According to the CDC Division of Oral Health, nearly 50% of American adults and more than 70% over the age of 65 suffer from gum disease, also known as periodontitis or periodontal disease. Gum pain and the effect it has on eating aren’t the only concerns. Studies have shown gum disease is linked to heart and vascular disease. But, there’s good news! You can effectively support your oral health at home and avoid suffering from gum disease.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Red, swollen gums, or gingivitis, is commonly the first symptom. You may know this condition by the very sensitive, sore gums that may bleed when you brush and floss your teeth. Constant bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth may also indicate periodontal disease. Symptoms of full onset of gum disease include pain while chewing, gums pulling away from your teeth, pus between your gums and teeth, or a loose tooth or teeth.
Causes of Gum Disease and Gingivitis
Poor dental hygiene is the number one factor that leads to gum disease. It allows bacterial growth in your mouth, and while some bacteria are friendly, many are not. Most of the sugar-loaded, processed foods we eat encourage the growth of these ‘bad’ bacteria in the plaque that forms between your teeth and gums. Without proper brushing and flossing, the bacteria can cause inflammation and if left untreated, it can lead to the erosion of the gum tissue and bone in your jaw.
While oral hygiene is the number one determining factor for gum health, some conditions may increase the risk. Hormonal changes, like those during pregnancy, puberty, and menopause can increase gum sensitivity. The high blood sugar of diabetes weakens the immune system and allows bad bacteria to take hold. Smoking damages gum tissue reducing its ability to recover. And if your family has a history of gum disease, you may be genetically inclined to it, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get it; you just need to take care of your teeth and gums. It may be possible to reduce the risk of serious diseases simply by approaching your gum health.
Natural Home Remedies for Gum Health
Natural home remedies have healed gum disease for centuries. Here are five simple ways to avoid periodontal disease you can start using today:
Salt water kills bacteria and cleanses the infected area of the gums. Mix 1 Tbsp of sea salt in a cup of warm water. Swish it around in your mouth for a minute or two and then spit it out.
The anti-inflammatory and cleansing properties of sage have made it a home remedy for centuries. Chop up a fresh sage leaf or take a pinch of dried sage, rub it on the infected area of your gum and then pack it on the infected area. Leave it for 2-3 minutes. Mix in sea salt with the sage for additional cleaning.
The curcumin in turmeric possesses powerful anti-inflammatory effects and turmeric also has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. This cleanses the wound and encourages healing. Combine turmeric powder with water or mash up some fresh turmeric root. Brush this paste onto your teeth and gums with a soft toothbrush.
Oil pulling is an ancient technique has been used for centuries to keep the teeth and gums healthy. It uses oil to cleanse infected areas and help the gums heal. Take a tablespoon of sesame, coconut, or sunflower oil and swish it around your mouth for a couple minutes, focusing on the infected gum. Spit out (do not swallow!) and rinse immediately with warm water.
This may be the simplest preventative solution around. You could use a baking soda paste regularly instead of toothpaste, but be careful – baking soda is highly abrasive and should be used gently in combination with olive oil. If your gums do get infected, rather than brushing it on, make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to your gums. Do this for 2 minutes, two to three times a week.
Ozonated Olive Oil Boosts Oral Health
In some cases, unhealthy gums may need a more powerful response and ozonated olive oil can deliver powerful healing right at your home.  Olive oil helps clean and supply essential vitamins to the gums, and studies show topically applied ozone acts fast to improve wound healing and gum injuries without side effects.   Research finds it is effective against swollen gums and the bleeding gums. In one clinical trial, patients using ozonated oil healed “significantly” faster than the control group that used normal healing protocols.  And take it from one of my clients, ozonated oil works!
"Great for my gums! Dentist told me I had the gums of a 60 year old (I'm 31). I started swishing with O2-Zap® after brushing my teeth and my gums are getting healthier. This stuff is now part of my dental regimen. Thanks!" - Ben
Here’s how to use an ozonated olive oil like O2-Zap®.
- First, brush gently with a soft toothbrush and non-fluoride toothpaste.
- Next, take the time to floss thoroughly by flossing each side of the tooth down to the gum line to remove plaque and debris.
- Finally, massage the gums gently with ozonated olive oil for 10 minutes.
- Additionally, brush your teeth with ozonated olive oil as a supplementary approach.
Follow these steps to experience healthier gums and improved oral health. Have you used ozonated olive oil? Share your experience with us!
- Mohammadi Z1, Shalavi S, Soltani MK, Asgary S. review of the properties and applications of ozone in endodontics: an update. Iran Endod J. 2013 Spring;8(2):40-3. Epub 2013 May 1.
- Patel PV1, Patel A, Kumar S, Holmes JC. Effect of subgingival application of topical ozonated olive oil in the treatment of chronic periodontitis: a randomized, controlled, double blind, clinical and microbiological study. Minerva Stomatol. 2012 Sep;61(9):381-98.
- M.Y.M. Shoukheba, Sh.A. Ali. The effects of subgingival application of ozonated olive oil gel in patient with localized aggressive periodontitis. A clinical and bacteriological study. Other info.
- Patel PV1, Kumar S, Vidya GD, et al. Cytological assessment of healing palatal donor site wounds and grafted gingival wounds after application of ozonated oil: an eighteen-month randomized controlled clinical trial. Acta Cytol. 2012;56(3):277-84. doi: 10.1159/000336889. Epub 2012 Apr 26.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.