What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gum tissue. It most commonly occurs in response to bacterial biofilms on the tooth surface, also called plaque. Therefore this form of gingivitis is termed ‘plaque induced gingivitis’. Gingivitis can also occur due to other causes such as hormonal change (eg.pregnancy), systemic diseases (eg. diabetes) and blood dyscrasias. If gingivitis is not treated at the early stage, it may progress to periodontitis, a destructive form of periodontal disease which is characterised by bone loss, pocketing and gum recession.
Signs and symptoms of gingivitis
- Swollen gums
- Bright red or purple gums
- Gums that are tender or painful to the touch
- Bleeding gums or bleeding after brushing
- Loss of stippling and gums may appear shiny
How to cure this disease?
The most important factor in controlling this disease is oral hygiene. Daily brushing and flossing will remove plaque from the teeth surface, thus reducing the bacterial load in the mouth. Sometimes scaling and root planing may be needed if you have calculus (known as tartar) which will develop over a period of time as the plaque becomes calcified in the absence of adequate oral hygiene. Most dentists will prescribe mouthwash (eg. chlorrhexidine, hydrogen peroxide) to reduce inflammation of the gums.
Homeopathic remedies can function as adjunct to the conventional method of curing gingivitis. These remedies have been around longer than the advent of modern medicine and dentistry. They are also effective and safe. No one should dispute the importance of dental treatment,but natural products can make a difference as well.
GREEN TEA- Some experts recommend drinking a cup of hot green tea every time after a meal. It helps eliminate plaque and the antioxidant content in the tea will help boost the power of the immune system, hence enabling the gums to resist the damage caused by the bacteria in the oral cavity. You can also make a poultice with green tea and place it on the areas at which swelling and bleeding are present.
VITAMIN C- People who lack vitamin C are at higher risk of developing gum disease (eg. scurvy). Taking vitamin C supplement and foods rich in vitamin C content will improve the health of the gums. Vitamin C increases the body resistance to fight infection. Foods rich in vitamin C are vegetables,oranges,and strawberries. Increase water and fibre uptake. Avoid sugar, syrup, white rice and fruit juices. Nutrition has a lot to do with gum health.
ESSENTIAL OILS- Essential oils have powerful healing properties. Mint and citrus oils, like lemon and orange, are especially helpful for their antibacterial and antiseptic properties. You can make your own teeth and gum cleaning solution or look for all natural dental products already made for you. Another benefit from natural products is avoiding the potentially harmful ingredients in commercially made toothpaste. Rub your gums with clove oil or you can also keep one clove at the affected area in your mouth. Clove has antiseptic and pain reducing properties. You can also use mouthwash or toothpaste containing sage oil, peppermint oil and menthol.
SALINE- You can make your own mouthwash by adding a pinch of salt and turmeric powder to a glass of warm water. Use this solution to gargle at least twice a day. The salt will help kill the bacteria in the mouth. Turmeric has antibacterial and also anti-inflammatory properties which help ease gum swelling. One drawback from the use of turmeric is that it stains the teeth yellow.
BAKING SODA- Baking soda neutralises the acid released by bacteria in the mouth. Take baking soda, mix it with water and apply it along the gum line using your finger. You will polish you teeth and neutralize the acid, rendering the gums less susceptible to destruction by the bacteria.
GUM MASSAGE- Gum massage helps increase blood circulation to the gums.This increase the resistance of the gums. Just grip the gums between the thumb and index finger and start rubbing.