NATURAL WAYS TO TREAT GUM DISEASE
There are two types of gum disease, namely gingivitis and periodontitis. A mild inflammation of the gums is also called gingivitis. Many people suffer from this condition without having any pain. If the inflammation spreads and the jaw bone is affected, it is called periodontitis.
Gum disease is usually caused by poor oral hygiene. Other factors that increase the risk of this condition include stress, diabetes, hormonal changes, smoking, medications, oral contraceptives, lack of nutrients and a weakened immune system.
It is a dangerous condition, because bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream and cause other health problems. Several studies suggest that gum disease plays a role in heart disease, lung disease, diabetes and premature birth.
There are many natural remedies to treat gum disease. Below we discuss seven effective natural remedies that are backed by scientific studies.
1. VITAMIN C
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that boosts the immune system. This vitamin also helps build collagen, which is important for gums, bones, teeth, blood vessels and the skin. People who have low levels of vitamin C are more susceptible to gum disease. This is revealed in a study conducted by the University of Kuopio in Finland. In another study, a group of patients with periodontitis ingested 70 mg vitamin C on top of their normal daily intake of 25/30 mg. After six weeks, there was a clear improvement of periodontal conditions. The results of this study have been published in the International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research.
2. VITAMIN D
Vitamin D plays an important role in calcium absorption and bone health. It is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties. In 2005, researchers at the Boston University examined the relationship between vitamin D and gingivitis. They found that people with the highest levels of vitamin D are 20% less likely to bleed on gingival probing than those with the lowest levels. Also read: Sun and vitamin D.
A study of the Kyushu University in Japan showed that yogurt and lactic acid drinks have a beneficial effect on periodontal conditions. Milk and cheese, on the other hand, do not provide these benefits. This is possibly due to the probiotics found in lactic acid foods.
4. GREEN TEA
Green tea contains polyphenols that inhibit the growth of periodontal bacteria. Researchers at Kyushu University in Japan discovered that people who drink more green tea have better periodontal health.
5. POMEGRANATE AND CHAMOMILE
According to a study from the Paraiba State University in Brazil pomegranate and chamomile extract are also effective in reducing gum disease. The researchers selected 55 patients with gingivitis and chronic periodontitis and divided them into three groups. The first group rinsed two times a day with chamomile extract, the second group used pomegranate extract and the third group used a chlorhexidine mouthwash. The researchers concluded that chamomile and pomegranate extract were as effective as chlorhexidine in reducing gum bleeding. If one decides to use the synthetic mouthwash chlorhexidine, one should take into account undesired side-effects, such as loss of taste and discoloration of teeth and tongue. Furthermore, another disadvantage of this mouthwash is that it not only destroys bad bacteria, but also good bacteria.
6. OIL PULLING
Oil pulling, also called oil swishing, is a technique which involves pulling and pushing oil through the teeth and all around the mouth for a certain period of time. There are some studies reporting on the efficacy of oil pulling on plaque-induced gingivitis. Research published in the Nigerian Medical Journal found that swishing with coconut oil for thirty days reduces plaque and gingivitis. Two other studies revealed that swishing with sesame oil and sunflower oil also reduces plaque and gingivitis. The results of these studies can be found in the Journal of Oral Health & Community Dentistry and the Indian Journal of Dental Research. Also read: Oil pulling.
Neem has been used in India for thousands of years for periodontal health. According to a study published in the Journal of Indian Society and Periodontology it is an effective remedy for plaque-induced gingivitis.