Being a victim of periodontal disease since my teenage, I can totally understand how hard it is to live with infected, swollen and bleeding gums.
The good news is, you can successfully heal periodontal disease simply by improving your dental care routine. There are also a couple of dentist-approved home remedies that work exceptionally well on gum diseases.
You can reverse periodontal disease without surgery only if you diagnose the problem at an early stage. The sooner you take precautions, the higher are your chances of recovery.
To detect the signs of periodontal disease, you need to understand what it actually means and how it happens in the first place.
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Understanding the Damaging Nature of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is an umbrella term for gum infection. It is basically a chronic inflammatory gum disorder caused by a bacterial infection.
This infection affects our gum tissues, the bone structure around our teeth, periodontal ligament and the cementum around the root of our teeth.
Periodontal disease mainly has two stages:
- Gingivitis: The early stage. It only affects the surface of gums and can be treated easily by improving oral hygiene.
- Periodontitis: The advanced stage of gum infection. It causes a huge loss of gum tissues and degeneration of bone structure around the teeth.
Dental plaque buildup is the main culprit of periodontal disease. Plaque is a collection of millions of bacteria. Are you noticing a yellow, sticky film on your teeth every morning? This is a clear sign of plaque buildup.
Plaque can lead to acute inflammation of gums and even cause the loss of gum tissues. Gum inflammation eventually gives rise to problems like gum swelling, redness, and bleeding. All these are the symptoms of gingivitis, the first stage of periodontal disease.
If you don’t remove the plaque soon, it will gradually solidify and turn into tartar. This marks the onset of a more severe stage of periodontal disease. It can affect the supporting tissues in your gum and the bone support around your teeth.
This can make your gum line move away from your teeth, resulting in the formation of gaps (or periodontal pockets) between your teeth and gums. This condition is known as periodontitis.
At its worst stage, it can fully damage alveolar bone and periodontal ligament, causing cavity and premature tooth loss.
The damage doesn’t just stop here. Recent studies are suggesting the link between periodontal diseases and cardiovascular diseases. People who suffer from severe gum infection are at a greater risk of getting a stroke or heart attack.
Gum disease can lead to more serious health conditions like
- Clogged arteries. If you already have a heart disease, this can make things worse.
- Spike in blood sugar level. A diabetic patient with infected gums will certainly have trouble controlling his blood sugar level.
- People with acute gum diseases have a high risk of getting bacterial pneumonia. The contaminating bacteria from your mouth can easily reach your lungs and trigger infection.
- Women who have periodontal disease during pregnancy can potentially give premature birth to underweight babies.
You can stop the progression of gum infection by taking early precautions. While plaque is the number one reason behind all kinds of gum diseases, there are several other factors that promote quicker progression of gum infection.
Your Periodontal Enemies: Risk Factors That Make Periodontal Disease Worse
Factors like smoking, poor diet, low immunity, hormonal disbalance, heredity can exacerbate the existing infection in your gums. To keep periodontal disease away, you consciously avoid these risk factors.
Nothing damages your gum tissue cells more than tobacco. Vincent’s Disease or ulcerative gingivitis is very common for chain smokers.
If you are already under treatment for periodontal disease, tobacco will reduce the potency of your medicines. The rate of tartar buildup is also high among smokers. Quit smoking if you wish to prevent periodontal disease from causing irreversible damage to your gums.
The rise and fall of hormones during stress, anxiety, pregnancy, and menstruation cycle can also make your gum disease worse. The highest risk factor among all these is pregnancy.
During this time, you may experience gum irritation, inflammation, and swelling. This condition is called pregnancy gingivitis and around 40% pregnant women suffer from this every year.
Crooked Teeth, Braces, and Dental Implants
Having a crooked tooth, braces, crowns or bridgework make brushing and flossing very difficult. You know what happens when you fail to clean your mouth properly? Plaque happens.
Crooked or overcrowded teeth are more problematic as they create a bigger gap between your teeth and gums. More plaque can accumulate in those hard-to-reach gaps, thus putting you at a greater risk of infection.
If your family has a history of oral diseases, you can be an unfortunate victim of it too. However, you can prevent the danger by taking proper care of your oral hygiene.
Lack of enough Vit-C, calcium and magnesium in your diet can also trigger gum infections and bleeding gums.
Certain antidepressants, painkillers, and medicines used to treat blood pressure can cause the enlargement of gums and increase the risk of cavity. Some medications promote the spread of bacteria by disrupting saliva production.
If you are observing any of these symptoms while taking Nifedipine, Dilantin or Cyclosporine, consult your doctor immediately.
It is the medical term for grinding or clenching teeth. If your gum ligament and bones are already weakened and inflamed, grinding teeth will only make this more painful. If you cannot consciously stop clenching your teeth, your dentist could prescribe you a specialized mouth guard.
The Glaring Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Healthy gums look light pink, feel firm and fit tightly around your teeth. The scary part is that the early signs of periodontal disease are often too mild to notice. You might feel no pain or irritation at all in the beginning.
However, you better start taking precautions as soon as you start noticing the following warning signs:
- Bad breath.
