by Judith G. Cobb, MH, CI, NCP
Gingivitis is not a diagnosis most of us want to hear from our dentists. Before you say “I don’t need to read this article. I don’t have gingivitis” you need to know that 76% of adults have gingivitis.1 You may not have recognized the symptoms prior to reading this article, but you can learn how to get rid of it naturally. It will take some consistent effort, but the outcome can be well worth it.
Many years ago a client came to me. I don’t remember what his health concerns were, but he noted he was scheduled to have all of his teeth pulled in about a month because they were all loose. This is a common sign of periodontitis. I don’t remember what we did for his other health problems, but I do remember what I suggested for his mouth. When he came back after his scheduled trip to the periodontist he still had all of his teeth. He had followed my instructions to a T. The periodontist was surprised that my client’s gums had totally firmed up and none of his teeth were loose.
Gingivitis – symptoms
Let’s start with revealing what gingivitis is. According to healthline.com, “Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums, usually caused by a bacterial infection. If left untreated, it can become a more serious infection known as periodontitis.”2
Common symptoms include puffy gums that are dusky red in colour and bleed easily. The gums may also be tender. Bad breath is another indicator.3
Gingivitis is caused by bacteria in your mouth that create a sticky, gum-irritating substance called plaque. This plaque leads to the characteristic symptoms of gingivitis. When plaque mixes with minerals in the saliva it can create a buildup of tartar, also known as calculus.
It is common knowledge that diet has a lot to do with tooth health. (See my article, “Teeth: Can You Remineralize Them?”) Diet is also critical for the prevention of gingivitis. High sugar diets feed the bacteria that create plaque.
Gum disease can have a far deeper impact than just in your mouth. Research is showing a strong link between oral inflammation, including gingivitis and periodontitis, and heart attack, dementia, and giving birth prematurely, not to mention loss of teeth and loss of bone in the gums.4
There are also indications that people who have pre-existing inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes have a greater risk of developing gingivitis and the subsequent periodontal disease.
Gingivitis – how to get rid of it naturally
Start with good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth well at least twice per day. Floss every day. However, just brushing and flossing alone is usually not enough to get rid of gingivitis.
Brush your gums with a soft toothbrush. Angle the toothbrush so that the bristles are pointing in toward the border where the teeth and gums meet. Avoid long strokes with your toothbrush. Instead, use short quick strokes, which looks like vibrating the toothbrush on the gum line (sometimes called the Bass technique). The idea is to get the bristles to penetrate past the gum line and in between the teeth to disturb plaque-causing bacteria that hide below the gum line and in hard-to-reach places.5
Ora Wellness has a special toothbrush6 that is designed especially for helping to resolve and prevent gum disease. Additionally, they have other tools to help keep plaque at bay, including an essential oil blend6 and a tongue scraper.6
Other things you can do to eliminate harmful bacteria in your mouth include rinsing your mouth with salt water (1/2 tsp salt to one glass of water), using a turmeric mouthwash,7 or using an aloe vera mouthwash.8
You are likely wondering what suggestions I gave the gentleman whose story I shared at the beginning of this article. Here they are. First I instructed him to floss his teeth at least twice per day and to put tea tree oil on the floss. Tea tree oil kills bacteria. Applying it to floss allows you to get the tea tree oil below the gum line so you can disturb the plaque-forming bacteria that are hidden away down there. Second, I had him make a thick paste of white oak bark and apply it to his gums twice per day for 20 minutes each time. White oak bark is an astringent that can tighten and tone tissue.
If you don’t take corrective measures early enough, you may end up needing intervention from your dentist or periodontist – and these interventions are too gross to describe here. You can check them out on this website: http://www.healthline.com/health/gingivitis#Treatment6. Doing so will give you great motivation to prevent gingivitis!
If you have concerns about your health or just don’t know where to begin making improvements, please contact me, Judith Cobb, to book an appointment. Skype, phone, webinar, and face-to-face appointments are available.
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Products referred to in above article:
product Nature's Sunshine Products Canada Nature's Sunshine Products USA Other sources
toothbrush, essential oil blend, tongue scraper Ora Wellness
tea tree oil Tea Tree Oil Tea Tree Essential Oil white oak bark White Oak Bark
is available through the Sunshine
Direct program (contact Nature’s
Sunshine Canada at 1-800-265-9163 for instructions) or by special order
from Cobblestone Health Ltd
White Oak Bark
Copyright © 2016 by Judith Cobb, Cobblestone Health Ltd. All rights reserved. Please respect the time it takes to write and publish articles. If you will link to this article and give proper attribution, you are encouraged to quote sections (though not the entire article).