November 30, 2015
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Gum Disease (cont.)

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Are home remedies or natural treatments effective for gum disease?

There has been evidence to suggest the effectiveness of the following as treatments for gum disease:

  • Green tea has antioxidants that reduce inflammation in the body.
  • Hydrogen peroxide helps kill bacteria when used as a mouthwash or as a gel in a custom fitted tray, but it cannot be swallowed.
  • Warm saltwater rinse reduces inflammation and kills bacteria, but daily use will damage the teeth.
  • Baking soda and water can be used to brush the teeth to help neutralize the acids that can cause gum disease.
  • Oil pulling (swishing or rinsing) -- there has been little evidence to prove that sesame oil can help reduce bacteria that cause gum disease, but this is a popular practice.

Can gum disease be reversed?

As long as the causes of gum disease are correctly identified and the patient is persistent in improving their oral hygiene and seeking necessary treatment, the prognosis is very good for reversing the condition. The prognosis is best when treatment is obtained in early stages of gingivitis. At this stage, the affected person usually just needs a professional dental cleaning and more thorough brushing and flossing to reverse disease. As the condition turns from acute to chronic (chronic gingivitis), and from gingivitis to periodontitis or to ANUG, the prognosis gets less predictable. Therefore, it is very important to catch and treat gum disease as early as possible.

Is gum disease associated with other health problems?

There have been many attempts to understand the link between gum disease and other systemic health problems such as heart disease and stroke. Comparing the bacteria that cause dental plaque with the bacteria involved in heart disease suggests a correlation between gum disease and heart disease, but researchers have been unable to establish a cause and effect relationship. These types of relationships are difficult to prove or disprove, so it is fair to assume that aiming for a life free of gum disease will only help in leading a generally healthier life.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/17/2015


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