Most people develop gum disease at some point in their lives. They go to clean their teeth and suddenly notice they are spitting blood in the sink. Not good!
With that said, gum disease is a treatable condition. It’s not something that has to affect your life long-term. If you think you have the condition, there are plenty of things you can do to stave it off and bring your oral health back to optimal levels.
This post explores the best treatments for gum disease and how to fight back against it. It details some of the easy things you can do right now to prevent the condition from developing into something more severe.
Home Remedies For Gum Disease
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to treat gum disease is to practice good oral hygiene. Essentially, that means brushing your teeth twice a day and occasionally flossing.
Alcohol-based mouthwashes have gone out of fashion recently. But if you feel like you need an extra boost, there are other options available that purge your mouth of bacteria and leave it feeling squeaky clean.
You’ll also want to avoid smoking. Chemicals in cigarette smoke damage the delicate gum lining, making it easier for bacteria to enter. Use nicotine patches and gum to help you when your cravings strike.
Another pro tip is to reduce or eliminate your alcohol consumption. While it won’t necessarily cause gum disease, it can worsen the condition by irritating sensitive gum cells. It may also cause sugar, which is food for bacteria that live below the gum lining.
If you have active gum disease and conventional oral hygiene methods aren’t working, you can try the following:-
- Gargling salt water. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and rinse your mouth with it several times a day. The salt is naturally gentle and antibacterial and will kill any unwanted germs in your mouth.
- Swab baking soda paste. Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with a little water and apply it to your gums with a clean cotton swab. The paste can help neutralize the acids in your mouth and prevent plaque buildup.
- Aloe vera gel. Apply a fresh layer of aloe vera gel to your gums and massage gently. It can help reduce inflammation and soothe damaged gums and lips.
- Tea tree oil. Applying suitable tea tree oil products can also help. Like aloe, these have strong antimicrobial properties.
Professional Care For Gum Disease
The consequences of gum disease can be severe. The condition sometimes progresses to periodontitis, which is a serious infection that develops around the base of the tooth. Many people with the disease require extraction and tooth replacement with implants, something you can read about if you click here.
Professionals treat gum disease in various ways. The most common approach is called scaling and planing. Dentists use cleaning procedures to remove plaque and tartar from the surface of the gum before they can damage and rot the tooth. Many damaged teeth can recover and harden over time with proper oral care, reducing the risk of gum infections and tooth loss further.
In some cases, dentists and periodontists will prescribe antibiotics. These fight infections in your mouth and gums from the inside.
Antibiotic prescriptions for gum disease are less common because the infection is superficial. It only sits on the surface of the gum, where it meets the crown. However, you will almost certainly receive antibiotics if you have a bulge on your gum or evidence of periodontal infection. Your body may not be able to fight off the bacteria on its own.
Antibiotics can come in various forms, including pills, mouthwashes, gels, and chips inserted into the pockets besides teeth. Many dentists prefer locally applied antibiotics because of the lower risk they pose to the patient.
If the infection is serious, your dentist may prescribe two types of antibiotics at the same time. One kills oxygen-respiring bacteria in the mouth, and the other kills bacteria that derive energy through alternative means.
Finally, if gum disease is advanced, you might need surgery to repair the damage and regenerate the bones. Options include flap surgery where dentists pull back the gum to remove plaque and tartar, and soft tissue grafting, which involves taking tissue from another part of the mouth to fix the exposed area.
In summary, there are plenty of ways you can deal with gum disease. Try at-home remedies first. If you notice an abscess or extreme swelling, contact your dentist immediately for advice.