Are you wondering how to cure gum disease without a dentist?
If you often notice blood on your toothbrush or tints of red when you floss, or you regularly experience pain or swelling in your gums, your body may be telling you something is wrong. Bleeding on any part of the body suggests injury, this goes with bleeding of the gums too. Inflamed and swollen gums are a tell-tale sign of an infection called periodontal disease, simply known as gum disease. As with most oral health concerns, gum disease needs utmost attention. While you can’t go wrong by going straight to your dentist, there are things you can do at home to prevent or even cure gum disease. Here are some tips and home remedies on how to cure gum disease without a dentist.
A quick note on periodontal disease
Periodontal disease or periodontitis is a form of gum disease caused by a severe bacterial infection that damages the structure that surrounds and supports the teeth – the gum line and gum tissue. The word “periodontitis” means “inflammation around the tooth.” The damage is caused by a buildup of bacteria accumulating and feeding on the sticky film on the surface and into the tiny pockets that surround the tooth. This sticky film is called dental plaque. A plaque buildup happens when there is an accumulation of food debris mixed with saliva, which results from poor oral hygiene.
The accumulated dental plaque will eventually harden and form calculus called tartar. Tartar is a hardened substance that sticks firmly to the tooth’s surface. This can lead to further accumulation of plaque and the formation of more tartar.
Over time, plaque causes infection around the gum line, which leads further down to gum inflammation which results in receding gums. Ultimately, this results in permanent damage to the deeper structure and underlying bone, which leads to tooth loss. Brushing and flossing alone cannot remove tartar; treating tooth and gum disease at this point needs professional dental care.
There are, however, many ways to prevent plaque buildup and avoid plaque-related gingivitis – that is with good oral hygiene.
Symptoms of periodontal disease
- Inflamed and painful gums
- Bleeding gums upon brushing, flossing, chewing, or even occasional touching
- Teeth appearing larger or longer due to receding gums
- Loose teeth, falling out of tooth
- Bad breath even after brushing and mouthwash
- Persistent bad taste in the mouth
- Treating periodontal disease with home remedies
Good oral hygiene is your first line of defense against any form of dental and periodontal disease. This means brushing your teeth every meal. You may need to increase the duration and frequency of brushing and flossing.
While brushing and flossing can no longer save your teeth and gums from tartar, there are more ways to prevent it from happening in the first place.
However, many home remedies must be done with caution. Though many of these remedies are made with natural and largely safe ingredients, you still shouldn’t swallow them. Moreover, make sure you only use high-quality products for home remedies. It is best to keep these ingredients refrigerated, especially if you live in a warmer place and climate.
Good oral hygiene
Before jumping right into the home remedies, you should make sure you are actually practicing good oral hygiene. If you aren’t taking good care of your teeth and gums, then no home remedies will work for you. Here are some tips on how to avoid periodontal disease and gingivitis.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day, or if possible every after meal
- Use electric toothbrush
- Use toothbrush with extra-soft bristles
- Floss daily
- Replace toothbrush every three months
- Use mouthwash (opt for natural mouthwash)
- Limit sugar intake
- Refrain from chewing tobacco or smoking
Bacteria loves sugar, thus, limiting your sugar intake and brushing and rinsing your mouth, especially after eating something sweet can help save your teeth from periodontal disease.
The good old saltwater rinse passed down from generation to generation is quite effective in preventing a wide array of oral health issues, from canker sores to sore throat, reducing bad breath, or even preventing or treating gum diseases.
A study in 2016 showed that saltwater rinse is highly effective in treating gum problems by reducing bacteria in the mouth, easing pain, and soothing inflamed gums.
To use salt water rinse, add half to 3/4 teaspoon of salt to a glass of lukewarm water. Mix it well and use the mixture as a mouthwash. Swish it in your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting. Repeat two to three times a day.
Make sure you don’t use the saltwater for too long, as the abrasive salt can cause some negative effects on the enamel of your tooth. Long-term use of saltwater rinse can cause problems to your teeth.
Aloe vera mouthwash
Research in 2016 showed the benefits of aloe vera mouthwash in reducing plaque and treating gingivitis. The effects of aloe vera are comparable to chlorhexidine, a known antiseptic, and disinfectant used for treating gingivitis. This means the aloe vera rinse can also reduce swelling (inflammation) and gum bleeding caused by periodontal disease.
To use aloe vera mouthwash, simply swish the aloe vera juice directly for 30 seconds. Then, spit the solution. You can repeat the process two to three times a day.
Make sure you get your aloe vera mouthwash from a reputable source and follow the instructions.
