Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss and is linked to serious systemic diseases. That’s the bad news. The good news is that gingivitis is preventable and treatable. Want even better news? There’s plenty you can do at home to maintain healthy gums.
You’ve heard a million times, but if you’re not doing it you should. Brush after eating and floss before bedtime. Investing no more than ten minutes – less than one percent of your day – helps you keep your teeth and maintain a healthy body. (Brushing with baking soda further reduces plaque.) You’ll look better and have more pleasant breath with good home care. Ask the hygiene team at Big Smile Dental for advice on what products and tools to use, and instruction on proper technique.
Feed your body, not gum disease. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables and lean proteins. Avoid high-sugar or salty snacks and tobacco. Moderate amounts of cheese and yogurt may reduce mouth bacteria which contribute to gum disease.
If you are managing gum disease, apply a little clove oil to a cotton ball or swab and massage it into your gums. Clove soothes painful gums and kills gingivitis-causing bacteria. The age old remedy, aloe vera, can also help. Split a leaf and rub the juice into gums, or rinse with aloe gel in warm water. It doesn’t taste as strong as clove.
Gargle with a mild salt solution. For more gum disease fighting punch, add a little triphala powder. This herbal supplement, available from natural food stores, is believed to boost your body’s immune system.
Keep in mind, though, that even the best home hygiene cannot reverse gum disease. See Dr. Theodore Siegel to get your gums in shape and start you on the right path keeping them healthy.