Before I ever even graduated college, I had to get gum grafts due to extreme gum recession. (Both my dad and grandpa had to undergo the same surgery; Thanks for passing that one along, guys.)
All my life I’ve done everything “right”– Brushing well with a gentle toothbrush, flossing, gargling, eating healthy foods. Yet gum issues have always struck. Chalk it up to hereditary predisposition. From swollen gums to bleeding gums to very thin or sensitive gums, there are all sorts of symptoms that I’ve encountered over the years.
Each of these concerns and more can accompany gum disease and cause major disruptions on a day-to-day basis. The list of reasons why one may experience gum problems is long. Poor dental hygiene, smoking, lacking nutrition or stress are common factors. However, in some situations, gum concerns appear with no obvious cause.
Regardless of why you’re experiencing oral health issues, preventative measures and proper treatment are essential. That being said, the right solution for you doesn’t have to involve spending lots of money or relying on invasive procedures or harsh chemicals. As long as you address the problem before it gets really serious, you can safely adopt holistic approaches to gum health that naturally ease your pain.
Best Natural Gum Care for Healthy Gums
Here are the top tips that have benefitted me and may help you too:
- Floss regularly, but gently
Flossing is very important for oral health, but it can backfire if you’re not doing it right. You want to floss thoroughly to ensure your teeth are fully cleaned, but also try not to jam the floss into your gums, as this can cause pain and bleeding. It’s also advised that you floss before bed, once you’re done eating for the day.
- Increase your Vitamin C intake
People who are deficient in this vitamin are much more likely to experience gum disease than those who get adequate amounts. Try to aim for whole food sources of Vitamin C (such as oranges, strawberries tomatoes or broccoli) rather than juices or supplements. Real fruits and veggies contain fiber that juices do not; the former is great for oral health while the latter can harm it. Whole foods also absorb more easily into the bloodstream than supplements do.
- Eat more Omega-3 fatty acids
Fatty acids, specifically of the Omega-3 variety, can help reduce gum inflammation and bacterial growth. Foods like walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds and pepitas are all great, plant-based sources to incorporate into your meals and snacks. Try to eat some on a daily basis to get meet suggested intake.
- Try oil pulling
The process of swishing oil around in your mouth and then spitting it out may seem tedious and perhaps a bit crazy, but it can seriously benefit your gums. Oil pulling is an ancient practice said to pull bacteria from the mouth and reduce plaque buildup, which can assist you in gum regrowth. If you really want to do something good for your gums, add a few drops of clove oil to your standard oil pulling mixture, as this ingredient has additional antibacterial properties.
- Sip some green tea
Green tea contains flavonoids and polyphenols, two antibacterial compounds that can combat gum problems. Green tea has been touted for centuries as a way to decrease risk of gum disease and perhaps even help reattach your gums to your teeth if they are receding or pulling away.
While these tips can help boost your gum health, it’s advised that you visit a periodontist if your symptoms progress.
Do you have any other holistic gum care remedies to add to the list? If so, share your recommendations in the comments!
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Photo: Pexels, Sarah McEwing