Periodontitis is a serious gum infection that damages the soft tissue and destroys the bone supporting your teeth. Without treatment, it can cause tooth loss. Professional dental care is crucial for managing periodontitis.
But between dental visits, these home remedies can support healing:
Cause of Periodontitis
Periodontitis is the advanced form of gum disease, occurring when gingivitis (gum inflammation) spreads deeper below the gum line. Plaque buildup causes the gums to pull away from the teeth, forming infected pockets that break down bone and connective tissues.
Signs of periodontitis include:
- Red, swollen, bleeding gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Gums that have pulled away from teeth
- Pus discharge around teeth and gums
- Loose or separating teeth
- Changes to bite alignment
Treatment for Periodontitis
Here are the typical treatments a dentist may use to treat periodontitis:
- Scaling and Root Planing – This deep cleaning procedure removes plaque and tartar above and below the gumline. Local anesthesia is usually used.
- Antibacterial Mouth Rinses – Prescription antimicrobial rinses reduce bacteria and inflammation between teeth and gums.
- Antibiotic Therapy – Antibiotics, in pill form or directly placed in infected pocket areas, combat bacterial infection.
- Flap Surgery – The gums are lifted back and plaque deposits are removed from below the gumline. Gums are then sutured into place.
- Bone and Tissue Grafts – Grafting techniques help regenerate bone and gum tissue destroyed by periodontitis.
- Laser Therapy – Dental lasers can remove plaque and tartar while stimulating gum tissue regrowth.
- Extraction – In severe cases, hopeless teeth may need extraction to prevent spread of infection.
- Regular Cleanings – Professional cleanings every 3-6 months are needed to prevent reoccurrence after treatment.
Your dentist will determine the best treatment plan based on the severity of infection and how your gums respond initially. They may also recommend some home remedies to speed up your recovery, including:
Home Remedies for Symptom Relief for Periodontitis
Controlling periodontitis requires diligent at-home oral care and ongoing professional treatment. Your dentist may recommend the following approaches for promoting oral hygiene and managing symptoms of periodontitis at home:
1. Saltwater Rinses
Rinse with warm salt water 2-3 times daily to reduce swelling, cleanse teeth, and draw out infection.
Preparation: Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. Stir until the salt is completely dissolved.
How to Use: Gently swish the saltwater solution in your mouth for about 30 seconds, then spit it out. Repeat 2-3 times daily after brushing and flossing.
Safety: Avoid swallowing the solution. Use warm water, not hot, to prevent burning your mouth. If you have high blood pressure or other health concerns, consult your doctor before using a saltwater rinse.
2. Aloe Vera Gel
Apply aloe vera gel directly to inflamed gums for its soothing, anti-inflammatory effect.
Preparation: Use natural aloe vera gel or extract directly from the plant.
How to Use: Apply a small amount of aloe vera gel directly to your fingertip and gently massage it onto your inflamed gums. Leave it for a few minutes, then rinse your mouth with water.
Safety: Ensure the aloe vera is free from additives or chemicals. Some individuals may be allergic to aloe vera; do a patch test before applying it to your gums.
3. Green Tea
Rinse with brewed, cooled green tea or use tea bags to make compresses against tender gums. Green tea contains antioxidants to reduce gum irritation.
Preparation: Brew a cup of green tea, let it cool to room temperature, or refrigerate it.
How to Use: Swish the cooled green tea in your mouth for about 30 seconds, then spit it out. Alternatively, use a cooled tea bag as a compress against your gums for a few minutes.
Safety: Choose plain green tea without added sugars or flavors. Avoid swishing with hot tea to prevent burning.
4. Coconut Oil Pulling
Swish coconut oil in the mouth to help extract toxins.
Preparation: Take a tablespoon of organic, cold-pressed coconut oil.
How to Use: Swish the coconut oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes. Spit it out into a trash can (not the sink, as it can clog drains). Rinse your mouth with water afterward.
Safety: Do not swallow the oil. Oil pulling is safe, but if you experience any adverse reactions, discontinue use.
