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A common form of gum disease, gingivitis occurs when a buildup of bacteria causes irritation and inflammation in the gums. Gingivitis can cause bad breath, gum bleeding, or changes in color of the gums. It is often a mild condition, but it can lead to serious diseases of the oral cavity if left untreated. Fortunately, there are many easy, natural gingivitis home treatment strategies to keep your gums healthy.
4 Healthy Habits to Keep Gingivitis at Bay
Keeping up with your oral hygiene is a must in gingivitis treatment. Be sure to follow the guidelines listed below.
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1. Brush Well
Do you brush your teeth enough, and do you do so effectively? Effective brushing requires a soft toothbrush that your should replace every few months; electronic toothbrushes can be helpful. Brush for around two minutes, twice a day at the very least, if not after every meal. Make sure to reach every part of your mouth and to cover all surfaces of your teeth and gums.
2. Floss Regularly
I will be the first to admit that I forget to floss on a fairly regular basis. But flossing is important in treating and preventing gingivitis; it helps to remove plaque from between the teeth and should be done once a day. You may have read in 2016 that flossing may be overrated. As the New York Times reported, “The latest dietary guidelines for Americans, issued by the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, quietly dropped any mention of flossing without notice.” And in August 2016, the Associated Press reported that officials had never researched the effectiveness of regular flossing, as required, before recommending it as a regular practice. However, most dentists will stand by flossing as a sensible part of oral care.
3. Use a Natural Mouthwash
Rinsing your mouth helps keep your teeth and gums healthy. However, stay away from mouthwashes with toxic ingredients such as the antibacterial agent triclosan. Choose a natural brand using herbs and essential oils as active ingredients instead (see below for tips on using herbs to make your own natural mouthwash).
4. Get Your Teeth Professionally Cleaned Twice per Year
Try visiting a natural dentist, who will look at your dental care in a more holistic manner.
Natural Oral Care: 7 Herbs for Gingivitis Home Treatment
Many toothpastes and mouthwashes made to fight gingivitis contain potentially harmful chemicals like triclosan and chlorhexidine, which can cause unpleasant side effects. But it turns out that all-natural ingredients like herbs and essential oils can be just as effective at treating gingivitis as chlorhexidine, which is considered the gold standard for gingivitis treatment.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
To get you started with gingivitis home treatment, try these easy-to-make mouthwash recipes:
Myrrh: Drop 30 to 60 drops of mrryh tincture into a glass of water.
Peppermint: Use a few drops of peppermint essential oil in a full glass of water.
Sage: Create a sage tea using a few chopped sage leaves in a cup of boiling water. Let steep, then cool before using.
For example, an herbal toothpaste containing sage, calendula, and chamomile was effective in improving gum health in patients with gingivitis. Here’s a list of effective herbs and natural ingredients you can try:
- Peppermint is a natural pain reliever, and it has antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory qualities.[3,4]
- Myrrh is a natural antiseptic, and it fights bacteria as well as inflammation of the mucosal lining on the gums.[5,6]
- Echinacea stimulates the immune response, and it can help to fight the bacteria that cause gum disease in the first place.
- Sage decreases bleeding, so it can help prevent gum bleeding.
- Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory natural ingredient. It can help to reduce swelling of the gums.
- Chamomile decreases gingivitis-related inflammation as well.
- Green tea can inhibit plague and reduce symptoms of gingivitis. Studies show that mouthwash with green tea is as effective as chlorhexidane.[5,8]
Share Your Experience
Have you experienced gingivitis? What did you do to treat it, and was it effective? Share your tips for natural gingivitis home treatment in the comments section below.
This article was originally published in 2015. It has since been updated.
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