Heal Gum Disease & Gingivitis: Self Care Tips
If you experience swollen, tender gums that bleed easily when you brush your teeth, you’re not alone.
Almost 80% of adults have some form of gum disease, the most common of which is known as Gingivitis.
This disease occurs when bacteria builds up between your teeth and gums, causing inflammation, irritation, and bleeding. It can eventually lead to serious gum diseases like periodontitis, and eventually bone and tooth loss if left untreated.
Luckily, treating gum disease naturally is relatively simple and quite effective if you follow the right steps and stay consistent.
Keep reading to find out how to identify, prevent and heal gum disease and gingivitis, so that you can maintain great oral hygiene and give your mouth the self care it deserves.
1. What is Gum Disease & Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is both preventable and treatable. Factors such as medications and lowered immunity make you more susceptible to developing gingivitis, but you can absolutely treat it effectively if you develop it.
The most common cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene. Significantly reduce your risk of developing this potentially serious condition through daily brushing and flossing.
You can have gingivitis without even knowing it because early stage gum disease is rarely painful. Often, though, you’re likely to have warning signs such as:
- Swollen, soft, red gums.
- Gums that bleed easily, even if they’re not sore. Many people first detect a change in their gums when they notice that the bristles of their toothbrush are pink. This is a sign that gums are bleeding with just slight pressure.
- A change in the colour of your gums from a healthy pink to dusky red.
Staying alert for these warning signs and taking immediate action on the below tips can help you reverse gingivitis completely and avoid gum disease completely.
2. Oral Hygiene
Good oral hygiene is so important when it comes to trying to heal gum disease and gingivitis.
Gone are the days when 60 seconds at the sink would cut it. So is only flossing on the night before a dentist appointment. In order to heal gum disease and gingivitis and prevent it from recurring, you should be spending at least five minutes 2-3 times per day on brushing and flossing with the right type of toothbrush and dental floss.
It's important to use natural bristle brushes as most commercial varieties are made of harmful plastic by-products that may include toxic petroleum-based chemicals. Additionally, many mainstream dental flosses are made from Teflon and laced with synthetic waxes which can be absorbed into your blood stream and are harmful to the environment. Choose an eco-friendly toothbrush made from Bamboo or wood, with natural chemical-free bristles and an organic floss made from beeswax for example.
Additionally, avoid fluoride toothpaste and find a good fluoride-free, organic variety like Redmond Earthpaste available from our online store or find a brand you like from your local health food store. Alternatively, make a toothpowder from Bicarb Soda, Sea Salt and Essential Peppermint Oil or try our handcrafted Toothfairy Tooth Powder.
Tip: If you suffer from any type of gum disease or irritations in the mouth, use a tablespoon of Raw Coconut Oil to do an oil swish first thing in the morning and before brushing your teeth at night. This can help to soothe the inflammation and strip bacteria from your mouth that is causing the problem to proliferate. Remember, coconut oil is one of mother nature's most wonderful anti-viral and anti-bacterial agents. It can also be mixed with toothpowder to turn it into a pleasant tasting and fantastic toothpaste.
The plaque-catching area around the gum line is where gingivitis starts, and it is the most neglected area when we brush. Place your brush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth so half of your brush cleans your gums while the other half cleans your teeth. Then, make sure you shimmy your brush instead of scraping.
A good basic practice is to have two toothbrushes and alternate between them. Allow one to dry and air out while using the other.
Learn more in Non-Toxic Dental Hygiene & Tooth Care.
3. Plenty of Calcium
Gingivitis is the beginning of what some call periodontal osteoporosis. Like with osteoporosis in the body, your bones can shrink and become brittle as you age.
This is why it’s important to get plenty of calcium, and to take it regularly to help prevent periodontal osteoporosis from even forming at all. The earlier you start upping your calcium intake, the better off your bones will be.
Bolster your bones with plenty of calcium, found in raw almonds and dark greens.
Also, kick up your intake of Sea Salt as it ionises into Calcium in the body, which naturally strengthens your teeth and bones.
Additional great food sources of calcium include:
- Swiss chard
- Bok Choy
- Sesame seeds
- Green beans
4. Eat More Vitamin C
Vitamin C is truly a superfood. This vitamin can help with everything from improving immunity to healing wounds, and now it’s here to help heal gum disease and gingivitis too.
Foods high in Vitamin C can actually help cure gingivitis, so try to get as many as you can into your diet each day.
Foods high in Vitamin C:
- Citrus - Oranges, Grapefruit, Lemons & Limes
- Honeydew melons
- Bell peppers
- Green beans
5. Eat Raw Vegetables
If you can combine your Vitamin C intake with raw vegetables, even better. Eating plenty of raw vegetables is not only good for your health and digestive system, but they also help heal gum disease and gingivitis.
Hard and fibrous foods clean and stimulate teeth and gums, to keep the gingivitis away. Plus, you get the maximum amount of nutrients from eating raw vegetables, because none can disappear during the cooking process.
6. Try Baking Soda
A great natural home remedy to heal gum disease and gingivitis is using a simple baking soda solution. This household staple is great for healing gum disease, preventing plaque buildup, and deep cleaning the teeth and gums all in one go.
Simply take plain baking soda, mix it with a little bit of water, and apply it with your fingers along the gum line in a small section of your mouth, then brush your teeth and gums. . You’ll clean, polish, neutralize acidic bacterial wastes, and deodorize, all in one swoop.
Tip: ditch commercial toothpaste that’s full of toxins and try the Tooth Fairy Natural Tooth Powder for a safe, natural alternative that not only cleans effectively, but tastes so fresh.
7. Use Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a great plant to keep around your house. It helps soak up toxins in the air, while the gel helps with burns, rashes, insect bites, and more. But it can also help you heal gum disease and gingivitis, which is even more of an incentive to keep this gorgeous plant nearby.
You can brush your gums with aloe gel because it’s a healing agent and it will reduce some of the plaque in your mouth. Simply scrape some fresh aloe gel (never the bottled kind), apply it to your toothbrush, and gently brush your gums. Your mouth will taste so fresh and clean, and your gums will thank you.
Try a Gum Massage
If you’re suffering from gum disease and gingivitis, try a gum massage (even if you don’t yet experience pain).
The massage action will help improve blood circulation in the gums and relieve any pain. Simply grip your gums between your thumb and index finger, with your index on the outside, and rub. Try this 2-3 times a day, and whenever you’re feeling pain.
Gum disease and gingivitis are certainly not pleasant, but at least they’re both preventable and treatable with the right steps. Mastering a good oral hygiene routine, consuming plenty of Vitamin C, calcium, and fresh, raw vegetables, and a few other self-care tips can make a world of difference when it comes to trying to heal gum disease and gingivitis.
Tolman Self Care.