Keeping teeth clean is important to gum health. Causes of gum disease include plaque and tarter build-up, nutritional deficiencies, allergies, lack of fresh food, too much meat, refined food or sugar in the diet, and poor brushing and flossing habits. Everyone should visit a dentist at least once a year. Getting the teeth cleaned by a professional is a must for removal of plaque and tarter build-up below the gum line. Diagnosed with gum disease? Herbs can help!
Gum diseases like pyorrhea and gingivitis are common in today's society. They are usually progressive disorders affecting the gums and underlying bone structure. Gum diseases can be successfully treated or avoided with herbs, good hygiene habits, healthy diet, and regular dental checkups.
Symptoms of gum disease include red, swollen gums that bleed easily, chronic bad breath, loose or shifting teeth, receding gums, loss of teeth, changes in bite pattern, and hot and cold sensitivity.
The best way to insure healthy gums is an improved diet. Eating lots of fresh, crunchy foods like celery, apples, cereal, seeds, and green salads can improve gum health. Always chew food well and avoid acid forming foods like sugar, soft drinks, and refined foods.
Another way to keep the mouth and gums healthy is to quit smoking. The chemicals that are present in tobacco smoke are corrosive and damaging. Chewing tobacco also contributes to gum disease and tooth decay. Nicotine is a poison substance that should be avoided.
If gum disease is diagnosed, gently rub the gums with fresh strawberries, baking soda, sage leaves, honey, or lemon juice daily. St. John's Wort, peppermint, chamomile, yellowroot or ginseng tea can also help. To control infection and stop bleeding, apply myrrh powder directly to gum area. Other remedies include regular applications of diluted tea tree essential oil, witch hazel, licorice root extract, calendula extract, aloe vera juice, turmeric, green drinks (containing chlorophyll), pure cranberry juice, Echinacea extract, propolis tincture, diluted clove essential oil, diluted eucalyptus essential oil, or grapefruit seed extract. Apply treatments three or four times a day. Discontinue if symptoms worsen or irritation develops.
There are toothpastes on the market that contain tea tree essential oil and myrrh. Both are excellent remedies for gum disease. Another option is to buy powdered myrrh from a health food store and sprinkle some on toothpaste before brushing. The taste is bitter but can help cure gum disease and save teeth. Use daily to heal the gums and weekly to protect them.
Most commercial toothpastes contain sodium lauryl sulfate. It is added to increase foaming while brushing. This ingredient causes dry mouth which can lead to tooth decay. Look for natural toothpastes in health food stores that do not contain sodium lauryl sulfate.
Brushing lightly after every meal is recommended to avoid gum disease and cavities. Everyone should brush at least twice a day but not so often that gums are irritated. Flossing is also very important to mouth and gum health, especially at bed time. Do not get rough with your teeth and gums. Brush in gentle circular motions and floss with a light hand. Replace your toothbrush every 3 months and make sure the bristles are not too hard or they may injure your gums. Rinsing with salt water can also help keep gums healthy.
Sometimes dietary supplements are needed to protect and heal the gums. Minerals such as calcium, vitamins (especially vitamin C and vitamin E), and antioxidants like CoQ10 are often taken to promote gum health.
* Always consult with a healthcare professional before taking any herbal remedies.
"The only way to really learn about herbal medicine is to touch and smell herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix." ... Janice Boling, herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer
* Note - the information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
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