What Is Periodontitis And 10 Home Remedies To Treat It

March 4, 2022 • By Mary Smith
The estimated reading time is 11 minutes
What Is Periodontitis and Home Remedies To Treat It

Everyone knows the importance of teeth and wants that pearly smile that makes them so attractive. But, teeth can be painful and you will probably need to follow a routine to keep them healthy, not just the teeth, the gums need special care as well.  Yes, the gums are also very important.

Have you noticed your gums are slightly bleeding while brushing?  Your dentist has told you that your gums are sensitive and they need special attention? Do not wait any longer make an appointment at your dentist as soon as possible as you probably have gingivitis and your gums are inflamed. Read this article to get to know more about this disease and see if there are any other treatment options to treat it at home. Yes, we offer you some natural solutions that are effective and easy to prepare and might save your teeth!

What Is Periodontitis?

Periodontitis is a gum disease that damages the soft tissue and causes your teeth to loosen or even can even lead to tooth loss. It is a serious chronic inflammatory disease, caused by bacterial microorganisms. The first sign of periodontitis is the inflammation of the gums called gingivitis, a milder form of periodontitis.

Gingivitis VS Periodontitis

As mentioned, the mild inflammation of the gums is called gingivitis and it is the early stadium of Periodontitis,  usually has milder symptoms, and is a non – destructive disease. The gums are red and swollen and bleed while brushing. Your teeth do not shift and are not loosen as the gums are still healthy. There are two types of gingivitis:

  • Dental plaque-induced gingivitis (caused by plaque accumulation is the key factor for pain, discoloration, or inflammation of the gums) (1)
  • Non-plaque-induced gingivitis is caused by viral, fungal, or bacterial infections or sometimes it is a reaction to foreign bodies such as dentures

They can both lead to Periodontitis if are not treated appropriately and sometimes if you have a weakened immune system or the bacteria is very aggressive. Periodontitis is a more severe condition and causes bone loss and permanent damage to the tissues around the teeth and teeth loss.

The most common cause of gingivitis is the accumulated plaque around the teeth, that accumulates naturally around them. It can also occur as a result of some risk factors and outdoor conditions as follows:

  • If you smoke regularly (2)
  • Genetics ( family history)
  • Health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, or HIV
  • Hormonal changes in your body ( usually puberty and pregnancy)
  • Drugs ( Dilantin, epilepsy medication, and some angina drugs can cause inflammation)
  • Obesity or C vitamin deficiency
  • Poor brushing or flossing

How Does Periodontitis Happen?

The sulcus or the space between the gum and the teeth may accumulate bacteria and food particles that can sometimes cause inflammation and swelling of the gums. If the gums start to separate from the teeth, a larger space is formed and there the harmful bacteria start to sprout. The space formed is the actual pocket and if it is leftover it will cause bone loss or erode the tissue that holds the teeth.

Symptoms Of Periodontitis

You should visit your dentist when you see the following symptoms:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Inflamed or red gums
  • Bad breath
  • Shifting or lost teeth
  • Sensitive teeth

Gingival Pockets vs Periodontal Pockets

When you have Periodontitis your gums are swollen, red and they bleed easily while brushing sometimes periodontal pockets have formed that lead to teeth loss. Debris is collected in these pockets and starts to infect the area, The plaque starts to enter into the pockets, and bone and tissues that hold the teeth start to decay.

But, these pockets are not an early sign of Periodontitis and they are the destructed tissue there are two forms of pockets:

  • Gingival pockets
  • Periodontal pockets

Gingival pockets are caused by local inflammation and irritation and sometimes are drug-induced and may look are periodontal pockets. This phenomenon is called false pocket or pseudo pocket (it is an excessive gingival tissue that is healthy and not a real pocket). They do not require any treatment and you sometimes may be prevented and treated with good oral hygiene or professional oral hygiene.

If not treated, they may provoke periodontal pockets formation.

Periodontal pockets are rather sneaky as they may be asymptomatic. Dentists and periodontists can easily discover them using a periodontal probe and they should be treated by dental professionals.

Do You Need Treatment For Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease should be treated as soon as possible as it can damage the periodontal ligaments, gum tissues, and the bone itself.

It should be treated with a professional cleaning along with another prescribed oral home treatment.  Besides flossing with your teeth twice a day with a manual or electric toothbrush, you need to use interdental brushes for the places the brush cannot reach. Your dentist will also remove the plaque that is built up around your teeth and put some anti-bacterial gel to support the healing process.

What Happens If You Don't Treat Periodontitis?

As mentioned, if left untreated, periodontitis can damage the gum tissues and lead to tooth loss.

It is caused by the bacterial plaque that accumulates around your teeth and if left untreated the accumulated plaque will harden and transform into tartar or calculus.

If the periodontitis progresses, the bacteria will go deeper into the gum tissues and starts to damage the teeth bone, and recedes the gums.

It can even be more dangerous than you think as the bacteria may enter your bloodstream and cause other health problems (obesity, pregnancy problems, cardiovascular diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, rectal cancer). In case of severe periodontitis, it requires surgery, so the patients can restore bone health.

So, how can you prevent it? You should:

  • Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled brush or an electric one
  • Use a mouthwash to wash your mouth
  • Avoid eating sugary and sticky food that support bacterial growth
  • Visit your dentist at least twice a year and inform him about any risk factors you have (smoking, age, genetics) and to have regular cleanings
  • Quit smoking

How To Treat Periodontitis?

When it is professionally diagnosed it should be treated and you might need to see your dentist and make several appointments to treat it.  The treatment will differ as per the severity of the periodontitis.  It can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe.

