Gingivitis is a type of gum disease characterized by redness, irritation and swelling. This condition can be quite mild so many people in the early stages are unaware that anything is wrong. When left untreated, it can lead to gum recession and further issues that can start to attack overall health. Gingivitis is most often caused by poor oral hygiene, but some people are more prone to it. There are things you can do at home and some natural remedies that can help with gingivitis.
Reducing stress is certainly easier said than done, but excessive stress can increase plaque accumulation and this contributes to gum disease. Studies have been conducted, such as one at the University of Dusseldorf, that looked at gum bleeding and plaque and how stress impacts these. The study at Dusseldorf looked at students around exam time and the rates of gingivitis and plaque were shown to be significantly higher during exam times.
There is a well-established link between gum disease and vitamin C deficiency. This goes back centuries and sailors in the 18th century used to prevent bleeding gums during extended times at sea by eating limes, a fruit high in vitamin C. There is a study published in the Journal of Periodontology that shows that periodontal disease occurs more often in those with low vitamin C intakes.
Adult women starting at age 19 need at least 75 milligrams per day and adult men starting at age 19 need at least 90 milligrams per day. This vitamin is also a powerful antioxidant and this is believed to help in preventing gum disease because it aids in accelerating bone regeneration and helps to repair connective tissues.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a topically applied oil with proven antibiotic properties and it is well-known for its benefits for oral health. Studies have been done looking at people who are suffering from severe and chronic gingivitis. In the study, they brushed twice a day with tea tree oil and at the four and eight week assessments the study participants experienced a significant reduction in gum bleeding and gingivitis.
The one thing about tea tree oil is that it cannot be used straight because when it is undiluted, it can cause issues, such as irritation which can worsen gingivitis. There is tea tree oil toothpaste available that is specifically meant to help improve oral health.
Coenzyme Q10 has been linked to helping to prevent gum disease and improving pre-existing gum disease when people are getting enough of this antioxidant each day. Lower levels of this antioxidant have been linked to gum disease. While not all researchers are on the same page, some believe that gum tissue can be repaired with this antioxidant.
In fact, an Osaka University study found that after using coenzyme Q10 toothpaste for three weeks, study participants had improvement in gum inflammation and infection. Coenzyme Q10 toothpaste is all-natural and it can be found at health food stores. It should be used twice a day with a good oral health routine that includes flossing and mouthwash. Using oral coenzyme Q10 may also be helpful and if someone wants to supplement, the ideal dose is 30 to 120 milligrams per day. Your doctor can help you to choose the exact dose for you.
Vitamin D is most known for its role in bone health, but this vitamin also helps to reduce the risk of gum disease. Boston University conducted a study and after evaluating the teeth of 6,700 people, the researchers found that higher levels of this vitamin meant that gingival probing was less likely to induce bleeding. So, the gums are healthier and less prone to disease in people with adequate vitamin D levels. Vitamin D levels are often lower in those who live far from the equator, those living in areas with significant cloud cover, those living in heavily polluted cities and those who do not get adequate sun exposure. The recommended daily allowance for this vitamin is 600 IU for adults ages 19 to 70 and 800 IU for adults older than 70. The best way to get vitamin D is naturally via sunlight, but if levels are low your doctor can recommend a supplement at the right dose to increase blood levels of this vitamin.
Cranberry has the ability to prevent bacteria from adhering to the teeth and bacteria is a breeding ground for gingivitis. For cranberry to work it has to be a natural form that does not have sugar added, so a 100 percent cranberry juice with no added sugar is ideal.
Cranberry supplements will not be effective because the juice actually has to come into contact with the teeth. If you have kidney stones or take warfarin, a blood thinning medication, do not start a cranberry regimen without consulting your doctor first.