Gum disease, also known as gingivitis, is a common condition characterized by symptoms like persistent bad breath, red or swollen gums, bleeding gums, receding gums and loose teeth. If not treated, it can advance to periodontitis and lead to further complications.
The primary cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene, resulting in plaque buildup along and under the gum line. Plaque builds up when bacteria attach to the tooth and gum margins.
Factors like smoking, hormonal changes, genetic predisposition, poor nutrition, stress, certain medications, diabetes and other illnesses also contribute to the problem.
The simplest and most common way to relieve pain and discomfort from gum disease is to rinse your mouth with warm water mixed with some salt. Many more effective home remedies can be used to alleviate symptoms, treat gum disease and prevent further complications.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for gum disease.
1. HYDROGEN PEROXIDE
Hydrogen peroxide works as a strong antibacterial agent that kills germs and fights gum disease. Plus, it helps whiten and brighten your pearly whites. Make sure you use the 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution that typically comes in brown bottles, rather than the highly concentrated version.
- Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water. Rinse your mouth with the solution for a few seconds, and then spit it out. Use it a few times a week until you are satisfied with the results.
- Alternatively, mix hydrogen peroxide little by little into one teaspoon of baking soda to make a paste. Put the paste on your toothbrush and gently brush it on your gums and gum line. Finally, spit it out and rinse your mouth. Use it a few times a week for a few weeks.
- You can also apply a paste of clove oil and hydrogen peroxide, leave it on for a few seconds and then spit it out. Repeat as needed.
Note: Do not use hydrogen peroxide too often; once a day is sufficient. Do not swallow it.
2. ALOE VERA
Due to its anti-inflammatory and healing properties, aloe vera has been found to be beneficial in dealing with gum disease. Being an antimicrobial, it also kills the bacteria that cause gum disease. Plus, it fights bad breath and heals mouth ulcers.
- 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.
- Alternatively, swish some aloe vera juice around in your mouth a few times, and then spit it out.
- You can also drink about two teaspoons of aloe vera juice on a regular basis.
Follow any of these remedies daily for several weeks.
Note: Drinking too much aloe vera juice can have a laxative effect.
3. CRANBERRY JUICE
Cranberry juice is good for fighting gum disease and infection due to its high vitamin C content. A study published in the Journal of Periodontology has associated lower intake of vitamin C with higher rates of periodontal disease.
Simply drink about four ounces, or two tablespoons, of cranberry juice daily to help prevent bacteria from sticking to your teeth.
Plus, eat more vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables, such as lemons, oranges, grapefruits, blueberries, grapes, strawberries, papaya, red pepper and broccoli.
4. OIL PULLING
Oil pulling is a traditional Ayurvedic technique that is excellent for oral care. It helps strengthen the teeth and gums, reduces plaque, and relieves bad breath. It is also considered good for overall health as it removes toxins.
- Swish one tablespoon of sesame oil around in your mouth and through your teeth.
- Do this for about 15 minutes or until it becomes thinner and turns milky.
- Spit it out and rinse your mouth with water.
- Repeat the process daily for about a month.
For better results, use coconut oil for oil pulling.
Note: Do not gargle or swallow the oil.
Myrrh is good for treating gum disease and maintaining proper oral hygiene because it has antiseptic, antibacterial and astringent properties. It is often recommended by herbalists as a remedy for sore gums.
- Put 10 drops of myrrh tincture in a cup of warm water and use it as a mouth rinse. You can also add a few drops of the tincture to a salt water rinse. Repeat once or twice a day for several days.
- Alternatively, mix equal amounts of myrrh and Echinacea tinctures. Use this as a mouth rinse. Repeat daily for a few days until you get relief.
6. TEA TREE OIL
The anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil help soothe irritated and inflamed gums. A study published in the Australian Dental Journal in 2008 found that topical application of a tea tree oil gel helped reduce gum bleeding and gingivitis. It did not reduce plaque though.
Simply put a few drops of tea tree oil on your toothpaste or buy toothpaste with tea tree oil in it for brushing your teeth two times a day. Use it for several weeks.
Note: Do not swallow the oil.
7. SEA SALT
Natural sea salt contains minerals that reduce inflammation, ease pain and draw out any infection.
- Mix a small amount of sea salt in a cup of warm water until it dissolves completely.
- Use it as a mouth rinse, swishing it around in your mouth for a few seconds.
- Do this three times a day until your symptoms subside.
8. TEA BAGS
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.
9. COCONUT OIL
The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of coconut oil help in the natural treatment of gum disease. Combining it with baking soda will help neutralize the acids in your mouth, too.
- Mix two tablespoons each of coconut oil and baking soda.
- Use this in place of your toothpaste once or twice a week on a regular basis.
10. CHAMOMILE TEA
Chamomile tea helps ease pain and inflammation associated with gum disease due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
- 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.
In addition to these remedies, make sure to maintain adequate oral hygiene, including daily brushing, flossing and using a mouth rinse to reduce plaque buildup on your teeth. Plus, get regular dental check-ups.