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If you haven’t had gum problems yet, chances are you will: Three out of four adults overage 35 experience tender, swollen, or bleeding gums at some point in their lives. But there are plenty of things you can do to relieve pain, heal the gums, and preserve your teeth.
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Red, swollen, and tender gums.
A toothache made worse by hot, cold, or sweet foods or liquids.
Chronic bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth.
Loose or missing teeth.
When to Call Your Doctor
See your dentist if you experience red, swollen gums or loose teeth. It may save your
teeth. Have your teeth professionally cleaned if you haven’t done so in the previous year.
What It Is
There are two main types of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis — marked by tender, inflamed gums — occurs when bacteria in the mouth form a thin, sticky film called plaque that coats the teeth and gums. If ignored, plaque will turn into tartar, a hard mineral shell that erodes gum tissue. Over time this will lead to the more serious — and harder to treat — condition known as periodontitis. In advanced periodontal disease, the gums recede in places and pockets form around the teeth, allowing bacteria to eat away at the bone anchoring the teeth.
What Causes It
Poor oral hygiene — including improper brushing, flossing, or rinsing — is the leading
cause of gum disease. Other precipitating factors include a high-sugar diet, lack of vitamin C or other nutrients, and smoking (the chemicals in tobacco smoke harm gums and teeth). In addition, certain medications can make gum disease worse because they inhibit saliva production, which helps wash away bacteria and sugars. Genetic factors likely make some people particularly susceptible to gum disease. Women seem to be more prone to gum problems during pregnancy and menopause because of hormonal changes. Diabetes and other chronic diseases that can lower resistance to infection also increase the risk.
How Supplements Can Help
Various supplements — used together — can help heal sore and bleeding gums. Benefits
should be noticed within two weeks. People at high risk for gum disease can also take them on a long-term preventive basis.
What Else You Can Do
Floss at least once a day and brush at least twice with a soft-bristle brush. It is
important to use the proper technique, including brushing the tongue, which collects the
same bacteria that stick to your teeth. If you’re not sure you’re flossing or brushing
correctly, ask your dentist or dental hygienist to show you how. Plan to spend five minutes or so each session.
Massaging of gum with yor finger and flowsing at least twice daily is said to be very helpful.
Limit your intake of sweets and sticky carbohydrates — or at least brush as soon as
possible after eating them. These foods can accumulate in gum spaces and pockets,
particularly in older people, who tend to have more exposed roots in their teeth.
See a dentist at least once a year for a professional cleaning — or more often if you have
a problem that needs special attention. Try natural toothpastes and mouthwashes containing the herb bloodroot. These supply an antibacterial substance called sanguinarine that helps reduce and prevent the accumulation of dental plaque — the first step in gum disease. Make a chamomile tea mouthwash using 2 or 3 teaspoons of herb per cup of hot water. Steep for 10 minutes, strain, and cool. Use as a daily mouthwash or gargle. Commission E, a noted panel of health experts in Germany that reviews herbal supplements, officially recognizes chamomile as an effective gargle or mouthwash for the treatment of gingivitis.
Folic Acid Liquid
Vitamin C Powder
Dosage: 1,000 mg vitamin C and 500 mg flavonoids twice a day.
Comments: Reduce vitamin C dose if diarrhea develops.
Dosage: 50 mg twice a day.
Comments: For best absorption, take with food.
Dosage: Break open a 400 IU capsule; rub contents on gums.
Comments: Alternate with folic acid/vitamin C treatments.
Folic Acid Liquid
Dosage: Dip swab in liquid; apply along gum line every other day.
Comments: Follow up with vitamin C powder. Alternate with vitamin E gum treatment every other day.
Vitamin C Powder
Dosage: Using 1/2 tsp. powder, brush along gum line every other day.
Comments: Alternate with vitamin E treatment every other day.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.
Source:Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs (Reader’s Digest)