Having dealt with gum diseases gingivitis and periodontal disease, this article is written with a bit of experience behind it. Below is my personal daily routine for helping to combat gum disease. It's a sort of consensus I compiled via forums, websites, word of mouth, and other literature on the subject. I'm no dentist, and the information in this article is only for information based on my own experience. This isn't intended to replace proper dental care. But if you're looking for some cheap, natural, at-home ideas for combating gum disease, perhaps my routine will help you.
Article revised January 28, 2013
When doing research for at-home, natural gum disease treatments and cures, I read a lot of conflicting information. I’ve read conspiracy theories about fluoride and dentistry in general. Taking everything into consider, what I came up with was probably the least offensive of all treatments, combined into one daily treatment plan which I have been using for months. I will say that my teeth look whiter and my gums are less swollen than ever. I’ll try to annotate each step with the reasons for the order I’m using.
Step 1 – Brush with Turmeric
Turmeric as a treatment for gum disease kept coming up over and over in my research. The reasons turmeric seems to work against gum disease is in its anti-inflammatory properties. Without inflammation, bacteria associated with gum disease loses a home in which to breed. I pour a little on a saucer next to the sink. I get my toothbrush wet and dip the brushes into the turmeric and apply to my gums, brushing gently. Be sure to brush lightly. The idea here is to get the turmeric all over your gum line and do some light plaque removal. Brushing too hard can wear teeth and lead to receding gums.
Step 2 – Floss
Why not floss first? I originally started my routine by flossing, but I found that coating my gums with turmeric and then flossing actually helps deliver the turmeric into the gum pockets better than just brushing with it. Flossing is perhaps the most essential step in managing gum disease. Learn to floss properly! Run the floss against the side of each tooth, and above the gum line. Don’t just stick it between your teeth and pull it out – focus on the sides of the teeth, as high as you can go without any effort.
Step 3 – Rise with Warm Salt Water
We need to rinse out the turmeric, so why not do it with salt water, which also has some bacteria-killing properties? Be sure to swish the turmeric-salt rinse very well. Try to push it between all of your teeth that should be cleaned up now that you’ve flossed. Spit, and rinse a couple of times.
Step 4 – Brush with Baking Soda
Even though we’ve rinsed the turmeric out, we still need to get our teeth extra clean. There are conflicting reports as to whether or not baking soda is effective against gum disease or even plaque, but because we’re trying to stick to an all-natural plan here, baking soda is my choice for cleaning my teeth after turmeric, flossing, and salt water. Be sure to continue to brush lightly, and methodically cover all of your teeth, front and back. This is where we get rid of more plaque. Rinse a couple of times.
Step 5 – Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse
For the final step, I put about an inch of hydrogen peroxide in a glass and mix in another inch of water. This is the hydrogen peroxide you buy at the drug store. You’re supposed to mix it with water,as it can be harsh by itself. I take a large mouthful of it and swish it vigorously for a couple minutes. I swish it left and right, and also from the back of my mouth to the front, being sure to force it between my teeth as well. I also swish it where my gums meet my cheek in order to cover my entire mouth and kill as many germs as possible. I tend to clean my sink area as I’m swishing to make the time pass more quickly. I then spit and rinse with bottled water a couple of times.
Another Helpful Addition
My dental hygienist gave me a suggestion after this article was originally written, and this addition to my routine has made a significant improvement. This was to use “interdental brushes” which are like toothpicks with bristles. You can see an example here (this was the same brand she gave to me). I have found that using these daily has made a huge difference. At my most recent follow-up, the dentist commented how much better my gums were, and I believe the addition of these brushes have been a contributing factor.
- I do the above routine three times a day.
- I don’t “sip” sugary drinks all day like I used to. This certainly led to dental problems. I drink my drinks in a short period now, or just sip water.
- The above routine is done after breakfast, lunch, and before bed.
- The above routine avoids fluoride. That’s my choice. If you don’t want to avoid it, use toothpaste instead of baking soda.
I’ve found the above routine to not only helped my symptoms of gum disease, but also eliminates bad breath. My breath stays fresh much longer than it ever has before. If you are experiencing gum disease, you should definitely visit your dentist. The above routine is meant to only be a part of a comprehensive dental plan.
I should mention that tried “oil pulling” but honestly, it wasn’t for me. I just can’t sit there with a mouth full of oil for 20 minutes.
If you’re suffering for gum disease, I wish you luck. It can be a frightening and expensive experience. The more proactive you are now, the better chance you have of overcoming it.