Did you know that almost half of American adults over 30 suffer from some degree of periodontal disease? With such a high rate of gum disease, it's almost a sure thing that you or someone that you know will be affected at some point. Luckily, gum disease is reversible. In addition to all of the obvious things that you should be doing to protect your gums, like brushing your teeth several times a day, flossing, and visiting the dentist regularly, there are some natural remedies that you can use that will help protect your gums from periodontal disease and help reverse the damage if your gums are already unhealthy. Check out a few surprising natural remedies for gum disease.
Green tea has been shown to have a number of positive health benefits, but you may not have thought of it as something that would help your oral health. However, because green tea naturally contains fluoride, it can be a powerful helper in your fight against gum disease. In Japan, a study of 1000 men showed healthier gums among the green tea drinkers than among those who did not drink green tea. Another study in Germany produced similar results by using candy containing green tea extracts.
Choose green tea when you're out at a restaurant or otherwise on the go and can't get to your toothbrush as quickly as you might like. The healthy drink will protect your gums until you can get home and clean them.
Using honey as a remedy against gum disease may sound counter-intuitive. After all, you've been told from an early age that sweet things will rot your teeth, and there are few things that are sweeter than honey. However, honey contains enzymes that have antimicrobial properties, meaning that they fight bacteria. Since gum disease is caused by bacterial infections in your mouth, it makes sense that honey would be helpful when it comes to fighting gum disease.
You can use honey by diluting it and swishing it around in your mouth like a mouthwash, by including it in your toothpaste, or even by rubbing it into your gums. Or, you can look for oral care products that are made with honey.
Sage and Sea Salt
Periodontal disease causes your gums to become red and inflamed. In order for the gums to heal, you'll need to lessen the inflammation. Sage has natural antiseptic properties that promote healing and reduce inflammation. Sea salt is an astringent that tightens up the gums.
To use sage and sea salt to help heal your gums, make a tea from sage leaves by pouring boiling water over a spoonful of sage leaves, steeping for 15 minutes, and then straining the tea. Add a spoonful of sage salt and use it as a mouthwash. For extra oral protection, add some lemon juice. The acid in the lemon helps to dissolve the plaque that causes the bacterial growth that contributes to gum disease.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a commonly touted remedy for many things from burns to head lice. When it comes to treating gum disease, tea tree oil does a few different things. It sooths and relieves gum pain on contact, which can be helpful for those suffering from severe gum disease. Tea tree oil also clears sores and ulcers on your gums by dissolving the white blood cells that create pus. Finally, tea tree oil's antibacterial properties kill bacteria caused by plaque.
To use tea tree oil on your gums, just add a drop on top of your toothpaste when you brush your teeth. Don't use too much – tea tree oil is powerful. And be sure not to swallow the oil. When ingested, tea tree oil can cause stomach irritation.
If you're concerned that you may be one of the nearly 50% of Americans suffering from gum disease, ask your dentist to evaluate your gum health. Don't forget to ask what else you can be doing at home to help protect and restore your healthy gums.