This is Part 2 of my original post, How To Get Rid Of Gingivitis (Gum Disease) Fast & Naturally, which you can read here. Since I found myself updating that post every few years, I decided to start from scratch and just write a new one, with more information in it.
In this guide I will share with you what I did to cure my own gum disease, as well as every other home remedy I could find - both good and bad! I will tell you what to do, as well as what not to do.
This guide is over 3500 words long, so you might want to save it to reference again later. It's also completely free. You'll find people out there selling e-books with this information in it for money. If you find it helpful, buying any of the products I link to from this guide will give me a small commission. There's also a donate button at the end somewhere, if you feel like using it.
What is Gum Disease exactly?
Gum Disease, also called gingivitis, is the mildest type of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. There's generally little or no distress at this point. Gingivitis is easily reversible with good oral hygiene. That's right - it's easy to cure gum disease yourself.
For a lot of years dentists have been telling people to brush two times a day, floss one time a day, see them for scraping of the teeth every six months and everything will be all right. Millions of people have been following these orders, simply to be told after several years that they've got gum disease. That means that the normal recommended methods of cleaning teeth are not enough.
Gum Disease Is Really Bad, Here's Why
If the picture isn't enough to convince you, read on...
Gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, where the inflammation can eventually destroy the gums and other supporting tissues enclosing the teeth, which can result in tooth loss.
Gum disease has also been linked to other health risks, including:
- Heart Disease and Stroke
- Chronic Kidney Disease
So, yes, you want to get rid of gingivitis ASAP if you have it.
- Not cleaning your teeth properly on a regular basis (This is the main cause!)
- Clenching or grinding your teeth
- Certain medications
Symptoms of Gum Disease include:
- Red, bleeding, and/or swollen gums
- Receding gums
- Abscessed teeth
- Loose, wiggly teeth
- Bad breath
Enough negativity, here's...
How To Cure Your Gum Disease
In all but the most severe cases of periodontal disease, the gums should recover within a week, and typically within just a couple of days. If there is some other disorder causing the periodontitis, then that disorder probably must be treated to repair the gums, but the mouth can at least be made more healthy with these practices.
Clean Your Teeth Properly!
This is the most important thing to do. If you do nothing else, at least do this. How?
You probably know how to do this... Make use of a circular motion to brush teeth and gums, and don't forget to brush the roof of your mouth as well as your tongue. Use a soft brush to avoid hurting your gums. Toothpaste is optional (actually, brushing without toothpaste will scrub the plaque off more effectively).
Removes food that's lodged in teeth, preventing bacteria from feeding on it. Even when it makes the gums bleed, it is vital that you floss; it accelerates healing of the gums and prevents cavities at the gum line too.
Use a water flosser (oral irrigator)
Has all the same benefits as floss, only faster, better and less likely to make the gums bleed. Can also help to break down tartar (calculus). If you use a water flosser, you should also still floss normally occasionally, because most water flossers can't easily reach all areas, particularly at the back of the mouth.
Some of the best water flossers to consider:
Ideally, you should use this after every meal or snack. If your teeth are sensitive, you can use warm water.
Massage your gum line with a gum stimulator
This is important. This is the main cause of gum disease - bacteria build up in the gum line because people don't often clean this area well enough. Brushing doesn't really get to it well enough and neither does most flossing. A water flosser (as mentioned above) will actually help to clean this area better - but you should still rub it manually as well.
This is generally considered the best gum stimulator:
If you don't have a gum stimulator yet, you can also use something soft, but textured, to rub along your gum line in the mean time, removing any plaque or food particles that may become stuck there. For example, you can use your finger wrapped in a soft clean cloth, or a blunt toothpick that you've filed down. But ideally you'd need something that's actually designed for this purpose.
Keep doing these things daily
Forever! Even after you've cured the gingivitis, you should keep cleaning your teeth like this every day to prevent it from coming back.
