tissues will turn white.) It's recommended that swishing be limited. Alternatively, mix 1:1 hydrogen peroxide and water for a milder solution.
Brushing with hydrogen peroxide in place of toothpaste is another alternative. Make sure to massage the gums as detailed toward the top of the page. This should follow regular brushing with toothpaste or xylitol gel and should not take the place of normal brushing.
Home | Oral Health Care Information | The Truth About Fluoride | Waterpik Facts: Why Everyone Should Use One | Tooth Nerve Pain | The Truth About Reversing Cavities | Oral Cancer Symptoms | How To Whiten Your Teeth Naturally | Natural Canker Sore Remedies | The Causes Of Bleeding Gums | Dental Health Care In Diabetics | Natural Remedies For Gum Disease | The Importance Of Saliva | Natural Dry Mouth Remedies | The Science Behind Oil Pulling | The Science Behind Ionic Toothbrushes | Toxic Teeth: The Mercury Amalgam Debate | Teeth Grinding: Causes And Natural Solutions | Is Xylitol Better Than Fluoride?