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Gingivitis

General characteristics

General characteristics

Gingivitis (sometimes called periodontal disease) is an inflammation of the gums.

The cause involves the build up of plaque and bacterial colonies which irritate the delicate gums, usually encouraged by poor diet and excess of processed and junk foods, poor dental hygiene, (brush twice daily and floss 3 times weekly), lowered immunity/vitality, diabetes, some other bacterial or viral infection (eg. herpes virus), during hormonal changes (puberty, pregnancy and menopause), certain medications, smoking and nutritional deficiencies. An unhealthy state of the teeth and gums has major implications for the development of many chronic diseases and even mental decline.

Symptoms include bleeding gums on brushing, red and swollen gums, loose teeth, increased sensitivity to cold/hot/sweet things and bad breath. If left untreated it has been suggested that gum disease can predispose the sufferer to cardiovascular problems, lung disease, strokes, lowered immunity and serious damage to the teeth and jaw bones.

Healing objectives are to improve nutrition, improve bodily resistance, improve the bacterial population of the mouth and to soothe and heal the delicate gum tissues.


Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Avoid all processed, junk, starchy and sugary foods such as crisps, pastries and all white flour products, fizzy drinks, caffeine and excess alcohol.

Base the diet arounf fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds and nuts.

Eat foods rich in vitamins C and E and zinc such as citrus fruits and berries, dark green leaves, whole grains and oily fish.

Eat as much raw food as possible as the fibrous nature of them helps to scrub the teeth and gums.

Stop smoking.


Useful herbs

Useful herbs

I make my own teeth cleaning powder to use alongside non-fluoride toothpaste. Ingredients could include the powders of sage, myrrh, goldenseal, plantain leaf, echinacea and sodium bicarbonate. Use equal parts and use once or twice a day.
Mouthwashes can be used to gargle with in the mornings, afternoons and evenings. Use herbs like sage, thyme, comfrey leaf, nettle, chamomile and myrrh and use equal parts to make a strong tea. Steep the herbs until cooled, add a drop of tea tree essential oil and gargle vigorously for a good 5 minutes, before spitting it out.
To fix loose teeth, drink pomegranate juice or use oak bark and bayberry as a powder or gargle.
Barberry root is also useful to ease bleeding and inflamed gums. Add a few drops of tincture to any mouthwash.
Astringent herbs such as agrimony and red raspberry leaf can be drunk as a tea or gargled with to help improve gum health.
The products of the neem tree have been in use in Asia for centuries as a daily part of the peoples health care. Neem leaves have a very beneficial action on the state of gums and teeth and can be used as a powder, wash or rub to help heal the gums and keep bacterial growth in check.
Gargle with strong echinacea tea for pain relief and anti-infectious properties.
 
Marshmallow root can help soothe and heal the gums.

Natural healing

Natural healing

Try the Ayurvedic trick of 'oil pulling'. First thing in the morning take a tablespoonful of organic cold pressed sunflower oil and rinse vigorously around the mouth, squeezing through the teeth for at least a full 5 minutes. Spit out the now cloudy oil, rinse the mouth thoroughly with water and gently brush the teeth. Over time this has a deep cleansing action that can greatly improve the health of the mouth and freshen the breath. Google 'oil pulling' for interesting stories.
Sunbathing (without sun cream) for 20 minutes daily (if possible) will provide plenty of vitamin D which helps to keep both teeth and gums healthy and strong.
Use a toothpaste with added coenzyme Q10 to lessen infection and inflammation.
Avoid daily use of fluoridated toothpastes. Controversial I know, but there is growing evidence to suggest that fluoride is actually doing us more harm than good. Indian researchers noticed a much higher incidence of tooth decay and gum disease in children living in areas that fluoridated their water supply (in order to prevent tooth decay!).
Put 2 drops each of oregano and tea tree essential oils in an eggcup full of water and rub all over the gums 3 times daily.
Visit a dental hygienist twice a year for a deep clean and plaque removal.
Take a full course of probioitcs, particularly of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Saccharomyces boulardii to both prevent and help heal gingivitis.

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