There are many ways of treating gingivitis gum disease ranging from using home remedies to professional cleaning. While some of these techniques can be practice alone to heal gingivitis, others need a combination of one or more ways. Let us explore the most recommended ways to see which one is the better one to go for.
- Rethink your diet
- Good dental habits
- Oil Pulling
- Increase water intake to 3 liters a day
- Baking soda rinse
- Dental Cleaning (scaling and root planning or flap surgery)
Table of Contents
Rethink Your Diet
The food you eat has a key to creating healthy or unhealthy mouth.
Tooth sensitivity, cavities, gum loss, tooth infection like gingivitis can be healed by simply changing the food you eat.
Consuming too much processed carbohydrates and sugar has a negative impact on your teeth and body at large. It makes your whole body overly acidic; a conducive environment for demineralization (tooth mineral loss and destruction) and bacteria increase.
With bad diet, your body ability to remineralise teeth is severely limited resulting in tooth destruction.
- You can cure sugar cravings by staying away from sugar and sweet fruits for seven days and your gum health will improve significantly. After seven days, you can have low sugar fruits such as green apples, pear, kiwi and berries.
- Consume water-soluble vitamins to strengthen your teeth (vitamin A, D, E and K). You can get vitamin A from eating fish liver oil, beef liver, butter, carrots, kale and spinach. Vitamin D can be obtained from sun, by exposing a large part of your body to sunlight, also from eating mushrooms, salmon fish and margarine. You can get vitamin E from sunflower oil and seed, almonds, hazelnuts, avocados, peanut butter, margarine and fish liver oil.
- Remineralize your body to help it fight against gum and teeth infections. You can achieve this by
- taking probiotics,
- swishing with baking soda (one tablespoon of baking soda with 4ounces of water),
- oil pulling,
- Rinse with sea salt water also with
- Consuming diet rich whole foods (raw milk, soup, organic vegetables, bone broth, organic food, grass-fed meat, pastured eggs, and grass-fed butter.
For more info on teeth and food, read Nagel book titled: Cure Tooth Decay: Heal And Prevent Cavities With Nutrition – Limit And Avoid Dental Surgery and Fluoride.
Good Dental Habits
Taking time to implement good oral hygiene is the first and best way to curing gingivitis. These include:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day using a soft toothbrush. If you can afford to buy an electric toothbrush with a pressure sensor and timer that will be good. The electric toothbrush will help you to better clean hard to reach areas and has capacity to remove dental plaque 50 to 100% more than the manual toothbrush.
- Floss at least once a day: Sometimes food particles stuck between teeth and inside cracked teeth and caries. These areas can not be reached by a toothbrush only; you need a flosser to remove them. You can either use a toothpick on a water flosser. A water flosser is the better choice for many with more ability to remove more plaque in hard to reach areas and with comfort.
- Use antibacterial mouthwash: Studies show that mouthwash can remove more bacteria compared to water only. You can use your favourite mouthwash or try to use the natural ones such as aloe Vera (swish aloe Vera juice for 30 seconds then spit out), and tea tree oil (add 3 drops of tea tree oil to one cup of the warm water, swish for 30 seconds then spit it out).
- Cleaning your tongue to remove a layer of bacteria covering it. You can either brush it or use a tongue scraper.
- Replace a toothbrush head after every 3 to 4 month time.
- Go for dental checkups twice a year for assessment and professional cleaning
Oil pulling is a natural and best way to getting rid of gingivitis naturally. It is a traditional Ayurvedic medicine from ancient India believed to cure more than 30 diseases when practised as required. These diseases include gingivitis, periodontitis, bad breath, dry mouth, chipped lips, toothache, cavities, impaired vision, heart attack and more.
Oil pulling stimulates the production of saliva which helps removing bacteria and toxins from the blood and body through a tongue.
While coconut oil is the most recommended for this practice, you can however, use other oil such as cold-pressed sesame and sunflower oil.
How to do it?
