Burlingame Dental Arts in Portland, OR
Burlingame Dental Arts in Portland, OR

Treating Gum Disease at Home

added on: September 9, 2019

Have you been avoiding group photos or scheduling meetings over the phone rather than in-person? Has brushing and flossing become uncomfortable? Is smiling the source embarrassment? If the answer to these questions is yes, is it because you’re suffering from bleeding gums?

The ideal way to tackle the problem of gums that bleed easily is to floss and brush every day, while also scheduling regular appointments with your Southwest Portland family dentist. To get a better handle on this problem, you can also try some home remedies, like using herbal products or rinsing with salt water.

What Home Remedies Can & Cannot Do

While there are a variety of reasons why your gums might bleed, the most common cause is gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease.

Gingivitis develops when plaque – a sticky biofilm made of harmful oral bacteria – builds up on the surface of your teeth due to the sugars and starches in the foods we eat. If plaque is allowed to stay on your teeth for more than a couple of days, it can harden under your gums and form into a substance known as tartar. In time, tartar can cause tooth decay and gum disease, so you may need to see our team at Burlingame Dental Arts to prevent any serious oral health problems for developing.

Home remedies can help in preventing gums from bleeding, but they’re not a replacement for brushing and flossing. Part of preventing bleeding gums you can do for yourself, but part of the process requires the help of a dentist. This isn’t because there are no good products available for home use. It’s because no good delivery system exists that allow patients to get under the gums and treat gum disease where it starts.

Rinsing with a home remedy, for example, can only get as deep as 3 millimeters under the gums. But individuals suffering from gum disease develop little pockets around their teeth that are far in excess of 3 millimeters. The average is actually between 5 to 6, and 7 to 9 if advanced.

To get this far underneath the gum line, you can’t solely rely on rinsing with home remedies alone. This is where receiving a professional cleaning from your Southwest Portland family dentist becomes so important.

The best way to keep your mouth healthy is to practice quality oral hygiene at home, including brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Adding some natural treatments to your daily oral hygiene routine may offer some benefits, but the results will vary from patient to patient.

Salt Water

Rinsing with salt water is a successful home remedy strategy that works by drying up bacteria. To get the most out of your salt water solution, consider adding a baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. They also help to clean your mouth while eradicating bacteria.

While salt water is an effective remedy, it can be problematic for individuals with certain health conditions. If you suffer from high blood pressure, you should avoid using salt water as an oral rinse. You also don’t want to overdo it with the salt either, as too much can actually irritate the tissues in the mouth. Start with a small amount and work your way up if more is needed.

Oil Pulling

A lot of debate has surrounded oil pulling in recent year and whether the practice really offers the health benefits suggested by its most devoted fans. If you’re not familiar with oil pulling, the practice involves swishing oil in your mouth for a certain amount of time to treat conditions as far ranging as diabetes to migraines. Some use the habit to help treat bleeding gums.

The ADA cautions that no enough evidence exists to support that the practice of oil pulling can actually help to treat gum disease.

Crunchy Foods & Dairy

Milk products are loaded with calcium, a nutrient that helps to strengthen your bones and your teeth. A study published in the Journal of Periodontology found that individuals who regularly consumed dairy products like yogurt, cheese, and milk suffered from fewer cases of gum disease.

Snacking on celery and carrots may help as well, but it may be due to their crunch factor, rather than any nutrients they may contain.

Crunchy foods are often referred to as “nature’s toothbrush” because they work to scrub the surface of your teeth when eaten. Additionally, when you chew foods high in water, your mouth produces more saliva, which washes away food particles and harmful oral bacteria that can damage your teeth.

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