10 Best Gum Disease Treatments
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, can happen to anyone. Most people who do not practice proper oral hygiene are prone to developing gum disease. Millions of adults around the world are suffering from some form of gum disease.
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What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease is the inflammation and infection of the gums that can affect your teeth and the bones that support your teeth. The cause of the inflammation is a bacterial infection, which comes in the form of a plaque that sticks to the teeth and gums. If not treated early, this plaque will harden and become a tartar, which can irritate the gums and lead to inflammation. Brushing and flossing alone cannot remove the hardened tartar. Only regular dental cleaning from the dentist can remove the tartar.
There are also many factors that can contribute to the development of gum disease. These risk factors include the following:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Eating too many sweets and foods containing high amounts of sugar
- Unhealthy eating habits or poor diet
- Hormonal changes in women
- Medications that reduce the flow of saliva in the mouth
- Diabetes, HIV, cancer and other immune-related diseases
Gum disease has several stages of progression. The formation of plaque around the gums and teeth is the first stage of the progression. This is the reason why you should practice good oral hygiene because regular brushing and flossing can stop the buildup of plaque and prevent it from hardening and become a tartar. Prevention is still the best solution to eliminate gum disease, but if left untreated, it can lead to serious complications and result in tooth loss. Here is the progression of gum disease:
- Gingivitis – gums become swollen and reddish in color. Another symptom of gingivitis is the constant bleeding of the gums, especially during brushing and flossing. This is the earliest stage of gum disease, which still can be reversed by regular oral care. The bone and connective tissues of the teeth and bone are not yet affected.
- Formation of Plaque – this is the stage wherein the plaque begins to form around the teeth and gums. The gums are starting to recede and periodontal pockets form.
- Periodontitis – the gum disease is severe, with the formation of tartar, plaque, and bacterial infection that is destroying your gums and the bone structure beneath. Once the bone is affected by the gum disease, it weakens and loosens the affected tooth, causing tooth loss. In most cases, when the bone of the teeth is being destroyed, dentists will identify this as an advanced periodontitis. If the teeth cannot be saved by periodontal therapy, then the teeth must be removed, and restorative options have to be discussed with the patient.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
It is easy to know if you already have a gum disease. If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, it may be a sign that you have serious gum problems that should be checked by your dentist. Some of the symptoms of gum disease are the following:
- Bleeding gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Swollen and red gums
- Teeth become sensitive
- Loosening tooth
- Receding gum line or teeth appears longer
- Chewing becomes painful
Foods that Help Treat Gum Disease
Poor diet and too much consumption of sweets and sugar can lead to cavities and gum problems. Food that gets stuck between the teeth and gums can be the cause of cavities, especially if you don’t practice brushing and flossing twice a day. However, many people do not know that there are certain foods that can help treat and reverse the effects of gum disease. These foods are usually classified as healthy foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fats. Here are just some of the foods that you should include in your daily diet so you can have healthier and stronger gums and teeth.
Milk and Dairy Products
Perhaps you already know that calcium is good for your bone health. Your teeth and gums also need calcium to grow strong and healthy, and the best source of calcium is milk and dairy foods. Milk also contains casein, which can reduce the acid level in the mouth. If you don’t like to drink milk, you can eat cheese or yogurt instead.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are great in keeping your teeth and gums clean because they are high in fiber and require a lot of chewing to break them down. When you chew, extra saliva is produced in the mouth, which gets rid of the bacteria.
Eating apples require a lot of munching and chewing. When you munch on an apple, it becomes like a cleansing action that gets rid of the plaque that clings to the gums and teeth. However, make sure to rinse your mouth with mouthwash after eating an apple to eliminate the acids and food particles in the teeth.
Ginger is known as an anti-inflammatory herb. This healthy property of ginger can boost the health of the gums and tissues in your mouth.
Wild Caught Fish
Fishes such as mackerel, salmon, and sardines are very rich in omega-3 fatty acids that can help reduce inflammation in your gums.
Gum with Xylitol
The extra chewing action allows your mouth to produce more saliva that cleanses your gums and teeth and eliminates bacteria. Xylitol also helps in preventing the buildup of bacteria in the mouth.
Food with Fat Soluble Vitamins
Foods that contain high levels of fat soluble vitamins such as coconut, raw milk, grass-fed animal meat, and beef liver are very effective in treating gingivitis.
10 Best Gum Disease Treatments
There are several ways to treat gum disease. Some of these methods are natural treatments that you can perform at home, while others require you to visit a dentist or periodontist.
Oil pulling is becoming popular as one of the best natural remedies for gingivitis. You only need 1 tablespoon of coconut oil mixed with 2 drops of antibacterial essential oil and swish it around your mouth for up to 20 minutes and spit it out.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning method that can only be performed by a dentist or periodontist. These deep cleaning methods can remove the plaque, tartar, and bacteria around the gums. Scaling is the process of scraping off the tartar that sticks above and below the gum line. Root planing removes the bacteria and germs in the tooth root. Dentists may also recommend using a laser to get rid of plaque and tartar.
Flossing is a simple yet very effective way of cleaning your gums and teeth. It can reach and eliminate food particles that are deeply lodged between the teeth and gums. Flossing can help avoid bacteria from forming in the gums.
A daily dose of vitamin C can help in strengthening your gums and promotes the formation of healthy tissues. You can get your vitamin C from fruits and vegetables, or you can also take vitamin C supplements with a dosage of 1,000 mg twice daily.
This traditional health drink has so many health benefits, including the treatment of gingivitis. It contains polyphenols that can fight gingivitis. Make sure you are drinking the unsweetened green tea. It is recommended to take 1 to 3 cups of green tea each day to get the best results.
Clove and Tea Tree Oil
Clove and tea tree oil are very effective essential oils when it comes to fighting gingivitis. They have antibacterial properties that will help prevent gum bleeding and swollen gums. You need to rub or brush these oils along with coconut oil, which acts as a carrier oil, directly to your gums and teeth two times daily.
Your dentist can prescribe a strong antimicrobial mouth rinse that contains chlorhexidine, which kills the bacteria that causes gingivitis. You can use it like a regular mouthwash after brushing your teeth daily.
If natural treatments, deep cleaning, and medications fail in treating the inflammation, the dentist may recommend surgery. The goal of the flap surgery is to remove the tartar deposits lodged in deep pockets and reduce periodontal pockets. The surgery will involve the lifting back of the gums to remove the tartar.
Professional Cleaning and Check-Up
It is important to visit your dentist regularly for dental cleaning and check up. A thorough dental cleaning can help eliminate the buildup of plaque in your gums and teeth. Your dentist can also inform you about the proper treatment and care you need in order to prevent the occurrence of gum disease.
Bone and Tissue Grafting
This is another form of surgical treatment that is given to patients who need to regenerate bone or gum tissues that were lost due to severe periodontitis. Synthetic or natural bone can be placed in the area where there is bone loss. This treatment process will help promote bone and tissue regeneration. When gum tissue has been lost, the dentist may recommend soft tissue grafting, in which a soft tissue or synthetic tissue is used to cover up the exposed root of the tooth.
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