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Gingivitis

A common inflammation of the gums is called gingivitis; in this condition the gums tend to become red, they are also spongy and swollen in appearance. The easy way to diagnose gingivitis is if the gums bleed easily and often. Although the discomfort caused to the person is not much over a period of time, the inflammation present in the gums causes pockets to form and this deepen between the teeth and gums.

One of the signs of periodontal disease is gingivitis, as a whole it affects the jaw bone and the tooth structure, there is a loosening of the teeth, the gums recede and abscesses form in the teeth. Periodontal disease and poor oral hygiene are often signaled by the appearance of a chronic bad breath. Loss of the dentition is the ultimate result of unchecked or untreated periodontal disease. It is therefore very important to teach children the benefits of good oral hygiene and the importance of keeping the mouth clean, because as it is, gum and tooth problems often begin in childhood.

Poor oral hygiene allows plaque to accumulate and there is also an increase in the food particles lodged between teeth, these conditions bring on both gingivitis and periodontal disease in a person. Cavities are formed and plaque is built up generally because a person overlooks or fails to brush his or her teeth before going to bed and in the mornings, and small things like making use of dental floss for food particles trapped between teeth, also contribute to the problem. The accumulation of plaque and other dental problems like the formation of cavities and abscesses continue to erode teeth, causing gum problems and hastening tooth loss, hence a regular check up with the dentist assumes priority. The development of abscesses and pockets in the gums can also be aided by things such as tooth crowding.

One of the very important and essential factors to good and healthy gums is proper nutrition and diet. Natural foods like apples and carrots clean the teeth especially if eaten raw, whereas soft cakes and breads particles can get stuck and lodged between the teeth and allow bacteria to increase in the spaces and this causes the build up of plaque. The gums can also bleed easily and can become swollen and spongy if there is insufficient vitamin C in the diet or if the reserves are low in the body. Decreased salivation due to emotional stress can increase a person's susceptibility to gum problems in the long term. Breathing mainly through the mouth also decreases salivation and can hasten gum decay. Gum disease and decay can also be brought on by materials used in dental fillings such as silver amalgam, because teeth can be loosened and the gums can be inflamed by toxic metal poisoning.

Supplements and herbs

An inadequate diet may be responsible for unhealthy inflamed gums and tooth decay, in cases where proper dental hygiene is already being maintained. The gums can bleed easily and become spongy and sore if there is a lack of vitamin C in the diet. For the prevention of all forms of inflammation in the gums, the vitamin C is one of the most reliable and essential substances. For the maintenance of a healthy mucous membrane the vitamin A is important. If damaged the healing and restoration of the mucous membranes is supported by vitamin E, the bones of the teeth and the jaws can be helped by supplementing minerals like calcium and silica, especially so in cases where the jaw bones are diseased. Supplements that can help the immune system and the bones, include zinc supplements. The reduction of the symptoms of gingivitis can also be accomplished through the action of niacin as a supplement. For the reversal of the inflammation in the gums and to promote the healing of the gums, use can be made of the coenzyme Q10, this compound has also shown favorable results, when used in this role.

For effective and immediate relief from the symptoms of gingivitis the following herbal remedies can be used.

To hasten the healing of gums and to check the spread of inflammation, rinse the mouth thoroughly with tea made from herbs such as sage, chamomile and tormentil, or the leaves of plants such as the blueberry, the raspberry or the blackberry. Rinsing the mouth with tea made form the horsetail can help in restoring and healing damaged gums in a person, additionally taking a tbsp. of horsetail juice or 10-15 drops of horsetail tincture in water thrice a day can also be beneficial to dental health. To act as a reserve supplement of vitamin C, recourse can be taken to chewing the dried or fresh rose hips through the day. The tea made from peppermint can be used to rinse the mouth to freshen breath. Tincture made form the myrrh can be used to massage the gums.

Additional things you may do

Brush teeth with baking soda regularly to prevent gingivitis.
Break a vitamin E capsule; apply locally.

Usual dosage

  • Niacin, vitamin B3, 100-500 mg.
  • Vitamin C, with bioflavonoids, 1,000 mg 3 to 5 times a day.
  • Beta-carotene, 30,000 IU or vitamin A, 25,000 IU, (avoid during pregnancy).
  • Vitamin E, with mixed tocopherols, 400 IU 1 or 2 times daily internally.
  • Coenzyme Q10, 50 mg.
  • Calcium, 500 mg 3 times a day.
  • Silica, 1,000 mg.
  • Zinc, 15 mg, with 3 mg copper.

Other beneficial herbs

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