- Gum bleeding while brushing.
- Swollen gums.
- Receding gum line.
- Tooth and gum sensitivity.
- Gum tenderness.
- Red or purple-red gums.
- Tooth loss.
Clever Ways to Naturally Reverse Periodontal Disease
To protect your gum from all sorts of bacterial information, you need to make some drastic changes in your daily oral care routine. You can also try some old fashion natural remedies to get temporary relief from the puffiness, bleeding, pain, and inflammation of gums.
Power up Your Dental Care Habit
Replace Toothpaste: Change your toothpaste. To heal receding gum line and curb the growth of bacteria, you should ideally use a toothpaste enriched with Vit-C, mint extract, and natural antiseptic, anti-inflammatory ingredients like tea tree oil, coconut oil, activated charcoal, xylitol, etc.
Floss Daily: Brushing alone cannot remove all the food particles, bacteria, and plaque. You need to floss the gaps of your teeth at least once a day to ensure a complete mouth clean-up. If thread flossing hurts your gum, you can opt for an oral irrigator or water flosser. It is gentler, easier to use and much more effective than traditional string floss.
Mouthwash Matters: After flossing, finish off your new and improved dental care regime with a mouthwash rinse. Instead of alcohol-based mouthwash, choose a mild mouthwash containing peppermint, aloe vera, and essential oils like clove, basil, lemongrass oil, almond oil or tea tree oil. Even better if it also contains baking soda and xylitol for a deeper cleansing.
Oil Pulling Keeps Gum Disease Miles Away
In Ayurveda, oil pulling is a method if swishing essential oil (mostly organic coconut oil) in the mouth for around 15 minutes. Then spit it out completely, do not swallow. Repeating this twice a day will effectively flush out all the dirt, dental plaque bacteria, and toxins from your mouth.
To enhance the detoxifying effects of coconut oil, you can mix 5 drops of 100% pure coconut oil with 5 drops of any of the following essential oils:
- Sage oil.
- Peppermint oil.
- Clove oil.
- Basil oil.
- Tea tree essential oil.
- Myrrh oil.
- Cinnamon bark oil.
Solve Gum Problems with Saltwater
Salt or sodium chloride is a natural disinfectant. According to a study published in 2016, saltwater rinse twice or thrice a day can dramatically reduce the growth of plaque-causing bacteria in your mouth. It also helps you get rid of bad breath, canker sores, inflamed and swollen gums.
You need to add ½ teaspoon of table salt to 1 glass of tepid water for this. Swirl it around your mouth for half a minute and then spit it out.
Healthier Food for Healthier Gums
If you want to restore the health of your gums, you need to make some major tweaks in your regular diet too.
Power of Calcium: The most essential nutrient for strong teeth and healthy gums is calcium. Your body absorbs calcium faster when it comes from food source. Include yogurt, low-fat milk and a little bit of cheese in your daily meal.
Drink a cup of warm milk every day. Milk contains casein that neutralizes the oral acids linked with enamel erosion and gum inflammation.
Extra Kick of Magnesium: Your body needs magnesium to absorb calcium. To get the extra boost of magnesium, include almonds, peanuts, black beans, and lots of leafy greens in your diet.
Power of Vitamin-C: You should also consume Vit-C rich foods like citrus fruits. Vit-C is basically a type of water-soluble antioxidant. It prevents the progression of gum infection by killing oral bacteria. By promoting collagen production, it also helps to regenerate the damaged gum tissues.
Cure with Clove
As you might remember by heart now, the biggest reason of periodontal disease is dental plaque. According to some recent studies, clove’s potent antibacterial properties can eliminate the bacteria associated with plaque formation. Clove contains eugenol, a natural anesthetic, and analgesic that provides instant relief from gum soreness and swelling.
Treatment with Tea Bags
When it comes to natural remedies for periodontal disease, many people don’t know about the amazing benefits of tea bags. The anti-inflammatory tannic acid can reduce the puffiness and tenderness of gums right away. Herbal tea bags can also heal gum swelling, bleeding and throbbing pain caused due to the extraction of wisdom teeth.
Using this method is simple. Boil a tea bag in one cup of tea for 5 minutes. Turn off the stove and remove the tea bag. Let it cool for 10-15 minutes. Then gently press the bag against the affected area for 5 minutes. Try to use herbal tea or ginger tea for the purpose for best results.
Goodness of Garlic
Garlic is another excellent natural remedy for any kind of mouth infection. What makes it a powerful solution for periodontal disease is the presence of alliin, which is a form of amino acid. Alliin converts into allicin, a supremely potent antimicrobial agent. It reduces the oral bacteria that lead to the formation of periodontal pockets on your gum line.
Wrapping up the Painful Saga of Periodontal Disease
While these natural methods can definitely help you get immediate relief from the pain, swelling and discomfort, these are not an alternative to professional treatment. If you really care about your oral health, you should check in with your dentist or hygienist as soon as possible.
Only a doctor can properly evaluate the intensity of your gum infection. Also, get your teeth professionally cleaned at least twice a year to ensure healthier teeth and gums. Hope this helps!