From a smile, the teeth and gums are the first indication of the general health of an individual. The gums in particular are the most important component of the mouth with which to maintain good overall health. Through the centuries, humans have recognized the importance of healthy gums and have discovered natural remedies with which to successfully battle gum disease and sustain oral wellbeing.
Periodontal disease is a severe form of infection to the gum which untreated, can lead to tooth loss. Gingivitis is a milder form of gum disease, but still causes reddening and bleeding of the gums and can become the more severe form of periodontal disease. Conventional treatment of gum disease consists of scaling and root planning which requires the removal of plaque and tartar from deep periodontal pockets and cleaning of the teeth root surfaces.
Herbal Remedies for Gum Disease
Fortunately, there are more natural and effective approaches in treating gum disease. Aside from regular brushing and flossing as habitual gum maintenance, there are many herbal approaches that can be applied and used as alternative and complementary methods.
- Calendula Tincture- This is a very effective herb in treating bleeding and receding gums. A few drops on the toothpaste then brushing and massaging the gums gently, will help revitalize and heal the gum tissues.
- Golden Seal- This herb has a natural anti-bacterial quality that is particularly effective with periodontal disease. It also helps with mouth sores and inflammation.
- Aloe Vera- Is most effective in the gel form when applying it to the gums. Aloe Vera has a soothing quality for sore gums.
- Clove Oil- Works as an anesthetic when rubbed on tender and sore gums.
- Hawthorn Berry- If used over a period of time has a tightening effect on the gums.
- Tea Tree- Also contains natural anti-bacterial properties. It is suggested to use commercial tea tree toothpaste as tea tree oil itself does not reduce plaque build-up.
- Cranberry- Amazingly, cranberry contains properties that prevent bacteria from attaching to the teeth. A recommended amount is 4 ounces of sugar-free cranberry juice as found in health food stores.
- Coenzyme Q10- coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant that is found throughout the cells of the body and can be taken in supplement form. Some researchers have claimed that coenzyme Q10 is essential in healing gum tissue.
A mouthwash of myrrh, Echinacea and chamomile, have proven to effectively treat gum disease. Using herbal dental floss gently is a great way of lightly infusing the herbs into the gums. But it is to be noted that these natural remedies are not proven by science, so if the problem persists go to a dentist. And if you know of any natural oral health solutions, do share them through a comment!
Allison Brooks went to the University of Mississippi and earned her degree in Biomedical Anthropology. Now, she is currently studying to finish an ethnography on the effects of biomedicalization on Bolivian cultures. That is why she is a fan of alternative therapies and traditional medicine and would like to spread the word about their effectiveness.