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Gingivitis and periodontitis are two forms of periodontal disease. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums which typically progresses to periodontitis, a condition where the gums become separated from the teeth which can lead to bad breath, pain, bleeding, loose teeth and infection. Herbal remedies for periodontal disease can be beneficial in the treatment for both gingivitis and periodontitis, but it is also important to visit a dentist and maintain proper oral hygiene to help in the healing process.
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Goldenseal, a member of the buttercup family, contains an alkaloid called berberine which has been studied extensively for its antibiotic activity. It has the ability to kill bacteria that becomes trapped in deep pockets between the gums and teeth. You can use as a mouthwash, after you brush your teeth. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of dried herb, cover and steep for 10 minutes. When warm, vigorously swish the tea in your mouth between your teeth for one minute, spit it out and repeat. There are a couple of other ways you can use this herbal remedy. You can mix the powder from a capsule or a liquid extract with your toothpaste, or you can apply about 5 drops of a liquid extract on a piece of gauze and place it in your mouth over the affected area.
Sage (salvia), a member of the mint family, means "to heal" in Latin. It has been used for centuries to treat just about every known ailment. Sage, combined with sea salt, can help treat periodontal disease by fighting bacteria, reducing inflammation and tightening the gums. To prepare a cup of tea, pour 1 cup of boiling water over 2 tablespoons of dried herb, cover and steep for 10 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons of sea salt to the tea, mix and swish.
Other herbal teas that can help promote healing include chamomile, calendula, echinacea, gotu kola, hawthorn, thyme and rose hips. Prepare a strong cup of tea and use as a mouthwash.
Aloe vera gel is not just for skin problems. It can also be used to treat painful and inflamed gums. If you have your own plant, which is quite easy to grow, remove the lowest leaf and cut it into 2 inch pieces. Slice one piece in half and apply the gel to the affected gum. The remaining pieces can be individually wrapped in plastic and stored in the freezer for future use. If you don't have a plant, you can buy the gel but avoid products that have been processed.
Other Herbal Remedies for Periodontal Disease
- For swollen and bleeding gums, massage myrrh oil on the affected area.
- To relieve pain, massage clove oil on your gums.
- To fight bacteria, add 1 drop of grapefruit seed extract or two drops of tea tree oil to your toothpaste.
- To stop bleeding, chew on tender guava leaves.
Consult your doctor before using any herbal remedies if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking medications or giving to a young child, or if you have a medical condition.
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Michael Murray, N.D. and Joseph Pizzorno, N.D. Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (1998)
Body, Mind & Soul Healer: http://www.soulhealer.com/periodontal_disease.htm
Natural Herbs Guide: http://www.naturalherbsguide.com/tools/disorder-library-feed/periodontal-disease.aspx?showLinks=true
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