Mild Periodontitis

In case of mild periodontitis, it can be treated by a thorough cleaning by your dentist or dental hygienist and this is done by scraping and removing the plaque and the tartar with special instruments. Your dentist may also prescribe you a professional mouthwash such as chlorhexidine.

Moderate Periodontitis

To treat moderate periodontitis, you need multiple root planning until the gums recovers and are healthy.

Severe Periodontitis

In case of severe periodontitis, where there is a great possibility of tooth loss, flap surgery or periodontal surgery, is performed by folding back the gum tissue and reattaching it to the healthy tissue. Your dentist might also reshape the gums and implement the bone graft procedure in the areas of bone loss. Your dentist might also apply local antibiotics during the cleaning and sometimes prescribe you an oral antibiotic.

Another modern therapy to treat gingivitis is laser therapy which can target the disease more accurately and is a treatment with a less invasive nature. Still, there are no supporting studies for this claim. However, the gum recovery is shorter.

Periodontal Abscess

Another issue that might appear when you have gingivitis is the periodontal abscess. It is a red lesion that looks like a small red ball on the gum and allows the bacteria to grow. You can sometimes feel a sharp pain and in this case, you need to see your dentist as soon as possible as you will probably need to drink an oral antibiotic. You can treat it at home by pressing a cold pack on your cheek for about 10 to 20 minutes.

Aggressive Periodontitis Versus Chronic Periodontitis

Aggressive periodontitis is less common than chronic periodontitis.  Aggressive periodontitis progresses very rapidly. The bone loss looks different than in patients who suffer from chronic periodontitis and more intensive treatment is required to halt this disease.

One scientific study confirms that the is difficult to differentiate between two forms of periodontitis in patients. (3)  

What Are Treatment Options For Patients with Periodontitis?

If you want non-conventional therapy for treating periodontitis, there are some natural remedies that can help you and support the ongoing medical treatment or you can use them to prevent it from happening. You can use these home remedies in case of milder symptoms of gingivitis or periodontitis. However, you need to visit regularly your dentist, periodontist, and dental hygienist to control all the symptoms.

1. Omega 3 Fatty Acids

One study indicated that omega 3 fatty acids, can reduce gingival inflammation and reduce the gingival index ( the severity of the inflammation). (4)

2. Saltwater Rinse

This is a great disinfectant and can kill all the accumulated bacteria in your mouth. You will need to rinse your mouth three times per day to see the results. To make a saltwater rinse you should:

  • Take 1 glass of lukewarm water
  • Put 3/4 tsp of salt and mix it
  • Rinse your mouth
  • Spit the rinse out

3. Lemongrass Oil/Tea Tree Oil Mouth Wash

Two studies were conducted and confirmed that lemongrass oil and tea tree oil mouthwash can improve the health of your gums when you have gingivitis. (5)  (6)

To make the solution, put 2 -3 drops of lemongrass or tea tree oil into a cup of warm water and rinse your mouth three times per day.

4. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is proven to be effective and is a traditional remedy used for the treatment of gingivitis. (7)  It is already used as an ingredient in some toothpaste or mouthwashes. You can also drink aloe vera or simply use it as a mouthwash three timer per day and it doesn’t need to be diluted.

5. Turmeric Gel

Turmeric, a plant that belongs to the ginger family, originates and is cultivated in India. It is known for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.  It is proven as successful in treating gingivitis in one 2015 study. (8) You can buy turmeric gel that is available in most of the health food shops and put it on your infected gums. Leave it for 10 minutes and rinse it off.

6. Coconut Oil Pulling

This might be a challenging activity as you need to swirl the coconut oil in your mouth for about 30 minutes.  You should take 2 tsp of coconut oil and swirl in your mouth and spit it out.  Drink a glass of water before the cleaning and clean your teeth afterward.

7. Hydrogen Peroxide

Another rinse solution to help you with gingivitis is hydrogen peroxide.  You will need:

  1. Mix 1/4 cup of 3 %  hydrogen peroxide with 1/4 cup of water.
  2. Swirl the solution into your mouth for about 30 seconds
  3. Spit it out.
  4. Repeat this two to three times a week

8. Green Tea

One study showed that drinking green tea may improve the health of your gums and prevent gingivitis. (9)

9. Honey

Honey is a golden liquid that is widely known for its antibacterial properties and can help you to get rid of the bacteria accumulated on your gums. You can place it directly on your gums after brushing or mix it with water which is even a better solution as the enzyme in the honey glucose oxidase produces hydrogen peroxide when it is diluted into the water.

10. Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is essential for your overall health, and this includes having healthy gums and teeth. You need to eat some specific nutrients that are needed for keeping your gums and teeth healthy.  You need to eat:

  • Food rich in protein from pastured meats
  • Food rich in beneficial fat (fatty fish, coconuts, or liver)
  • Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits
  • Avoid processed foods and sugary and sticky food that support bacterial growth

Brushing And Flossing

Regular brushing and flossing can help in removing all the accumulated bacteria in your mouth. You should brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride paste. If the accumulated plaque hardens, it will turn into tarter and it can be removed by a professional dental hygienist only. (10)

Conclusion:

  • Periodontitis is a gum disease that damages the soft tissue and causes your teeth to loosen or even can even lead to tooth loss.
  • When it is professionally diagnosed it should be treated and you might need to see your dentist and make several appointments to treat it.
  • However, there are some other options that are non-conventional therapy for treating periodontitis. There are some natural remedies that can help you and support the ongoing medical treatment as saltwater rinse, aloe vera, turmeric gel, and others. Still, regular visits to your dentist are recommended to prevent this disease to appear.

Mary Smith

She is a dietitian and a healthy cooking expert that inspires millions of readers to eat nourishing and healthy food and have more balanced lives. She is passionate about writing, based on considerable scientific research to back up her nutrition articles intended for a general readership.
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