We're born with two sets of teeth, but only one set of gums. Americans spend nearly 40 million dollars a year correcting their deteriorating dental health. Learn how these natural tips for healthy gums can prevent or reverse gum disease and keep you out of the dentist's chair.
Tip 1 - Diet
You are what you eat and if what you eat are processed and refined foods, your gum health is going to suffer. One of the best ways to achieve healthy gums is to eat a diet rich in fresh, whole foods such as organic meats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Sweeteners such as aspartame and high fructose corn syrup not only eat away at teeth and gums, but weaken the immune system, leaving you vulnerable to gum disease and infection.
Eating organic yogurt sweetened with only natural sugar is a great way to get probiotics, friendly bacteria, into the body and maintain good health. Hidden food intolerances can cause malabsorption of nutrients, which can lead to gum disease. If you frequently suffer from canker sores, abdominal cramping, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, brain fog and/or learning difficulties, a hidden food intolerance may be the cause. The most common are wheat, gluten, dairy, corn, soy, citrus fruits, nuts and shellfish.
If a food intolerance is suspected, do an elimination diet. Remove all these foods from your diet for one week and then reintroduce them one day at a time to test for a reaction. If you find the culprit food or foods, you'll know and be able to eliminate it from your diet. Your body will then better be able to absorb nutrients from food and gum health will improve.
Tip 2 - Flossing
Flossing is one of the easiest natural ways to keep gums healthy. It is important to use the proper flossing technique to ensure the health of gums. Starting with 18 inches of floss, wrap it around your fingers leaving 1-2 inches of space. Then, stretching the floss taut, insert it between two teeth, flossing in and up and down motion. Be sure to work below the gum line but take care not to cut the delicate gum tissue.
Follow this procedure for the whole mouth, using a clean piece of the floss for each tooth. Do not be alarmed if you notice a little blood. If your gums are not used to flossing, it may take a few times before they toughen up. Flossing is very important because it not only cleans food particles and plaque from the teeth, it stimulates gum circulation which leads to healthy gums.
Tip 3 - Motorized Toothbrush
Weak gums may need a little more care then a manual toothbrush. A motorized toothbrush, whether electric or run by batteries, will gently massage the gums, increasing circulation and removing plaque and food particles a manual toothbrush may overlook.
Tip 4 - Herbal Toothpaste
Choosing an herbal toothpaste over a conventional one is a great natural way to keep gums healthy. Many commercial toothpastes are loaded with artificial sweeteners and harmful additives that defeat the purpose of brushing and end up contributing to failing gum health. Choose an herbal toothpaste with ingredients such as neem (anti-fungal), cloves (anti-bacterial), turmeric (anti-inflammatory), baking soda (gentle abrasive) and/or tea tree oil (circulation stimulant and anti-fungal) to improve teeth and gum health.
Tip 5 - Supplements
Vitamin C mixed with flavanoids has been shown to improve the strength of the connective tissue in gums and help reduce inflammation. Coenzyme Q10 is a powerful antioxidant that has been reported to speed gum healing and enhance immunity. Calcium is essential to strong teeth and gums. Vitamin A may boost the immune system and heal gum inflammation.
There you have it. 5 natural tips for healthy gums. It is important to note that if tooth loss, excessive bleeding or severe pain occurs, a dentist should be contacted immediately. Should you have a serious medical condition, it is advisable to consult a healthcare provider before adding supplements to the diet. Also, those who have kidney disease should not take high doses of calcium without first consulting their healthcare provider.