What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis marks the onset of a potential gum disease. It is an inflammation of the gums. Primarily, it affects the tissues surrounding the teeth and gums. If it is not treated on time, it can take the form of serious tooth problems like destruction of bone and even tooth loss. In the early stages of the disease, there may be little pain and thus it may not be noticed. However, if it is left untreated, it may progress to Periodontitis which is a more severe gum disease that can result in tooth loss. Therefore, a treatment comprising a variety of natural home remedies for gingivitis should be taken up by the sufferer as soon as possible. Bacteria, plaque (a film-like substance primarily made up of bacteria) and the accumulation of food particles between the gums and the teeth are mainly to be blamed for causing this disease.
Causes of Gingivitis
Inadequate oral hygiene is the main culprit that causes gingivitis. In the absence of proper and regular brushing and flossing, plaque accumulates along the gum line of the teeth. The most common type of gingivitis, that is, chronic gingivitis is induced by this very plaque. When plaque stays on the teeth for more than 72 hours, it solidifies and hardens into tartar. Brushing and flossing can not possibly remove this tarter. Apart from inadequate oral hygiene, certain medical condition or the consumption of certain drugs are also responsible for causing and aggravating gingivitis. Drugs used for high blood pressure, seizures and organ transplants tend to suppress the immune system and cause an overgrowth of the gum tissues making the task of removing plaque difficult.
Viral and fungal infections are some of the other causes of gingivitis. Uncontrolled diabetes, Addison disease, AIDS, leukemia and other blood or immune system related disease may increase the risk of having this gum infection or gum disease. Vitamin C and niacin deficiencies, though less common, may cause inflammation of the gums. A condition called “Hormonal Gingivitis” is caused due to birth control pills, pregnancy and puberty.
Symptoms of Gingivitis
The gums become red in color instead of the usual pink. The sufferer may also complain of mouth sores and shiny, tender, swollen and painful gums that may bleed while brushing the teeth. The gums may show signs of getting separated or seem to have receded or pulled away from the teeth, giving an impression of having elongated teeth. Gingivitis can cause bad taste in the mouth. Even the breath may begin to show signs of having a foul odor. These symptoms can be treated by adopting the proper remedial measures in time.
Natural Home Remedies for Gingivitis
• Since time immemorial, clove has been considered as an excellent home remedy for oral diseases. One can simply chew a piece of clove or rub clove oil on the gums to cure painful gingivitis.
• Rubbing Aloe Vera pulp in the mouth is beneficial in healing gingivitis affected gums.
• Gargling with Triphala concoction is yet another important way to cure as well as control gingivitis. To prepare Triphala concoction, add one teaspoon of Triphala powder in a glass of lukewarm water.
• Prepare a mixture by adding one teaspoon of myrrh herbal powder, three-fourth teaspoon of powdered peppermint leaves, two teaspoons of white oak bark herbal powder finally, one by eighth teaspoon of clove powder. Grind it and store it in an air tight container. Take one tablespoon of this mixture twice a day (preferably at the time of morning and night) or rub it on the affected area; acts as an effective therapy to cure gingivitis. In order to reduce the bitter taste of this mixture, one can add more peppermint to it.
• Taking cranberry juice (without sugar) is a very simple yet natural home remedy for the treatment of gingivitis.
• Drinking green tea provides immediate relief from swollen gums caused by gingivitis.
• Prepare a mouthwash by adding 3% hydrogen peroxide and an equal amount of water. Care should be taken as to not to swallow this mixture while gargling.
• Add a pinch of salt in lukewarm water and gargle with it. This is one of the most commonly used home remedies to ease the discomfort caused by gingivitis.
• Applying a paste of holy basil in water assists in healing gingivitis affected area by preventing further swelling and bleeding.
Diet for Gingivitis
It is but obvious that a healthy and balanced diet prevents many vitamin deficiencies. Gingivitis can be caused by vitamin C and niacin related deficiencies. Thus, a diet with proper amount of these vitamins is very important. Vitamins and minerals like vitamin B, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, selenium and calcium help in the prevention of gingivitis. Beans, pulses, whole grains, vegetables and fruit are rich in dietary fibers that help to build the body’s immune system which in turn protects against the bacteria that cause gingivitis.
Sugar hides in the nooks and corners between teeth and encourages unhealthy bacterial growth. So, foods that contain lots of sugar like pastries, chocolates, soft drinks, syrups and similar items should be avoided as much as possible. Chemicals in tobacco are also harmful, so cigarettes and other tobacco products should be a strict no-no. Maintaining a good oral hygiene, following these dietary suggestions and applying the above mentioned natural home remedies can prevent and cure gingivitis to a great extent.