That's it for cleaning, now onto nutrition and other remedies...
Foods To Eat More Of - They Help Treat Gum Disease
Change to a diet full of fiber, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats:
- Wild-caught fish: Salmon, mackerel, and sardines contain omega 3s that can help reduce inflammation.
- Fresh vegetable juice: Helps reduce inflammation and supplies essential nutrients.
- Chewing gum with xylitol, or Plain Xylitol: Xylitol prevents the buildup of bacteria. It also kills the ones that cause plaque, and loosens any plaque you might already have.
- Raw Vegetables and Apples: Not only do fruits and vegetables with skins help clean the teeth, but the antioxidants in both fruits and vegetables also keep plaque from building up in the mouth.
- Fat soluble vitamins: Foods full of fat soluble vitamins including raw milk, coconut, beef liver, bone broth, and grassfed animal meat can fight gingivitis.
- Drink lots of clean water: Preferably spring water.
Foods To Avoid - They Make Gum Disease Worse
- Sugar: Refined sugar will feed the bacteria in your mouth, but the greater danger is it causes the body to leech minerals like calcium out of our bones and teeth and pulls it in the bloodstream to stabilize the pH in our blood, a pH the sugar has changed.
- Fruit juice: Juice can coat the teeth with sugar and feed bacteria.
- Processed foods: These foods can have lots of additives and sugar that may encourage the development of bacteria.
- Grains which are unsprouted and unfermented: They feature phytic acid that breaks down into sugar quickly. Soak or sprout legumes, nuts, and grains to discharge enzyme inhibitors.
- Hydrogenated oils: Vegetable oil, canola oil, corn oil, and soybean oil can cause inflammation of the gums and body.
Natural Remedies for Gum Disease
This may surprise you, but...
You don't need toothpaste or mouthwash. Not the commercial kinds, anyway. Here are natural things to use which are better:
Oil pulling can help fight gingivitis. It pulls toxins right out of your mouth and gums, and removes plaque buildup. Oil pulling will get in between your teeth and deeper within your gums to help remove bacteria and Candida in ways that nothing else can, without causing damage like normal treatments.
In the early hours, before you eat or drink anything, take 1 tablespoon of a good oil (coconut oil or sesame seed oil are best), and swish it through your mouth and teeth for 15-20 minutes. Keep squeezing it through your teeth with your tongue, pulling it back and forth. Afterwards, spit - don't swallow.
Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, sesame oil isn't. It's possible for you to mix as much coconut oil with sesame oil as desired to reach the consistency you would like.
The source of oil pulling comes from the Ayurveda, the ancient healing system of India. Many people of many backgrounds swear by it. Sesame oil is the oil advocated by the Ayurveda, but a Thai study printed in the Asia Journal of Public Health in 2011 found that found that coconut oil demonstrated antimicrobial activity against S. mutans and C. albicans. Sesame oil had antibacterial activity against S. mutans whereas sunflower oil had antifungal activity against C. albicans. Since each oil used in oil pulling includes distinct anti-cavity properties, a short-term change can remove bacteria the last oil may be less successful against. Such coverage is a lot more natural, and more affordable, than that supplied by commercial mouthwashes.
This is a really good practice to keep on doing daily even after you've got rid of your gum disease - it can help to prevent cavities as well.
Vitamin C helps strengthen gums and helps with healthy tissue formation. Back in the 18th century, sailors ate limes during long excursions at sea to prevent their gums from bleeding.
A study found that people who consumed less than the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of 60 mg per day were 1.5 more in danger of developing acute gingivitis as individuals who have more than 180 mg.
As it is an antioxidant, vitamin C is believed to help gum disease and is needed to repair connective tissue and accelerate bone regeneration.
To increase your intake of vitamin C, eat foods rich in vitamin C, for example cantaloupe, oranges, kiwi fruit, mango, papaya, strawberry, red pepper, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and grapefruit. Vitamin C may also be taken in supplement form. Don't use chewable vitamin C, as the acidity may promote the erosion of tooth enamel.