The oil pulling technique involves swishing a tablespoon of oil for 20 minutes. This is to be done early in the morning on empty stomach, before breaking fast and before brushing your teeth.
After 20 minutes, the oil will turn into cream like thinner liquid, spit it out, and then rinse your mouth with warm salt water to remove remaining bacteria. This is then followed by brushing and flossing your teeth as normal.
- Do not spit oil into the sink to avoid clogging it
- Avoid swallowing oil during swishing as it contains toxins and bacteria
- To fasten the results, do it 3 times a day before meals, on an empty stomach.
- Avoid breathing in oil while swishing (aspiration) as it is bacteria-rich.
- You can do it while doing other things like taking shower, preparing breakfast, reading and much more. However, it is recommended to do it on sitting position with your chin up.
- Not suitable for under 5 years old due to the possibility of aspiration.
And while you can start seeing results on day 7 of continued oil swishing as recommended ; It may take up to 30 to 45 days to see good results (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5198813/).
Increase Water Intake
Saliva is the body own way of defending our teeth from diseases. Drinking at least 3 liters of water a day will increase saliva production and keep you away from dry mouth. Saliva has various enzymes and nutrients that defend your teeth against harmful bacteria. It has capacity to dilute acid produced by harmful bacteria in order to maintain a neutral pH in your mouth; this limits the growth of viruses causing gingivitis.
A reduced amount of saliva due to dry mouth alters pH causing bacteria to multiply in numbers. This is why increasing water intake to a recommended amount of three liters a day can help increase saliva production to help fight gingivitis causing bacteria and help in the healing process. Chewing gums can also stimulate saliva production.
Turmeric Gel Application
Turmeric is able to fight gingivitis due to its anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Apply turmeric gel on your gums after brushing your teeth and gums. Let it stay for ten minutes then rinse your mouth and spit it out. Do this twice a day.
Baking Soda Rinse
If your gingivitis has become out of control, you can use baking soda rinse to fight the disease. Alternatively, you can also use toothpaste with baking soda.
Baking soda like saliva works by neutralizing the acid pH in your mouth, reduce plaque buildup and heal bleeding gums. It also protects calcium loss from tooth enamel (demineralization).
To make a mixture, just add one teaspoon of baking soda to one glass of water then mix it. Use this baking soda solution to rinse your mouth for 30 seconds then spit it out, just as how you do with the mouthwash.
Do not brush too soon after using the baking soda solution to avoid damaging your tooth enamel rather brush one hour later.
Scaling and Root Planing
This is a non-surgical dental professional way of deep cleaning build up plaque and tartar above and below the gum line. You need to make an appointment with your dentist who will use scaler or laser or an ultrasonic device to scrape bacteria out of your gums. As you already know build up plaque and tartar are the main cause of gum disease. They need to be removed before penetrating into deeper pockets attacking supporting teeth bones. Scaling and root planning will take care of calculus faster compared to using natural ways of healing.
This is a surgical way to curing gingivitis. It includes performing a minor surgery to lift up your gums and remove calculus underneath then stitch the area back. This is done when the bacteria have penetrated in hard to reach areas by traditional dentist tools.
How Long Does It Take To Clear Up Gingivitis?
It takes one to two weeks to cure gingivitis. It can be prevented from re-occurring by simply following good oral care and attending dental checkups at least twice a year.
Sometimes, depending on your health condition, the healing process might take longer and probably need more intervention. If this happen, consult your dentist for more checkup to see what is hindering the healing process.
Is Gingivitis Contagious?
Yes, it is. It can be transferred from parents to children through sharing utensils such as spoons while eating, drinking bottles and so forth or from romantic partners through kissing. However, if you observe good oral hygiene especially from childhood you will prevent the disease from developing on you.(https://jada.ada.org/article/S0002-8177
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Dr. Tom Bell has a PhD in Medical Anthropology. He has a keen interest in oral health topics and is the founder of dentalrave. He has been an oral health researcher and electric toothbrush enthusiast for over 10 years. When not talking about dental hygiene and gadgets, Tom likes spending time outdoors hiking.