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10 gingivitis home remedies that actually work

10 gingivitis home remedies that actually work
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Oral diseases are the most common noncommunicable diseases globally and are estimated to affect half the world’s population, according to the World Health Organisation. While tooth decay is the most prevalent condition and is typically caused by poor brushing and flossing habits, gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease which can result in tooth loss, is estimated to be the 11th most prevalent disease globally.

If your gums regularly bleed, are irritated and are swollen, there’s a good chance you have gingivitis, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. See your dentist before you try to manage this issue on your own, and be sure to tell her/him about any home treatments you may want to try.

These home remedies are backed by medical research and may help treat gingivitis.

Green tea

Green tea
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Regularly sipping on this herbal brew may help alleviate gingivitis. Green tea is high in antioxidants that help reduce inflammation. According to research published in the Journal of International Oral Health, green tea may counteract the body’s inflammatory response to bacteria in the mouth and can help ease the swelling and bleeding from gingivitis. The polyphenols in green tea may also help inhibit the growth of bacteria that can lead to gingivitis.

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide
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Hydrogen peroxide is a mild antiseptic with antibacterial properties used to prevent skin infections from minor cuts and abrasions. Swishing your mouth with hydrogen peroxide may also help relieve minor mouth irritations and kill bacteria that could lead to gum disease, according to cosmetic dentist Jennifer Jablow. “You can dilute the 3% hydrogen peroxide you get at the chemist, mixing it 50/50 with water,” says Jablow. “I tell my patients to put some in their water flosser to really help kill the bacteria under their gums.”

Turmeric paste

Turmeric paste
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This spice, typically used in curries, is becoming increasingly recognised for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. One study by researchers at Punjab University in India found that applying a paste made of one teaspoon of turmeric, a half teaspoon of salt, and a half teaspoon of mustard oil provides relief from gingivitis when rubbed onto gums and teeth twice daily.

Grow your own spices at home.

Sage mouthwash

Sage mouthwash
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Due to its anti-inflammatory compounds, gargling with a mouth rinse made of sage may soothe inflamed gums. A study by researchers in Iran found that daily rinsing with a sage mouthwash significantly lowered the number of bacteria that cause dental plaque. Try adding two tablespoons of fresh sage or one teaspoon of dried sage to one to two cups of boiling water; simmer for up to 10 minutes, then strain and let cool.

Salt water

Salt water
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A study in the journal PLoS One found that rinsing with salt water may help heal inflamed gums caused by gingivitis. As a natural disinfectant, it may also kill infection-causing bacteria.

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Lemongrass oil

Lemongrass oil
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Researchers found that a mouthwash made with 0.25% lemongrass oil could effectively reduce levels of plaque – a contributor to and symptom of gingivitis. The oil can be a good alternative to traditional mouthwash, according to the study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Diagnosis and Research. Dilute two to three drops of lemongrass oil in one cup of water, then swish and spit out.

Discover delicious uses for lemongrass with this stir-fry recipe.

Bicarbonate of soda

Bicarbonate of soda
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Brushing with a paste made of bicarbonate of soda (now an ingredient in some store-bought toothpastes) and water may help neutralise acids in the mouth that can contribute to gum disease. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry compared toothpastes containing sodium bicarbonate (also known as bicarbonate of soda) to those without. The researchers found that toothpastes containing bicarbonate of soda were better at removing plaque.

Looking for a natural cleaner to get rid of that nasty stain? Don’t fear, Bicarbonate of Soda to the rescue.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil
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While oil pulling – the ancient Ayurvedic dental technique of swishing oil around your mouth and spitting it out to support oral health – lacks solid scientific research to back it, there is some evidence that it may help. A small study of 40 people published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research compared coconut oil pulling with a placebo and found that rinsing with coconut oil for 10 minutes once a day for seven days reduced plaque. The wisdom behind oil pulling is that edible oils pulled through the teeth and mouth supposedly draws out toxins in your body, primarily to improve oral health.

You know how to help prevent gingivitis, now improve your hearing.

Daily brushing

Daily brushing
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Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is one of the best ways to maintain good oral health and prevent gingivitis, as well as other dental issues such as cavities.

Got gum disease under control, now say goodbye to bad breath.

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– The Reader’s Digest team