Gingivitis is an oral health condition wherein the gums are inflamed. If left untreated, this condition can lead to complications that are more dangerous, such as infections and cardiovascular disease. To prevent these from happening, there are natural remedies for gingivitis that you can do in the comfort of your home.
There are many reasons why people develop gingivitis. These include changes in hormones, drug intake, smoking, poor diet, and age. However, the most important and most common cause of gingivitis is improper oral hygiene. Bacterial plaque form on the teeth and gums, eventually hardening to form what is known as tartar. Since these are foreign materials, they elicit an immune response in the form of inflammation and this is what is known as gingivitis.
It should be easy to get rid of plaque just by brushing your teeth and using antiseptic mouthwash. However, the problem lies in the ingredients of the oral care products that are used. Not many people know this but many of the common ingredients in toothpaste and mouthwash are actually toxic and carcinogenic. These include triclosan and sodium lauryl sulfate, which have been shown to disrupt hormones and kill cells, respectively.
In order to avoid these harmful ingredients, here is a list of natural remedies for gingivitis:
Salt – A salt-and-water mixture is often used as a natural mouthwash since salt exhibits potent antibacterial properties. Make sure to swish this mixture around the mouth because this will help dislodge food particles that may be stuck. To get just the right amount of salt with water, add a teaspoon of salt to every eight ounces of water.
Baking soda – The mildly abrasive nature of baking soda can get rid of plaque that has build up. In addition to this, baking soda can also neutralize acids in the mouth with its alkaline property.
Turmeric – Studies have shown that turmeric is as effective as commercially available mouthwash at eliminating plaque and preventing gingivitis. This could be attributed to the presence of curcumin, which is known for reducing inflammation, killing bacteria, and preventing oxidative stress. For a better effect, mix one teaspoon of turmeric with half a teaspoon of salt then use water or coconut oil to give it a paste-like consistency. Apply this mixture on the gums then rinse it out after a few minutes.
Lemon juice – Since lemon juice is highly acidic, it acts as a great antibacterial agent. This can also be used as a mouthwash but make sure to dilute it first in water since too much acids can damage enamel. This is also why it's important to rinse with water alone after using diluted lemon juice as mouthwash.
Aloe vera – The gel inside aloe vera can be directly applied onto gums to enjoy the natural antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects of the plant. After leaving it on for a few minutes, use plain water to rinse it off.
Sage – Sage is not just good for seasoning meals, it can also be used for treating gingivitis since it has antimicrobial properties. It can be used in the form of mouthwash from sage oil or from boiled sage leaves, or a paste from crushed leaves.