Gum disease is an oral health condition that can lead to tooth loss and other health problems if left untreated. Fortunately, you can take several simple steps at home to help treat and prevent gum disease.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, which is the beginning stages of periodontal disease, is an infection of the gum tissues surrounding and supporting your teeth. It is caused by a buildup of bacterial plaque on the teeth and gums, leading to inflammation, redness, tenderness, and bleeding. If left untreated, gum disease can cause loose teeth and other serious dental health problems.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque and bacteria on the teeth and gums. Dental plaque is a sticky film that forms on the teeth when food particles mix with saliva and bacteria. If not removed, plaque can harden into tartar, which can irritate the gums and cause inflammation. Poor oral hygiene habits like not brushing or flossing regularly can contribute to gum disease.
Effective Home Remedies for Gum Disease
Here are ten simple steps you can take at home to help treat gum disease:
#1. Good Oral Hygiene
The most essential step in treating and preventing periodontal disease is to practice good oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and using an antiseptic mouthwash. Be sure to brush all surfaces of the teeth, including the back molars, and use gentle circular motions.
#2. Sage Mouthwash
Sage is a natural antiseptic and astringent that can help reduce inflammation and fight bacteria in the mouth. To make a sage mouthwash, steep 1 teaspoon of dried sage leaves in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid and let it cool before using it as a mouthwash. Rinse your mouth with the solution twice daily.
#3. Hydrogen Peroxide
Swishing with a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water can help reduce inflammation and kill bacteria in the mouth. It is also an effective solution for those who have sensitive teeth. To make the solution, mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water. Swish the solution in your mouth for 20 seconds, then spit it out.
You can also use hydrogen peroxide as a mouth paste by mixing it with baking soda. Apply the paste to your teeth and gums, leave it on for a few minutes, then rinse your mouth with water.
#4. Baking Soda
Sodium bicarbonate works against harmful bacteria in the mouth and helps neutralize acids that can cause tooth decay and gum disease. It can also help break down stains and whiten teeth. To use baking soda as a mouth paste, mix a small amount of baking soda with water then use it to brush your teeth.
#5. Lemon Grass Oil
Lemon grass oil is proven to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce bacteria in the mouth and reduce inflammation of the gums. To make a mouthwash, combine a few drops of lemongrass oil with a cup of water and swish it around your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting it out.
#6. Salt Water Rinse
Saltwater is a natural antiseptic that can help eliminate harmful bacteria in the mouth and reduce gum inflammation. To make a saltwater rinse, mix 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water and swish it around your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting it out. Repeat up to 2 times per day.
#7. Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera gel is not only effective in treating skin conditions, but it can also help fight bacteria in the mouth. There are plenty of aloe vera toothpaste and mouthwashes available, but you can also make your own. Just make sure that you are using a food grade aloe vera gel.
#8. Green Tea
Green tea contains polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants that can help protect against gum disease. Try adding a couple of servings of green tea to your daily diet. You can also make a mouthwash with green tea by steeping 2-3 bags of green tea in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid and let it cool before using it as a mouthwash.
#9. Turmeric Paste
Turmeric is popularly known for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It helps reduce inflammation, pain, and swelling in the gums. To make a turmeric paste, mix 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder with enough water to form a paste. Apply the paste to the affected gums, leave it on for a few minutes, then rinse your mouth with water.
#10. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil contains powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties that can help fight bacteria in the mouth. To make a tea tree oil mouthwash, mix a few drops of tea tree oil with a glass of water and use it as a regular mouthwash.
How To Keep Your Gums Healthy
Prevention is always the best way to keep your gums healthy. Here are some tips for keeping your gums in good shape:
- Brush and floss regularly: Brushing and flossing twice a day helps remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth and gums, reducing the risk of gum disease.
- Use an antiseptic mouthwash: Antiseptic mouthwashes can help reduce bacteria in the mouth and protect against gum disease.
- Avoid smoking: Smoking increases your risk of developing gum disease, so it’s best to avoid it altogether.
- Eat a balanced diet: Eating a balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables can help keep your gums healthy.
Keep Your Mouth Healthy With McDonogh Dental
Aside from following the tips above, it’s important to visit your dentist regularly for checkups and dental cleanings. At McDonogh Dental, we offer comprehensive dental care services to help keep your mouth healthy. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!