What is it?
Gum disease, or gingivitis, is inflammation of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth and is most commonly a result of poor dental hygiene. Gingivitis is a very common condition and varies widely in severity. It is characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed easily when teeth are brushed or flossed.
What are the symptoms?
Gum disease and gingivitis have overlapping symptoms: * Gums that are red, tender, or swollen * Gums that bleed when you brush or floss your teeth * Gums that have pulled away from the teeth * Loose teeth * A change in how your teeth fit together when you bite (malocclusion) * Pus between teeth and gums * Pain when chewing * Sensitive teeth * Partial dentures that no longer fit * Foul-smelling breath that doesn’t go away after you brush your teeth
- Green tea has antioxidants that reduce inflammation in the body.
- Hydrogen peroxide helps kill bacteria when used as a mouthwash or as a gel in a custom fitted tray, but it cannot be swallowed.
- Warm saltwater rinse reduces inflammation and kills bacteria, but daily use will damage the teeth.
- Baking soda and water can be used to brush the teeth to help neutralize the acids that can cause gum disease.
- Oil pulling (swishing or rinsing) – there has been little evidence to prove that sesame oil or coconut oil can help reduce bacteria that cause gum disease, but this is a popular practice,
- Massage your gums with fresh aloe vera gel, leave it on for at least half an hour and then rinse it off. Repeat several times a day.
- Cranberry juice is good for fighting gum disease and infection due to its high vitamin C content.
- Tea, particularly black tea, contains tannic acid that helps reduce pain and inflammation. In addition, it contains antioxidants that help fight infections.Steep a tea bag in hot water for 10 minutes, and then allow it to cool. Place the tea bag on the affected area for three to five minutes. Repeat a few times a day until you get relief.
- Add two to three teaspoons of chamomile flowers to one cup of hot water. Let it steep for 10 minutes. Strain and let it cool. Use this chamomile tea as a mouth rinse a few times a day until you notice improvement.
- Brush your teeth for about two minutes every night night before going to bed
- Use toothpaste that contains the right amount of fluoride (a natural mineral that helps protect against tooth decay)
- Floss your teeth regularly – preferably daily, before brushing your teeth
- Use mouthwash
- Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco
Things to watch out for
Disease with mild symptoms can be treated at home with proper oral hygiene. In case of severe symptoms, contact your GP for further evaluation and treatment