If you have gum disease, it’s important to do everything you can to help resolve it, including starting gum disease treatment at home. Learning how to cure gum disease without a dentist can be just as important as the work that’s done in your dentist’s office.
Causes of Gum Disease
Gum disease typically begins as a result of insufficient oral hygiene. Plaque regularly forms on your teeth each day, but if you’re not brushing and flossing adequately, it can build up and cause the early stages of gum disease. Without timely treatment, plaque can harden and become tartar, which can form under the gum line and requires a professional dental cleaning to remove. As such, excellent oral hygiene is your first and most important defense against gum disease.
Apart from insufficient oral care, causes and risk factors for gum disease can include:
- Certain medications
- Diseases like Crohn’s disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis
- Drug use
- Dry mouth
- Family history of gum disease
- Hormone changes
- Inadequate nutrition
- Lack of vitamin C
- Smoking and chewing tobacco
Treating Gum Disease
Once gum disease occurs, treating it may require several steps, depending upon the severity of your disease. Mild gum disease, called gingivitis, may be fixed with improved oral hygiene at home, while periodontitis typically needs improved home care and intervention from your dentist. Advanced periodontitis typically results in bone and tissue damage, requiring more aggressive treatment. Here’s what to expect:
Mild gum disease
Gingivitis typically presents as inflammation and irritation in the gums, including bleeding when you floss and brush your teeth. Treatment for all types of gum disease typically starts here and includes:
- Improved brushing and flossing technique
- Better oral care products
- Consistent oral care habits
- Improving your diet and hydration
- Quitting tobacco use
Serious gum disease
At this point, you may have some bone and tissue loss, as well as pockets along your gum line. This can result in loose teeth and an altered bite. Additional treatment typically includes:
- A professional deep cleaning in the dentist’s office called “scaling and planing.” Scaling involves removing tartar above and below the gum line, including in pockets. Planing involves smoothing the surface of the tooth’s root so it’s harder for bacteria to attach to them.
Advanced gum disease
Eventually, gum disease can cause irreversible damage to the bones and tissue fibers supporting your teeth, causing your teeth to shift and loosen. Without timely and aggressive treatment, you may lose teeth. A “scaling and planing” deep cleaning will be necessary and additional treatment may include:
- Antibiotic or antimicrobial rinse or topical medication
- Bite adjustment to protect loose or shifting teeth
If your gum disease is so advanced that none of these interventions are successful, surgical intervention may be necessary. As such, it’s critical that you begin treating gum disease as soon as you see the first signs. Thankfully, even if you’re beyond learning how to cure gum disease without a dentist, you can begin treating the problem at home until you can get in to see your dentist.
Incorporating Gum Disease Treatment at Home
If your gum disease is in the early stages, gingivitis can often be resolved by improving your oral hygiene habits. Even if you do need your dentist’s help to address your gum disease, starting gum disease treatment at home still helps. Treat your gum disease at home with an excellent oral care routine. Here’s what you should do:
- Brush twice per day for 2 minutes each time
- Use the right brushing technique to get under the gum line
- Use a toothbrush that’s in good shape, ensuring you replace it every 3 months
- Use a dentist-recommended toothpaste
- Floss correctly once per day, hugging each tooth with the floss
If you’re already doing this, you may need to change other daily habits. For instance, drink plenty of water and avoid foods and beverages that harm your teeth and gums. In addition, if you use tobacco products, quit right away.
Some home remedies for gum disease can be helpful as well. If your gums are inflamed and irritated, swishing with salt water can help reduce the harmful bacteria that cause it. Drinking antioxidant-rich green tea may help calm inflammation. However, don’t rely entirely on home remedies for gum disease. To treat it properly, see your dentist.
When to See Your Dentist About Gum Disease
You should be seeing your dentist at least every six months so they can track any gum disease and guide you through necessary treatments. If your gum disease is more than mild, you may need to see your dentist for cleanings every three or four months until it’s under control. However, if you suspect that your gums are unhealthy at any point, it’s a good idea to make an appointment to see your dentist just in case. The earlier you catch gum disease, the easier it is to treat. Interested in how to cure gum disease without a dentist? Prevent it in the first place.
To learn more about how keeping your mouth healthy is a vital part of staying healthy overall, order your copy of If Your Mouth Could Talk.