Gums – in health and disease

GumsThe main cause of loosing teeth as an adult is periodontal or gum disease. Bacterial build up called plaque around your teeth can cause an infection which may lead to destruction of the bone and supporting structures of the teeth. This infection causes loosening and finally loss of the teeth. Smokers are much more likely to suffer from gum disease and there are other factors such as stress and immune suppression which can contribute to the progression of the disease.

Regular daily cleaning with a toothbrush and dental floss to remove the bacterial plaque and scaling by your dentist is essential to prevent gum disease. These treatments can be supported with vitamin supplements and herbs.

Recent research has confirmed that taking calcium to strengthen bone and vitamin C for healthy soft tissue will help in the treatment of gum disease. We also use anti-oxidants to fight the infection and to boost the patient’s immune system. Tea tree oil in toothpaste or as a mouthwash will reduce the build up of bacterial on the teeth.

In more severe cases of gum infection we use herbs as mouthwash and medicines. Our herbal mixtures have echinacea, golden seal and pasque flower for infection, St Johns’s wort, liquorice and golden seal for pain and inflammation and Gotu Kola for tissue repair.

If stress or reduced immunity are factors in a person’s gum disease then the vitamins and herbs mentioned above will be helpful. If stress is an issue, lifestyle changes such as exercise, yoga and meditation are recommended. Our patients are advised to have a healthy balanced diet based on fresh whole foods and to reduce stimulants such as sugar, alcohol and caffeine.