Some people recommend taking really high doses of vitamin C (20 grams a day! That's enough to cause diarrhea in most people!), but they gradually taper off the dosage down to 2g a day, which is probably harmless. Do some research on safe dosages of vitamin C if you're interested in trying that. Generally though, it's best to get vitamin C from natural sources like food.
Vitamin D may have anti-inflammatory effects and reduce susceptibility to gum disease.
Sunlight exposure is one of the most crucial sources of vitamin D, because UV rays from sunlight activate the synthesis of vitamin D in skin. At least 10 to 15 minutes of bright sunlight exposure twice a week is recommended.
A cod liver oil nutritional supplement is a good source as well, preferably fermented.
Chew Raw Garlic
This really isn't for the faint of heart. Raw garlic has an extremely powerful flavour and it burns when you chew it, but it works. Chew as long as you can stand to.
Garlic has antibacterial and antiviral properties, and it is good at controlling infection by bacteria and viruses, and disease from various other microbes including yeasts/fungi and worms.
In addition to being the overall greatest toothache treatment, sea salt water also is an excellent mouthwash, cleansing the mouth and gums and fighting diseases. This treatment reduces swelling in the gums and draws the disease out of the abscesses.
Dissolve a small amount of sea salt in a cup of warm water. Take a sip of the solution and swish it in your mouth for about half a minute, before spitting it out. Use this home made mouthwash after brushing your teeth in the morning and at night. You can use salt water in many oral irrigators (water flossers) as well - check the manual that came with yours to make sure. You may want to attempt this for a deep cleanse between your teeth.
It neutralizes the acids in the mouth, which in turn reduces the possibility of tooth decay and gum disease.
Take a cup of warm water and add a little bit of baking soda to it. Dip your toothbrush into this solution before brushing your teeth. Can also help to whiten teeth.
This one seems really weird, because Xylitol is used as a sugar replacement. But it's actually good for your teeth and gums. Seriously. It actually loosens plaque and kills the bacteria that cause it.
You can brush your teeth with it, or mix it in water to use as a mouthwash.
Drink 1 to 3 cups daily. Ensure it's unsweetened, the polyphenols can help fight gingivitis. Matcha green tea is the best kind, and also has a lot of other health benefits.
Brush or rinse your teeth with this. Chamomile has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. You can drink it too, obviously.
This is an old folk remedy for gingivitis and gum disease.
Boil around 50 fresh organic sage leaves in a pot of water. Then gargle with it and use it like a mouthwash. You can also drink it throughout the day. Sage has enormous levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial properties.
Sleeping with sage leaves directly on your gums is very effective against inflammation too.
There's some evidence linking gum disease to lower rates of coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant made naturally in the body. It's also available in supplement form, and found extensively in foods. Some researchers say that coenzyme Q10 is needed to correctly repair gums. It's possible for you to find toothpaste containing coenzyme Q10 at natural grocers, health food stores, and on the internet.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has antibiotic properties. A topically applied tea tree oil gel can cause a reduction in the level of bleeding and gingivitis. After brushing, put 2 - 3 drops of oil in your toothbrush and brush the gums. Rinse it out afterwards.
Rubbing this essential oil on your gums or brushing teeth with it has antibacterial properties and may help cure gingivitis. You can mix 2 drops of clove oil with another oil like coconut/sesame oil.
Take a teaspoon of mustard oil and add a bit of sea salt to it. Massage your gums and teeth with this particular mixture thoroughly, after which rinse your mouth with warm water for five minutes.
This time tested remedy destroys the bacteria and fixes the gums quickly. Mustard oil has powerful anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and pain relieving properties which not only eradicate gum disease but also relieve the pain and swelling.
This age old remedy has antifungal, antibacterial, strong, antimicrobial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which set the stage for fast healing, stop additional damage to the gums and kill the bacteria quickly.