5. Sesame Oil Pulling
Similar to coconut oil pulling, swishing sesame oil is an ancient practice that can help reduce plaque and improve gum health.
Preparation: Use organic, cold-pressed sesame oil.
How to Use: Swish the sesame oil in your mouth for about 15 minutes, then spit it out into a trash can. Rinse your mouth with water.
Safety: Avoid swallowing the oil. Some people may be sensitive to sesame oil; discontinue use if you experience any discomfort.
6. Guava Leaves
Chew tender guava leaves or use them to gently brush teeth and massage gums to stimulate circulation.
Preparation: Choose fresh, tender guava leaves.
How to Use: Chew the guava leaves gently, making sure not to swallow them. Alternatively, use the leaves to gently brush your teeth and massage your gums.
Safety: Ensure the leaves are free from pesticides or contaminants. Do not swallow the leaves.
7. Turmeric Gel
Mix turmeric powder with water into a paste and massage onto gums to reduce inflammation.
Preparation: Mix turmeric powder with a small amount of water to create a paste.
How to Use: Apply the turmeric paste to your fingertip and gently massage it onto your gums. Leave it for a few minutes, then rinse your mouth with water.
Safety: Turmeric may stain clothing and surfaces; use caution during application.
8. Clove Oil
Clove oil has natural antibacterial properties that can help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.
Preparation: Use natural clove oil.
How to Use: Apply a small amount of clove oil to a cotton ball. Gently dab the cotton ball onto the affected gums. Leave it for a few minutes before rinsing your mouth with water.
Safety: Clove oil is potent; use sparingly and avoid contact with sensitive areas of your mouth.
9. Honey and Cinnamon Paste
Create a paste by mixing honey and cinnamon powder. Both ingredients have antimicrobial properties that can support gum health.
Preparation: Mix honey and cinnamon powder to create a paste.
How to Use: Apply the paste to your gums, gently massaging it. Leave it for a few minutes before rinsing your mouth with water.
Safety: Choose natural honey and cinnamon. Some people may be sensitive to cinnamon; discontinue use if you experience any adverse reactions.
10. Tea Tree Oil Rinse
Tea tree oil has antiseptic properties that can help fight bacteria in the mouth.
Preparation: Add a few drops of tea tree oil to a cup of warm water.
How to Use: Gargle and swish the tea tree oil solution in your mouth for about 30 seconds, then spit it out.
Safety: Tea tree oil can be toxic if ingested; ensure you do not swallow the solution. Use only a few drops to avoid irritation.
11. Baking Soda Paste
Baking soda can help neutralize acidity in the mouth and promote a healthier oral environment.
Preparation: Mix baking soda with a small amount of water to create a paste.
How to Use: Apply the baking soda paste to your gums, gently massaging it. Leave it for a few minutes before rinsing your mouth with water.
Safety: Baking soda is abrasive; use the paste gently and avoid excessive scrubbing.
12. Cranberry Juice
Drink unsweetened cranberry juice to inhibit bacterial growth in the mouth. Make sure it’s natural and without added sugars.
Preparation: Choose unsweetened, natural cranberry juice.
How to Use: Drink a small amount of cranberry juice daily to inhibit bacterial growth in the mouth.
Safety: Consume cranberry juice in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Avoid juice with added sugars.
13. Warm Compress
Apply a warm, damp cloth or compress to your face over the affected area to help alleviate pain and reduce swelling.
Preparation: Soak a clean cloth in warm water and wring out excess water.
How to Use: Apply the warm, damp cloth or compress to your face over the affected area for a few minutes.
Safety: Ensure the compress is not too hot to avoid burns.
14. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
Brush and floss regularly to remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth and gums. Good oral hygiene practices are essential for preventing and managing periodontal disease.
While home remedies can support healing between dental visits, only professional treatment can fully resolve periodontitis. See your dentist promptly if you experience severe symptoms or if your condition worsens. With professional care and daily oral hygiene, periodontitis can be overcome.