Also, never use this mouthwash if you are allergic to aloe vera.
Guava leaf mouthwash
Guava leaf is a known natural remedy for many health conditions, from intestinal and stomach pain, wound healing, diabetes, and pain management. It has effective antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, which is proven to be beneficial for controlling the effects of plaque and its symptoms, as shown in this study in 2014.
To use guava leaves for mouthwash, crush five to six leaves using a mortar and pestle. Then, add the crushed leaves to a cup of boiling water and let it simmer for at least 15 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool and add a pinch of salt. Swish the mixture in your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting. Repeat twice or three times daily.
Lemongrass oil mouthwash
Lemongrass oil is probably the most effective natural ingredient there is for treating periodontal disease. As a matter of fact, a 2015 study showed this type of natural mouthwash is even more effective than the good old chlorhexidine mouthwash in treating gingivitis and related symptoms.
To use lemongrass oil mouthwash, dilute two to three drops of the essential oil to a cup of water. Mix thoroughly and swish the solution in your mouth for half a minute before spitting it out. Repeat the process two to three times a day.
You can never go wrong with food-grade lemongrass oil, but since it is quite potent, make sure you don’t exceed more than three drops per cup. You can start with 2 drops so you don’t feel any irritation in your mouth.
Sage has been long used as herbal medicine, and for good reason as science says it is loaded with antioxidants. People traditionally use sage for digestive problems such as bloating and gas, loss of appetite, stomach pain, diarrhea, and heartburn. Some believe it helps in improving thinking skills and memory.
Sage also has antimicrobial properties that can eliminate microbes and cure gum disease caused by plaque. It also has anti-inflammatory properties to help heal swollen and inflamed gums.
To use sage, add 1 teaspoon of dried sage or two tablespoons of fresh sage to two cups of boiling water. Let it simmer for up to 10 minutes before you strain it. Let it cool and then use the solution as a mouthwash. Use twice to three times daily for best results.
Tea tree oil mouthwash
A recent study in tea tree oil mouthwash showed promising results in treating gingivitis, particularly in providing better improvement for its symptoms. The good thing about tea tree oil is it doesn’t alter the taste and doesn’t cause tooth discoloration.
To use tee tea oil mouthwash, add 2 to 3 drops of the oil to warm water. Swish the mixture for 30 seconds before spitting. Repeat twice or thrice daily.
Make sure you don’t use too much of this oil, especially if it is your first time using it. It may cause some allergic reactions such as mild burning sensation and rash.
You can also add one drop of this oil to your toothpaste when brushing.
Also, note that tea tree oil can cause interactions with dietary supplements, certain drugs, or herbs.
Coconut oil pulling
Oil pulling refers to swishing oil in your mouth for 20 to 30 minutes. Natural ingredients used for oil pulling contain essential minerals that help reduce bacteria, eliminate toxins, and improve overall oral and periodontal health.
Coconut oil is one of the most popular home remedies for oil pulling. It contains high levels of lauric acid, a known anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial ingredient. A study in 2015 showed that oil pulling with coconut oil significantly reduces the signs and symptoms of gingivitis by eliminating plaque.
Oil pulling with coconut oil can deliver many benefits, such as:
- Provide relief for headaches and tensions
- Clear sinuses
- Fresh breath
- Whiten teeth
To use coconut oil for oil pulling, add a couple of teaspoons of fractioned coconut oil (liquid at room temperature) straight into your mouth. Swish the oil in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes before spitting. Then, rinse your mouth with water thoroughly before drinking a full glass of water. Brush your teeth then after.
Oil pulling, especially with coconut oil, is largely safe and effective. However, make sure you do not swallow the coconut oil as it can contain bacteria and toxins in your mouth. You can also swish for two shorter times twice a day.
Turmeric gel as a topical treatment
Topical treatments for gingivitis can also be used as a home remedy. Turmeric gel, for example, is a highly effective remedy for plaque and gingivitis due to its high levels of antimicrobial, anti-fungal, ad anti-inflammatory properties. It can help heal bleeding and reddening gums.
To use the turmeric gel, apply the gel to your gums after brushing and flossing. Let the gel sit for about 10 minutes before swishing the water in your mouth, then spit the water out. Repeat twice a day for best results.
If symptoms persist even after religiously doing good oral hygiene and using these remedies, it is best to seek medical advice especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have any underlying medical condition.
For cases of severe symptoms such as bleeding and pain, if your condition doesn’t improve with natural remedies, then it is best to seek help from your dentist for a thorough diagnosis and professional periodontal treatment.