Take a teaspoon of neem powder, add a touch of salt plus a few drops of mustard oil. Massage your gums and teeth with this particular mixture three times a day.
This plant is utilized in India for a thousand distinct treatments. It's possible for you to use neem in a mouthwash, or even neem toothpaste.
This helps for inflamed and bleeding gums. To prepare, bring 1/4 litre of water to the boiling point, pour over 1 heaped teaspoon of horsetail. Utilize the cooled tea as a mouth rinse. Also believed to help against tooth decay, canker sores, thrush as well as inflammation of the oral mucosa.
Simmer 200 grams of onions in a liter of water for ten minutes. Allow to cool and utilize as a mouthwash for inflammation of the gums.
Vitamin E Oil
Prick open a capsule of natural vitamin E and put the oil on your inflamed and raw gums.
Alum has really powerful antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and cleansing properties. This helps with the pain, bleeding and bad breath.
Grind some alum to a fine powder and keep it in a jar. Take a glass of warm water and add one teaspoon of alum powder to it. Rinse your mouth with this a few times.
This succulent plant is used for treating a variety of diseases and illnesses due to the powerful antibacterial, antiseptic, anti inflammatory, antifungal and antibiotic properties.
Take the skin off a fresh aloe vera leaf to get to the gel inside. Place a big piece of gel in your mouth and chew it well till it's completely mixed with your saliva. Swish the juice all around your mouth for five minutes then spit it out. Do this three times daily.
Propolis (Propolis cera)
Propolis is a sticky resin that honey bees gather from plant sources to utilize as a sealant in their hives. Propolis has anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibiotic properties, and helps fight diseases of mouth and throat as well as speeds up the healing of gums.
Propolis might be purchased as pure propolis powder (finely ground) or granules, or in the form of a ready made tincture of propolis. The tinctures are obtainable in various strengths: 10%, 30% and 50%. The 50% solution is likely to temporarily turn your teeth dark brown.
Simply dab it on, or swish the propolis tincture at bedtime through your teeth for a number of minutes, and after that, swallow.
Natural (raw and unheated) honey has antibacterial and antiseptic, as well as an extensive array of other medicinal properties. It will assist with swollen, infected and painful gums.
Rub a small amount of diluted uncooked honey on the area of affected gums, after brushing your teeth. Don't eat or drink for 30 minutes or more to let the honey to work for a while before it's flushed from your mouth.
Squeeze the juice of a single lemon and add some sea salt to it to make a thick paste.
Rub the paste all over the teeth and the gums, leave it there for 5 minutes. Then rinse with water.
The anti inflammatory properties present in lemon juice can be quite helpful in the therapy of gum diseases. Lemon is full of vitamin C which reduces pain and the swelling and kills the bacteria.
Garlic and Turmeric Paste
Make a garlic & turmeric paste to utilize like toothpaste, then rinse after it's been in your mouth for a number of minutes. The two of these naturally occurring foods are full of antibacterial properties, and turmeric is an excellent anti inflammatory agent.
There are lots of kinds of healing clays, such as bentonite and French green clay. Taken internally and/or externally (as packs or poultices), healing clays help draw out, as well as absorb, toxins.
Myrrh is an antiseptic/oral disinfectant, a tissue tonic and restorative. It helps with gum diseases, shrinking gums (pyorrhoea), reinforces the gums, and helps with loose teeth.
You can purchase myrrh as a readymade tincture, myrrh gum powder, or as essential oil.
Cayenne pepper (powdered or tincture)
Try brushing your teeth with cayenne powder - it helps with receding and inflamed gums. The increased blood flow caused by the cayenne pepper strengthen the gums. If it's too strong, you can try "diluting" the cayenne with xylitol or soothing herbs. You can also follow up the cayenne cleaning with oil pulling, which relieves pain.
