When it comes to gum health, there is no substitute for regular trips to the dentist for oral exams and professional cleanings. No matter how diligent you might be with your own oral hygiene routine at home, you may still be in the early stages of gum disease and not even realize it. That’s why it’s so important to have your gums examined by your dental hygienist and/or your dentist at least twice a year.
There are, however, several natural home remedies you might want to try that have been shown to be beneficial to gum health.
- Vitamin C: Research has shown that people who consume very low amounts of vitamin C in their diets are also more likely to develop gum disease. It just so happens that vitamin C is good for your overall health as well, so including more foods that contain vitamin C in your daily diet can provide many benefits. Foods like oranges, strawberries, red peppers and cantaloupe are all good sources of vitamin C.
- Tea tree oil: Studies conducted over the past several years indicate that tea tree oil may be helpful in treating the early stages of gum disease. Be warned, however, that tea tree oil itself can actually be toxic, so don’t try to create your own concoction at home. Instead, look for toothpaste that lists tea tree oil as one of the ingredients.
- Cranberries: Researchers have found that some of the compounds found in cranberries actually help to control inflammation caused by gum disease.
- Neem: This name may not sound familiar, but studies conducted on the neem plant have shown that it’s very effective in fighting plaque buildup and helping to prevent gingivitis. Look for oral health care products that contain neem oil or neem gel. While we may not be familiar with neem in the U.S., people in India have chewed on neem twigs for years to help alleviate a variety of oral health issues.
Although all of these natural treatments have been shown to be effective at maintaining healthy gums, keep in mind that it’s important to make sure you have healthy gums to begin with. The only way to be certain of the condition of your gums is to visit your dentist for an oral exam and professional cleaning. Once you have your clean bill of oral health, you should feel free to experiment with some of these natural methods for maintaining your gum health.