Gingivitis, which means inflammation of the gums, is perhaps the most common human disease. Usually related to bacterial biofilm on the tooth surface, gingivitis of plaque origin is a preventable and curable periodontal disease.
Gingivitis treatment can be by mechanical removal of the source of irritation to the gums (for example scaling and toothbrushing) or by chemotherapeutic means (for example mouthwash). Mouthwashes like over-the-counter products with essential oils, such as Listerine, or dentist prescribed chlorhexidine mouthrinses may help in keeping our mouths clean but some may prefer a natural cure for gingivitis.
Before we move on to how to make your own herbal gargle to relieve gingivitis, let us go back to the basics of the gum disease.
What is gingivitis?
In gingivitis, the gum margins show signs of inflammation without recession of the gum lines or bone loss. Gingivitis is directly related to the presence of bacterial plaque on the tooth surface, and the amount of time that the plaque is allowed to remain undisturbed.
How to recognize gingivitis symptoms
You might have gingivitis if you have the following symptoms:
How to make a herbal gargle to cure gingivtiis
- Myrrh and golden seal can be made into a mouthwash to treat gingivitis locally. Mix both with a little water and add in peppermint oil to hide the taste. Your mouth should only be rinsed with cold water, to help tighten your gum tissues. Myrrh acts as a disinfectant and astringent that can help tone the gum tissue. It is best teamed with golden seal to help fight infection and heal the gums.
- 2-3 tablespoons of tormentil roots or dried bilberries can be boiled in ½ liter of water, and the resulting decoction can be used as a mouthwash several times daily, or 20 drops of tormentil and arnica tincture each can be mixed one teaspoon to a glass of water as an astringent mouthwash.
- Compound chamomile gargle can be made by mixing equal parts of chamomile and sage with water. Chamomile and sage act as a soothing anti-inflammatory for irritated gums and promotes healing of gums.
- Neem is an antibacterial ayurvedic herb whereby 2-12 drops of its leaf extract can be mix with water and taken as a mouthwash.
- Peppermint can be used to rinse the mouth to relieve sore gums and freshen breath due to its anti-inflammatory and cooling nature.
- A few drops of tea tree oil in water can be used as an antiseptic gargle to hasten healing of gums.
- Rinsing the mouth with tea made from the horsetail can help in restoring and healing damaged gums in a person.
Other natural cures for gingivitis
For effective and immediate relief from the symptoms of gingivitis the following herbal remedies can be used.
- Salt water or saline solution mouthwash is one of the most commonly used home remedies to ease the discomfort caused by gingivitis. It can be made by adding a pinch of salt in lukewarm water and gargle with it.
- Painful gingivitis can be cured by chewing on a piece of clove or by rubbing clove oil over the sore gums.
- White oak bark is a strong astringent herb that can help relieve swollen gums. You can moisten a little bark with water and leave it around the gums at night.
- The pulp of aloe vera can be rubbed onto affected gums to hasten healing.
- Triphala, an ayurvedic herb can help control gingivitis. To prepare Triphala concoction, add one teaspoon of Triphala powder in a glass of lukewarm water.
- Drinking green tea may provide immediate relief from swollen gums caused by gingivitis.
- Applying a paste of holy basil in water on affected gum areas can prevent further swelling and bleeding.
The above remedies are natural gingivitis treatments which could be of help in curing gingivitis but may not necessary guarantee results. It is important to remember that effective plaque removal is done by mechanical cleaning and not only by the use of mouthwashes or gargles themselves.
How to prevent gingivitis
Prevention is always better than cure. Early detection and treatment of gingivitis can help prevent the disease progression to periodontitis. Therefore it is best to:
- Practice good oral hygiene with proper tooth brushing techniques and the usage of floss and mouthwash is the best home cure for gingivitis.
- Make regular appointments with your dentist to have professional cleaning of the teeth every 6 months or as recommended by your dentist to ensure your mouth stays in a healthy condition.
- Maintain good general health by having proper nutrition and exercise
- Stop smoking