A natural compound found in some primitive plants, MSM is also found in numerous foods and drinks and accessible as a nutritional supplement. Swish the dissolved crystals in your mouth 2 to 3 times daily when using MSM as a mouthwash. Good luck with that - the stuff is really bitter!
The tannic acid in tea bags that are used or soaked may be very effective in alleviating gum disease, according to some people. They suggest putting a used tea bag on your gums and leaving it there a while. On the other hand, acidic things are generally bad for enamel. Still - might be worth a try.
Raspberry leaf tea
Steep 20 grams of raspberry leaves for ten minutes in a liter of boiling water. Helpful as a mouthwash for gingivitis and tonsillitis.
Other Herbs & Plant-based Remedies
More things to look into (I may elaborate on these later):
- Calendula tincture
- Hawthorn berry
- Melilot or Sweet Clover (Melilotus)
- Olive leaf extracts
- Marigold (Calendula officinalis)
- Peppermint oil
- Ratanhia (Krameria triandra)
- Tormentil (Potentilla erecta)
- Arnica montana
- Oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC)
- Licorice root
- Swedish Bitters
- White oak bark
- Borage (Borago officinalis)
- Avoid Stress: Gum disorders (gum pockets, gingivitis) appear to be related both to stress and diet.
- Do not smoke: Smoking cigarettes introduces free radicals and other toxins that damage the gums. Chewing tobacco products is even worse.
That's a lot of remedies!
Yup, I really did collect all of them. You don't have to actually use all of them though, unless your gingivitis is really, really bad. Choose the ones that work best for you personally. You can mix a lot of the ingredients together to use at the same time in many cases.
The most important things to do, based on my experience, are:
- Cleaning your teeth thoroughly, especially using a water flosser and gum stimulator.
- Xylitol rinsing or brushing.
- Oil pulling.
- Rinsing (or brushing) with salt, and/or baking soda.
- Getting the right nutrition in your diet or supplements.
- Doing the above every single day.
Remedies Found Elsewhere Online That Seem Problematic
Here are some claims other people have made that don't seem like a good idea to use for various reasons. There are plenty of things in this guide that will work very well, so you don't need to bother trying the things below:
People claim that cranberry juice may help gum disease by preventing bacteria from sticking to teeth. They suggest that you search for cranberry juice with no added sugar in the health food store, and that you drink about 4 ounces a day. Cranberry is acidic though (like most fruit), and acid is bad for teeth enamel. So even if it helps your gums, it's still bad for your teeth while it's in contact with them. It also isn't likely to cure gingivitis.
Diluted hydrogen peroxide
Some people recommend rinsing with this. It will kill all the bacteria in your mouth, yes... but... I personally wouldn't try this. Too many things could go wrong.
Same as the hydrogen peroxide... people suggest diluting bleach and rinsing your mouth with it. Will it kill bacteria? Yes! Would I use it? No...
Long-Term Prevention of Gum Disease
Once you've cured your gingivitis, make sure it doesn't come back, by doing these things:
- Cleaning your teeth well every day, after every meal or snack.
- Flossing your teeth or using a water flosser every day, to eliminate food particles and bacteria from between the teeth.
- Chewing your food thoroughly as a way to stimulate your gums, during mealtimes.
- Confining your intake of foods which are high in sugar, which could include sodas, juices, sweets, chocolates, candies, cookies, cakes and so on.
- Increasing your consumption of foods which are full of minerals, vitamins and nutrients. Try vitamin C, A, D, K2, and get enough calcium in your diet (don't take too many calcium supplements - it's easy to overdo that).
Sources & More Info:
I can't remember them all, but here are two of the best guides on this topic:
- Dental care & oral hygiene - keeping teeth and mouth clean in natural, non-toxic ways @ Healing Teeth Naturally
- Gum Disease Natural Treatments & Causes @ Dr. Axe
I also recommend looking through the above sites for any other health issues you may have. They know their stuff and they care about doing the right thing.
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